Sunday, April 23, 2006

Little Women Home Companion-October 2002

Little Women Home Companion
October 2002
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their children,
to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands,
that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Titus 2: 4-5
A Cozy Home
People who hire all these things done for them, never know what they lose for
the homeliest tasks get beautified if loving hands do them, and Meg found proof of this,
that everything in her small nest, from the kitchen roller to the silver vase
on her parlour table, was eloquent of home love and tender forethought.
Lousia May Alcott
A Visit With Marmee
Sharing A Mother's Thoughts
Dear mothers and daughters,
One of the most calming sounds that I have heard is the lullaby of ocean waves as they roll onto shore. I grow sleepy, tranquil, as I listen to this beautiful sound. I find it so easy to nap as I enjoy them. Equally peaceful to me is the sound of rain as it gently pitter-patters on the roof of our home. It invites me to lie down and be at rest.
Is it not interesting how sight, sound and scent affect one? As homemakers one of our most important tasks is to create in our homes a peaceful place of rest for our family and friends. We have opportunities to create cozy, inviting homes even if our budgets are limited (I do not know a homemaker with an unlimited budget). We can accomplish much.
The most important thing is our relationship with our Lord and Savior. Daily time spent in His Word (the Bible) and in prayer will create a heart willing to serve Him. Time with our Lord will refresh us and give us strength to perform those tasks that are useful and humbling.
Our next important task for a cozy home is to keep it tidy and clean. I am not speaking of keeping a home spotless for this tends to make mommies very disagreeable when our families do their normal "living" in the home. Just tidy and clean is a good beginning. Having a place for everything and putting it away when finished will make for a lot less work for mothers so train your little ones early. I will be honest with you and say that as a mother I also struggle with keeping everything in place but as time goes by I find that we are improving.
Our children are responsible for some home cleaning tasks. This means that things will not always be as I would have done them but I try to remember that the children are training for their own households. I often remind them that when they have their own homes that they need to make sure that they are kept clean and tidy. Ladies a messy, dirty home discourages the members of the family so. The longer that it is left that way the more discouraged they will become.
Start one room at a time and get it into order. One of the most important things is to get rid of what you do not use. I would like to suggest flylady to those of you that really struggle in this area. Use what ideas will work for your family. It is a good place to start.
Now we will go on to the fun parts of making our homes cozy.
If you can afford to please purchase a tape or cd of some calming, uplifting music. I love to listen to Beethoven. I find his music inspiring and peaceful. You may want to choose praise music, hymns or some other classical composer but make sure that it is something beautiful that will create an atmosphere of calm and peace in your home. Play it often.
Make calming and peaceful arrangements of items that you have around your home. Perhaps you could use an 8x10 picture of yourself as a child and place it on a doily and surround it with some taper candles, an old pair of baby shoes, a strand of pearls (fake), maybe a little pair of children's gloves, and some artificial flowers that match your decor. The arrangement is pleasing. The following is a link to a web page where this has been done.
Do many of this type of arrangement in your home. You can do them by themes such as birdhouses, teatime, nature, fruit, and seashore, ect. Let the creative mind that God has given you go to work. You need not purchase new items or expensive ones. Use those around your home or those you pick up at the thrift or dollar type stores. It is not the items that you have but how you use and arrange them that make your home pleasant. For those of you that do not like to dust a lot I would suggest doilies and tablecloths. Take them off every so often and wash and dry them.
I would like to also suggest that you take every opportunity to learn new craft skills such as crochet, knitting, basket weaving and woodcraft as well as others to enable you to create items for your home and gifts for family and friends.
How our homes smell really affects friends and family. A clean home needs no other aroma than bread or cake baking in the oven but I have to admit that I love the aroma of scented candles. Remember that they must be watched carefully especially if you have young ones in your home. May I suggest apple, pumpkin and cinnamon scented ones for autumn, cinnamon, peppermint, or Christmas scented ones for winter, lavender or herbal scented ones for spring, and melon or fruit scented ones for summer? How pleasant they make our homes smell.
If you have a fireplace make use of it often. How cozy and inviting to that dear husband would a bowl of chili or beef stew served with some fresh bread and a chocolate cake be when he arrives to a clean home with the gentle sounds of classical music playing in the background and a warm cozy fire burning in the fireplace.
God has blessed us as homemakers with the opportunity to create warm, inviting, comfortable homes. Let us take every serve Him by creating a pleasant home for the husband and family He has blessed us with.
From my home to yours,
Poetry Thyme
Prayer For This House
May nothing evil cross this door,
And may ill-fortune never pry
About these windows; may the roar
And rains go by.
Strengthened by faith, the rafters will
Withstand the battering of the storm.
This hearth, through all the world grow chill
Will keep you warm.
Peace shall walk softly through these rooms,
Touching your lips with holy wine,
Till every casual corner blooms
Into a shrine.
Laughter shall drown the raucous shout
And, though the sheltering walls are thin,
May they be strong to keep hate out
And hold love in.
Louis Untermeyer
Little Women Companion
Sparrow Post includes a letter written from Jo about this same chapter so
Little Women Companion will return next month.
Tea Thyme
My daughter and I thought we would share some of our favorite teas with you. Here are some of them that you may want to try. We have included many herbal teas and some of the caffeinated ones are available in decaf now. We really like vanilla creamer in our tea but be careful with the herbal teas for the creamer will curdle in many of them.
By Celestial Seasonings: These are great on those cold evenings by the fire:
Vanilla Maple Tea...tea with vanilla and sweet maple flavoring
Nutcracker Sweet...tea with vanilla and nutty flavors with cinnamon
Bengal Spice...herbal tea with the flavors of cinnamon, ginger and cardamon with a touch of vanilla
Mandarin Orange Spice...herbal orange and spice tea
English Toffee... a nutty and vanilla flavored herbal tea. It is one of my favorites.
By Twinings: Nice for a formal tea
Earl Grey... has a light citrus flavoring
Lady Jane Grey...has bergamot and citrus flavoring (lighter than Earl Grey)
By Bigelow: Great for informal times with friends
Raspberry Royale...raspberry flavored tea
Constant Comment...tea flavored with oranges and sweet spices
Perfect Peach...Peach flavored herbal tea
Apple and Cinnamon...herbal tea with apple and cinnamon flavors
By Fortunes:
Blueberry Vanilla...Tea with the flavors of blueberries and vanilla
The Work Basket
Household Hints
Carpet Spots...Apply a little of Spray and Wash (the pump bottle) onto the carpet stain and use a wet, clean white washcloth to rub the spot well. Rinse the washcloth and try to get out as much of the cleaner out as possible. It is best to test this on your carpet first to make sure that it does not change your carpet color. We have used this successfully for about 5 years on tomato sauce, tea and other assorted stains.
Thimbles and Threads
Christmas Holly Basket
We wanted to give you a pattern for a basket that you could make and found this sweet pattern on the internet. Since it gives you a picture and complete directions we thought we would give you the link so that you can learn to make one yourself. In the future we hope to give you directions for a sweet little tea basket that we made up ourselves.
This link is from the pages of
Mill Race Basket Guild.
From Jo's Writing Garret
Dear mommies and daughters,
Having a cozy home is such a joy. It is so nice to read a book or just sit down in a cozy room. Handmade little things can make a room more pleasant. Handmade wreaths and dried flowers are a wonderful addition to a room, but the very best thing for any room is a Bible. Reading God's word every day makes all things pleasant.
The Cottage Pantry
Baked Beans (our family favorite)2-16ounce cans pork and beans...drained3/4 cups K C Masterpiece BBQ sauce1/2 cup brown sugar1/2 onion chopped1/2 cup green pepper chopped1 tablespoon vinegarMix together and bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
Sparrow Post
A Dairy Entry by Jo
January 1, 18__
Dear Diary,
How I dreaded the dance at Mrs. Gardiner's tonight. Meg on the other hand was so excited. At first she was discouraged that she did not have a silk to wear but she wore her silvery poplin with a lovely blue velvet snood and lace frills. As for myself I would have preferred to stay at home and write but I went in my maroon poplin with a white linen collar and a white chrysanthemum to decorate my attire. Of course we had to wear gloves and mine were ever so soiled so Meg suggested that we each wear one of her nice ones and carry one of mine in the other hand. Poor Meg. I even burned her hair while trying to curl it with the tongs.
Meg danced with many of the young gentlemen but I kept close to the wall trying to hide the scorched backside of my dress. Although it had been repaired after one of my many close encounters with the fireplace it was still obvious. Oh how I would rather be out fighting with Papa than a lady attending dances.
I met that Laurence boy tonight. He was hiding inside a curtained recess. I found him there when I went to hide from a redheaded guy that I thought was going to ask me to dance. I was a little uncomfortable at first but we began to talk and I enjoyed his company. He told me about his travels and he can speak French. I can only read it. He does not want to go to college. How I would like to trade places with him.
Poor Meg sprained her ankle and the Laurence boy (Laurie) offered us a ride home in his carriage. Meg had little choice for she was not able to walk because of the pain. I saved some of the bonbons from the dance for Amy and Beth. Meg felt that I was in a "great want for manners" by doing this but my sisters enjoyed these very special treats.
Well it is time to rest. So much to think of and so many stories to write. Till we meet again my dear diary.
Our Window Seat
Book Reviews
Ester Ried by Isabella McDonald Alden
If you want to read a life-changing book the Bible would be my first choice. My second one would be Ester Ried. This is a fictional story of a young girl who works in her mother's home helping with the care of her brothers and sisters and the borders that her mother has taken in for income since the death of her father. As a Christian Ester has many chances to witness and to encourage her family and friends for Jesus. Sadly Ester lets these opportunities slip away. As the book unfolds we watch as Ester's conversion and what God does with Ester's life once she submits to His lordship. Please ladies if you have the opportunity please read this book. Have your children read it or better yet read it to them. It never ceases to amaze me when an author that lived so long ago speaks through their words to my heart today. I hope this book will encourage and change you and your family for His kingdom.
The Rose Garden
Websites that you may enjoy. We may not agree with everything that you find on these pages!
Steph's Country Kitchen Goodness
Lots of great recipes.
The 21st Century Homekeeper
Encouragement and ideas for the homemaker
Frugal Homemaker
Recipe, craft and decorating ideas
Get organized
Marmee's Nature Journal
How relentless are the waves of the ocean. Constantly they roll in and out sometimes gently, sometimes pounding upon the shore destroying all in the way. How beautiful and terrifying it can be. Today I have been watching my little one pitter patter in a puddle of water on the seashore. A while ago this child stood close by concerned that the water would "get them". How like little children we all are. We are afraid to step out of our area of comfort to learn what is ahead. In many ways I find myself as shy as my child. I watch the waves of life afraid to reach out to those around me, to open my heart to someone, to speak to someone I do not know. Most of all I am many times afraid to tell them about my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I try to remember this verse:
What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
Psalms 56:3
There are so many people out there that are hurting and scared. Maybe the waves are pounding upon their lives. Maybe they need comfort and words of peace. Maybe they need someone to come beside them and hold their hand and walk along the way with them. Maybe they need Jesus. I hope that you will be in prayer that God will use you and your life to encourage others in their journey.
Till Next Thyme
We hope that you have enjoyed this issue of Little Women Home Companion. It was fun doing this issue for you. We look forward to our next visit with you in November.
Jenny and Caiti
Little Women Home Companion is a monthly newsletter for mothers and daughters.
Copyright 2002-2003 Little Women Home Companion
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