Creekside Cottage Friends

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Book Review: Where Trust Lies

As a young adult I read everything Jeanette Oke wrote.  I still have all my books, and now my daughter is devouring them.  A special favorite of ours is her Canadian West Series.

This book, "Where Trust Lies" is co-written with her daughter Laurel Oke Logan, and is a book 2 of Return To The Canadian West.

I really enjoyed it, and as I became involved in the story, I spent more time everyday reading it.

As this book starts, Elizabeth Thatcher has just returned home after a year teaching school in the Canadian west.  She has just found out that Jack Thornton has feelings for her, and she is adjusting to how different her home in Toronto is compared to her life in the west.  She's not even unpacked when she realizes that her parents have planned a cruise for all the women in the family, along with the wife and daughter of Mr. Thatcher's business partner.

Unsure if she wants to go, she has the chance to talk to Jack Thornton, whom she calls Jarrick, and he encourages her to go.

I felt as if I was on the cruise with them, and it was interesting to see how she and her mother and sister became better acquainted with each other on this trip.  Her younger sister Julie, growing up in a time of real social change, is eager to embrace it all, and finds herself with friends outside of their social circle.

This leads to quite a bit of tension, and the climax of the story involves a kidnapping for ransom!  We also see Beth's relationship with Jarrick grew through letters and a few phone calls.

I enjoy many different authors, and genre of reading, but I know that with Jeanette Oke, and her daughter, I am going to get a story involving people who put their trust in the Lord, even in very difficult circumstances.

I received this book to review, but was not compensated in anyway.  My thoughts about this book are my own.  I had not read the first book in this series before reading this one, but within minutes of starting 'Where Trust Lies,' I knew I'd be picking up the first book in the series to read, as well.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Family: Childhood

 When you have a larger family, it is easy to be busy with the older kids schedules and to just bring the younger ones along.  It was common for me to feel like we had 'been there, done that' and that we didn't need to do it again.  For me it was in the area of field trips to places like Philadelphia and Washington, DC, for example.

It came to a head one day several years ago when I realized that this younger batch of kids (as I call them) had never seen the Liberty Bell or Independence Hall.
 It happens easily in a larger family because, even though the younger kids get to an age where they can really enjoy and get something out of a trip, you now can't go because the older ones have jobs, and need rides, etc.

 A few years ago, I had the thought that this is these kids childhood and that they needed to have one full of memories of something other than riding in the van to take their siblings to work!

We started to be more deliberate about going places, getting them together with friends.  In short, we are giving them a wonderful childhood.  We've taken trips, watch movies, read books aloud, visit with friends, help others, indulged in our love of buying books.  We work together here at home, we listen to music, we laugh together.  We enjoy each other's company.  

I am not an advocate of having everything revolve around the kids.  I believe that kids are a part of the family not the center of it.  Our kids need to be involved with what we are doing. They also need to have responsibilities around the house.  This is important.

I guess what I'm wanting to say with this post is that if you are still raising kids, be deliberate about what you do.  Take the time to go on that bike ride together, or to make a run to the store for ice cream.  Work along side them washing dishes and folding laundry.

Talk to your kids and get to really know them - know the things they love, and are interested in.  Read the Word together, pray together everyday.

We pray together every night before bed.  Soon Tim won't be here when the kids go to bed.  I will still pray with them, but I am sure that Tim will read with them and pray with them during the school day.  It builds closeness and lays a foundation for relationship.

Our kids only get one childhood.  Let's make it a good one with lasting memories, strong foundations, good relationships.  Tim and I like to say that we are not raising kids, we are raising adults.  We want them to be mature, and grown up when they hit adulthood.  

What are some things you did as a family that you have fond memories of?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Winter Sunrise

I got out of my warm bed this morning, and padded out to the living room.  I turned up the heat, grabbed a blanket and intended to snuggle up on the couch until Kamryn arrived.

The view out my windows caught my attention instead.

It's amazing how it can change in just a few moments.

As I write it's already faded to where if I'd just gotten up, it wouldn't have caught my eye.

Psalm 8
Lord, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth,
Who have set Your glory above the heavens!
Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have ordained strength,
Because of Your enemies,
That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?
For You have made him a little lower than the angels,[b]
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen—
Even the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air,
And the fish of the sea
That pass through the paths of the seas.
Lord, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth!

I'm thankful to have woken up earlier than I normally do.  Thankful to have caught the beauty of this winter morning sunrise.  Thankful to know the ONE who created it all and holds it in His hands.

Monday, March 2, 2015

In Like A Lion

I've been patient, I really have.  I have embraced each season, for years, not wanting to be discontent with the moment.  I've not whined when it was too hot and humid, nor have I whined when it's been so cold.

Until yesterday.  I am done.  March came roaring in like a lion yesterday.  Snow, then sleet/ice.  It caused us to cancel our ladies trip to the tea house after church. 

With our friend Amy.  

Who is moving back to Texas on Saturday.  

We don't get a redo on this.  

That was the moment I wanted to stomp my foot and pout a bit.  

I know that it will be officially Spring on March 20th this year.  Spring on the calendar will come but I am longing to see some spring flowers popping up.

 My calendar is so pretty.  

 Sweet birdies, and flowers.

 can actually here real birds chirping away out in my front garden!  That is a hopeful sound!

This date is important!  It's Emma's birthday!

This date is important too, because we are flying Emma home for her birthday weekend! 

So I am praying that nothing happens to keep her from getting here!  We are all excited.

On a brighter note,

Sarah played for the offering time yesterday.  She did a fine job.

Supposedly, when March comes in like a lion it goes out like a lamb and vice versa.  But last year it was cold in March but no really lion or lamb type behavior.

Okay, I'm done whining.  Remind me of this when I'm whining about how hot it is this summer okay?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

First Anniversary

Well, this year has flown by.  Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of Lindsay and Joseph's wedding!

I like looking at the beautiful photos from that wonderful day.

It's been a joyful year.

Happy Anniversary,  Lindsay and Joseph.  May you have many, many more.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Big Change

If you look carefully, you can see the snow falling as the sun rose this morning.  It is still lightly falling and there is a fresh dusting of snow on everything.

Today, is a big day in our family.  It's Tim's last day of work at the company he has worked at for 20 years.  He is a diligent and hard worker, he is thorough in his work and he is very skillful.  His supervisor was incredulous.  They did not expect this at all.  They are going to miss him and his abilities very much.

The Lord provided this work for him just a few months after we left the missions agency we had been with.  It has been what the Lord used to provide for our family of 8.  We are grateful.

However it was time to make a move and on Monday morning he will begin his work at a new employer.  There are perks to this.  He won't have to work every other weekend now, and rarely on Sundays.  He will be on a fixed schedule rather than rotating schedules every 5 weeks.  The benefits package is great.

He ultimately is working toward being self employed.  We are excited by the possibilities.  

Thank you for allowing me to brag about him.  He is an excellent man, and I am so proud of him.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Literary Cafe

Last Saturday, I decided it was time to rearrange the basement, now that Kay and Kamryn had moved out.  This space I am showing you is directly under the living room and is where Kay and Kamryn had their space.

The girls and I had discussed make this space into a library type space for now, Tim wants to eventually make this a place we watch movies together.

This is what we came up with using what we already had down here in the basement.

I am going to paint that mirror and it will get hung up somewhere. The dry sink holds all the games that used to be on top of the bookcases.  The book cases used to be on the same wall in a different area.
  We showed our friend Denny a few photos and he said, "It looks like a Literary Cafe!"  I loved that!

We vacuumed and mopped and dusted and rearranged books.

Tim changed out the old lighting for some halogen track lighting that we still had from the store.  It has brightened it up down there and we are able to direct the lighting to where we want it.

This other space got spiffed up too.  If you head toward the open door you see, to the right is where the wood stove is.  It also has a wicker chair, play kitchen and some dress up clothes.  It's cozy.  The white dresser and black bookcases need attention.  Some of it is where I keep my fabric stash.  Let's just say it could be better organized.  Soon, it will be.

We love the red color on the walls, but I think it's too dark and would like something lighter and brighter!  Eventually the walls will have their baseboard trim too.

We are talking plans now for the shop space which is through the open door.  It is the same square footage as the master bedroom suite and will be made into a second 'master' bedroom for the girls.  With built in beds.  Something like this.

But a double set so it would sleep 4 people without taking up tons of floor space.

I think we are getting close to having a building plan for moving my parents in here with way less expense than the original plan.

Something is always happening here at Creekside Cottage!  I'm never bored!

What do you think?  Do you like my Literary Cafe?  What about the built in bunks idea?  Have you ever moved your parents into your home?