Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Lovely Home Life

Boston Common at Twilight, 1885-86

I was in the city, shopping and travelling all day yesterday, with my three daughters.  My oldest two live far away from me, and I rarely get to see them.  But we carry "home" with us wherever we go. There is a dignity and an honor we have for our family name.  We have certain habits, cultured conversations, mannerisms and humor that are with us to remind us of Home wherever we are. . . As long as we are together in heart and mind, in person, in a letter or on the phone, the loveliness of home will always be with us.

I love to visit the homes of my grown children. I love to see the decorations, the housekeeping and the foods they make. Their homes are an extension of mine.  Their lives are an extension of mine. I am grateful to be their mother.

To add some culture to our homes, keeping it lovely, we try to avoid conflict. We try to make light of difficult situations. This limits the stressful moments.  Instead, we bring in lovely things. This might be classical music or classic literature.

This can also mean classical conversation. . . The other morning I commenced the reading of Dombey and Son by Dickens.  This puts me in a distinguished kind of mood that startles and amuses my children.

Here are some examples:

I might say, "You are to dine with the Smith family at the noon hour."   This translates as, "Your friend Joe Smith and his Mom are going to McDonald's and want you to go with them at 12:00."

or, if one of the kids brings in the mail and says, "Oh, here is that letter you have been waiting for!"
I would translate this, in casual conversation, as "The letter was announced."

Listening to Beethoven while cleaning the kitchen, or serving homemade pizza on fine china, are all special ways of making home lovely.

Painting my old kitchen an elegant sage green and calling my purple living room a Parlour are other ways to make things lovely.

These little daily actions of creating beauty and happiness are examples of loveliness.

These little touches of grace and refinement, make even the most humble home a happy place to be. My grown  children have often said to me, "Mom, we never knew we were poor. You always acted like we were rich."

Mrs. White

The Greatest thing to pass on - Their Memories of Home.

It takes effort to have A Virtuous Day.

All I Ever Wanted was to Be Just a Regular Mom.

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.  I would also love to have you connect with me on Facebook and Twitter!


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Who Will Weep For You Now?

Illustration of Mother Praying with Three Children

I read this story once, where a travelling preacher stopped by the side of the road to see a Father and his older children, weeping and distraught. They explained that the wife had died leaving the children motherless.  The husband described his wife as a precious saint, who had prayed for them all. . . and loved them all dearly. The husband cried out to the preacher, feeling so alone and abandoned, saying, "Who will pray for us now?"   The preacher led them to the Lord and encouraged them on their way. This greatly comforted them.

Over the years, as I have visited with people on my way to church, I have heard them call out to me, "Please say a prayer for me, while you are there."  This gives them a good, safe feeling, knowing that someone is on their side, before the Lord. . . Knowing that someone is there pleading for their well-being. And this is good.

Mothers are known for weeping in prayer for their children and for their families. Mother's love and concern is so great . . . and so strong. . . that those kinds of tearful, heart-breaking prayers, bring about great things from God.

Grown children know that each day, at the appointed time of family worship, their Mother is back at home, praying for them.  They know Mother is weeping when they do wrong. They know that Mother would be heartbroken if sin got a hold of them, or if danger was in their path. These children feel as if a guardian angel is watching over them, when they have their saintly mother's prayers to hold them up.

But what happens when Mother is gone? What happens when that Mother has passed-on to her eternal rest? Who will pray for them now?

Will you, like the family on the side of the road, be led to the Lord and carry on the beauty of the Mother's prayers?  May it be so.

And you, who are the precious Mothers. . will you keep your eyes on Heaven and your hearts on things not of this world, that your prayers be not hindered?  May God help us all!

Mrs. White

What Do You Think? - Should Mother Work Outside the Home in 1981?

The Blessing of Mama's Songs.

May All Our Homes Be Like - The Mission House.

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.  I would also love to have you connect with me on Facebook and Twitter!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Building our Homes with Little Money

Lumber Yard

I grew up in the same house my mother grew up in. It was a beach cottage that Grandpa spent years rebuilding, while Mother was a small child. By the time I arrived, it was a large 2 story house with enclosed porches and an efficiency apartment in the basement. It had charming french doors and windows in the living room, which led out to one of the porches. There were stone steps and a small decorative fence on part of the property, close to the lilac bushes.  Not only did Grandpa rebuild the house, he also cultivated the land, creating a garden, and encouraging the growth of lovely plants.

Part of the foundation of the house was on a mine of rocks. These rocks were in a section of our basement, piled high, with the house built on, and around it.  The rocks were also on the great hill beside the house. This hill has been covered with dirt and grass and was a wonderful place for children to play in both summer and winter. We sled down the snowy hill, or rolled down the grass in the nice seasons.

I used to watch Grandpa working on that hill with his tools. He was covering the rocks, or working the land in some way. This was when I was a very small child. (We children lived with our parents and grandparents in the same house, just as my parents now live with my family.)

Years later, I learned that much of the supplies and lumber Grandpa used to rebuild the cottage was from salvaged items found on the shore of the nearby beach. This was typical for a generation of hard working Americans who knew how to find necessary items and create things with very little money.  But this wasn't just the Depression-era Americans.

Remember when Pa Ingalls would build an entire cabin out of the woods? He would cut down trees and work with the land to coax it, and to create, with his own labor and skills, to make a Home for his family. In these days that would be called "scavenging," But it was the normal way.

Now we buy everything at the local hardware store or lumber yard. I was thinking the other day how much I want a glass, French door for one of our rooms. I had thought for months about going to the store and buying one. But where is the fun in that? I would rather wait and search for such a treasure, scavenging it just like my ancestors did a few generations ago.

I remember when we lived in Massachusetts and I had gone into this thrift store, when my children were very young. I found a white wicker shelf unit that was faded and worn. I brought it home, set it up on the porch, and spray painted it a glossy sage green. It looked beautiful! It dried on that porch in the lovely sea air, since we lived near the ocean. Later, when I set it up in the house, it brought something artistic to our home, something amazing, because I had taken special care with it. It probably cost me around $4, including the paint, and I loved it.

If we can only look back at our American History and understand how homes were built using labor and local resources, rather than spending thousands of dollars at the local shops, we could have a stronger sense of appreciation and pride. We would gain a tremendous ability to survive. The money we could save, over the course of a few decades, and the example we set, would create a precious inheritance for the next generation.

Mrs. White

What We've Done - Building a Strong Work Ethic in our Children.

When we had no Money - To Encourage the Downcast Housewife.

A Joyful Day blessing my Family - Spending the Day in the Kitchen.

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.  I would also love to have you connect with me on Facebook and Twitter!


Friday, February 24, 2012

The Godly Home, Marriage and Family

Wife and Baby Saying Farewell to Serviceman Husband and Father at Pennsylvania Station During WWII

This morning I listened to a sermon by the late L. R. Shelton, Sr. It is about the sacredness of an old fashioned, life-long marriage. It is encouraging, convicting and sobering. The sermon was preached in the 1960's and the message is valid for all time, because it is based on sound Biblical teaching.

[Note - If you are receiving this through email and cannot see the embedded sermon, please visit the blog directly to listen.]

Mrs. White

* A Very Precious book, written in the 1940's is by Clifford Lewis, God's Ideal Woman.

When the Nest Begins to Empty - a picture of a life-long marriage - Are you Still Tricking your Wife?

Encouragement to keep you cheerful - Mother's Domain.

May we be sweet and beloved - Aging Gracefully.

Joining with
Yes They're All Ours

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.  I would also love to have you connect with me on Facebook and Twitter!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Early Years of Homeschooling

Reading To The Children

When my five children were little, we spent much of our time at home. We managed to venture out only once a week. This was our big errand day. We would leave early in the morning, just after breakfast. We went to the post office to pay the bills and pick up an enormous box full of mail. (We all had numerous pen-pals, lots of home-published magazine subscriptions, and were producing our own home made publications, which brought us plenty of letters and orders.) We did all our grocery shopping just before heading home. But in the middle of all those errands, we went to our favorite place - the library.

The children all picked up cart loads of books to keep us occupied for the week.  The youngest children were delighted with The Berenstain Bears, or books by Lois Lowry. The older children (up to age 15) were selecting anything from biographies, historical documents, trends in fashion to the latest math textbooks. We also scoured the classic video department and came home with several films from the old days, like the Andy Hardy series, Fiddler on the Roof, For Me and My Gal, It's a Wonderful Life, and so many others. This, too, was part of their education.

But the best part of our day was coming home to a homemade lunch, and settling beside each other on the couches and floor to delight in other worlds by reading for hours.  This was the most important part of our home education.  The quiet, scholarly devotion to learning from books was invaluable. This was the slow-paced foundation of our academy at home.

Looking back, I dearly miss those early years of homeschooling. I really must find some classic literature to read to my last student (age 14) before our homeschooling years fade away entirely.

Mrs. White

Passing on the Legacy  - A Homemaking Lesson Learned from Mother White.

A lovely way To start the morning with a Formal - Breakfast at Home.

Need help with Homeschooling? - Index of stories and ideas from our School at Home.

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.  I would also love to have you connect with me on Facebook and Twitter!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Living with Heathens

Grandview Baptist Church About a Mile from the Truman Family Farm

John Walton didn't go to church. I never understood why. His wife went. His children went. And even his parents (Grandpa and Grandma Walton) went every week with the family. Why didn't John go?

On a recent episode of The Waltons, a new preacher moved into town. John went to visit him and said, good naturedly, "I've been a heathen too long. Don't try to convert me." The preacher laughed. He  knew John was teasing.  Everyone in town knew John was a pillar of the community. He was a man of integrity, a man with strong values, and an inspiring father. He had tremendous wisdom and lived out God's commandments. He prayed with his family and encouraged them to go to church.  But he wouldn't go himself.

Some wives have husbands like John. They have children like John. Or, perhaps they live with family members who act like literal heathens. Maybe they don't read the Bible, or openly pray. Maybe they won't go to church and seem unhappy in their souls.  All these things can affect the godly mother in the home.

I've sensed the "seeming" burden of religious education fall on Olivia Walton. I've seen her scold the children for wrongdoing and I've heard her teach those children the Bible. She had Grandma Walton to back her up. And even Grandpa was a laid-back, but dedicated religious man. Was this burden difficult for Olivia?  What was it like living in a home where all family members were not all out for God, in a visual, literal sense?

But this isn't the issue. . .

The problem is when Mother is so caught up in the sorrows of others, that she cannot focus on her own soul.  She can easily spend much of her time worrying, pleading, begging and weeping for the "heathens" in her life, that she forgets to cultivate a relationship with the Lord.

The saying goes, "More is caught than taught."  Mother must keep her eyes on heaven and learn to trust and have faith that God is taking care of it all.  She must spend her daily life seeking to be closer  to Him, and not being distracted by earthly cares or worldly worries. 

The fruit of this effort is a bright, warm light comforting those around her and guiding them Heavenward.

The light does the guiding, not her words.

It has been said that we are vessels for the Master's use. He works through us, not because of us.  We must remember each and every day, and keep reminding ourselves, over and over again, that we need More Love, More Focus, More Dedication to The Almighty and that is our main purpose in life. We have to remember that no matter what the "seeming" heathens do, we have to live His way, even if it looks like no one else is.

Mrs. White

Winter Trials - The Neglected Parlour.

Get Dressed up for a Quick Visit - Happy Homemaking.

For Those Very Rough Motherhood Days - Mama, Dry Your Tears.

You are welcome to a FREE copy of My Old Fashioned Bible Study for women.  

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.  I would also love to have you connect with me on Facebook and Twitter!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Building a Strong Work Ethic in Our Children

Noel Drolet and His Family of 13 Children, Working on their Soup Course at Dinner Time

Mr. White and I come from blue-collar, working class families in suburban towns south of Boston. We both grew up working around the house, working in the yard, and working in our neighborhoods.

I don't remember my parents giving me spending money. But I always remember working for those extra things I wanted in life. I used to walk at least one mile every day to elementary school, and then later to the bus stop for the higher level schools. When I was in high school, I walked several miles a day (yes, even in winter). This was part of the work ethic. This was part of learning not to depend on others for things we should be doing for ourselves. Of course, this was before we feared crime, as this current culture has to worry about. This was when neighbors knew neighbors, knew your parents and watched out for all the kids. This was when communities were stable and safe. It was before broken homes became rampant and people moved in and out of neighborhoods faster than we could get to know them.

There was a tiny store on the corner near our school. Everyday, we kids would stop in there to get a drink, an ice cream or a little candy. We would use our own money. This was earned babysitting, doing yard work,  and selling papers or magazine subscriptions.

When I got older, I worked at a few companies. This provided me with money for clothes, the movies, or eating at restaurants. All my friends worked for their money too. Even though we lived in a relatively wealthy community, we all had a strong work ethic. Our parents didn't give us our spending money. We all earned it.

When I met my husband, at the age of 17, I was working as a secretary in a marine insurance agency, right near the water. It was a lovely place and a great job. Clients would come in to pay their insurance premiums for their yachts. I was surrounded by wealth and privilege but I still worked for what I had, as we all did. None of us thought the rich clients had a free ride. We all knew they worked for what they had.

When I became engaged, I quit my job and started to prepare for a family of my own. Mr. White and I had a contract and I never had to work (at a job) again. Both of us still worked hard, but in different ways. Me at home, and him at a job. This example to our children was invaluable.

When we started to have children, we taught them the value of money and the value of hard work. They had ways of earning money around the house and helping me with any home-business I had undertaken for their sake. Part of homeschooling, over the years, was learning to be productive, and how to run a business.

Later, we bought a country store. Our children, from as young as 5 years old, worked to help us in our business. They had plenty of opportunities to earn money by working for us.  

When the children were very young, I gave them extra work around the house everyday. This was optional work and paid anywhere from 5 cents to 25 cents. They thought this was a fortune and eagerly earned their spending money. I still remember the pride Rachel (now 24, but then 5 years old) had when we walked into a little restaurant to pick up our take-out order. She wanted to buy herself a drink and used her own money. She looked at her little sister and said, "I worked hard for that money!" I could tell the lessons were sinking in.  And while others, at times, would scoff that I required the children to work, they cannot deny that my children all have a strong work ethic. These children are dependable and reliable and put in a good day's work.

This is the blue -collar working class. These are the kind of values that made America strong.  Sadly, children of today don't understand about delayed gratification. They want everything before they earn the money to buy it. This is dangerous to their own livelihood and for our society.  One of the greatest things we mothers can teach our children, is to wait and to work and to save, and then to spend. But never before the money is earned. . . Never.

Mrs. White

The Lovely Things We Do At Home - Domestic Occupations.

A Little Visit - The Parlour in the Morning.

You Don't Have to Be Rich - The Humble Home.

For Home-keeping Inspiration, order my book - For The Love of Christian Homemaking

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


Monday, February 20, 2012

Mother's Flowers

Tuscan Afternoon

Throughout my married years, I often observed my mother-in-law in her homemaking. (She went home to be with the Lord a few years ago.) She was a classic housewife and loved home. She had beautiful plants throughout the living room and on the porch. She also tended her flower gardens on the property. 

I have never been very good with plants or gardening and have spent much of my time as a semi-invalid, sitting in chairs and reading on my bad days, or keeping busy with cleaning and other activities on my good days.

But just the other day, my very dear oldest son bought me some plants.  I walked into the parlour and saw Daisies in a large pot. I also saw a small, delicate yellow rose plant inside a pink pot. They are beautiful flowers. I was so surprised and grateful!

Daisies are a cheerful flower. And roses bring elegance.

I have been carefully taking care of them each day, just like my mother-in-law cared for her house flowers.   And I have been thinking about what a great honor it is to be at home and to carry on the legacy of my ancestor mothers.

Mrs. White

Your Children will love this - A Cheerful and Willing Housekeeper.

A yearning for - The Romance of Home.

A lovely day with my children, years ago - Happy at Home.

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.  I would also love to have you connect with me on Facebook and Twitter!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Humble Home

A Sewing Lesson by the Fire

I've seen so many lovely homes, beautifully decorated. . .  I see families with money for gifts, nice clothes and expensive food. More and more families are expecting larger homes with more conveniences. They want more than one bathroom, double sinks, and plenty of small appliances to do all the hard labor in the kitchen. Many homes today have dishwashers, bread machines and food processors. But none of these items were in Grandmother's home. None of these items were in my childhood home. None of these items are in my current home.

There can be simplicity and joy in a humble home. Families with very little can still have a nice life. They can have happy homes, with a small purse and few possessions.

Inside their basic dwelling should be diligence, hard work, love, and service. . .

Sometimes I wonder if the humblest of homes, with loving hearts of great faith in God, are the sweetest homes of all.

Mrs. White

This post is part of The Christian Home Magazine in the Financial category. To see more articles in different aspects of Home life, please visit the latest issue, hosted at Day by Day in our World.

Has This Ever Happened to You? - A Dangerous Mood for a Housewife.

A Sweet Way to Get them to Work - Chore Letters for My Children.

Chronically Ill -  When Mama is an Invalid.

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.  I would also love to have you connect with me on Facebook and Twitter!


Homemaking 101

DVD - Homemaking 101 with hostess Jennifer Ross of Renewing Housewives.

Production - Family Vision Films.

Running Time - 54 minutes plus bonus features.

The Ross family has created a dynamic presentation for homemakers. Jason and Jennifer Ross are the parents of 11 children and have a lovely homelife.  They have been very generous in allowing us to enter their home and see what life looks like for a godly housewife.

In this film, you will be welcomed by Jennifer, your hostess, as she guides you through her daily life. She shares visual guidance on cleaning, cooking, managing bills, and child care.

There are a total of 25 scenes plus 7 bonus sections.

Her segments on cleaning the bathroom, kitchen and freezer are excellent. New housewives who are looking for practical advice for quick and thorough cleaning will greatly appreciate this!  I love how Jennifer actually does the cleaning, often with her little ones nearby, and shows it is work, and that it is do-able.

I appreciate how she shows the cooking process, making breakfast, preparing her husband's lunches, handling leftovers and defrosting frozen meat for dinner.  I love how she cleans as she goes along, keeping the house looking nice, and well cared for, in a practical way.

Jennifer discusses distractions, trusting God for finances, organizing bills, planning meals, washing floors, dusting, training children and keeping up with dishes. She even shares a little about homeschooling and offers several homemaking hints!

Her gentle spirit is inspiring.   You get a sense of peace, while feeling as if you are visiting with her. In the bonus section, she sits and drinks tea while answering several common questions about homemaking. This is a lovely addition to the program.

You'll also see clips of the children playing, mom reading to the family, and everyone working in the kitchen together.  You will also "meet" an older Titus 2 woman, who shares advice as the program goes along. Her godly wisdom includes sobering thoughts like, "You either live by the Bible or you live by the world. . . And if you try to mix the two, you're going to fall off in a ditch somewhere."

I would recommend this DVD for those who need some encouragement, and those who want to see homemaking in a practical way. I would also recommend this for those who have no idea what gets accomplished in a housewife's day. Truly it is a challenging, rewarding job that takes a great deal of effort.

Jennifer encourages fellow Christian housewives in their job at home by telling us, "Staying home with your babies. . . with your children. . is the right thing to do.  It's what the Lord has called us to do. There is no higher calling."

This DVD sells for $15.95 and is an excellent investment. 

Edited update - Jennifer has just given me a discount code for you. This will give you 20% off the DVD. Just use code - legacy20

*Disclosure - I received this product for review purposes.*

To find out more about my commercial breaks, please see my disclosure page.

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Early Winter Morning

Lamp Post in the Evening Snow

In the early dawn of a winter morning, mothers would start a fire in the wood stove. This helped warm the house and prepared the stove for cooking the family breakfast.

Mother might walk outdoors in the snow to gather wood from the wood box.  This was a peaceful time of day, when the sun was just rising and the air was calm and quiet. She might look around at the beauty of the landscape.

Then she would come indoors and prepare the coffee and tea. She would bake the biscuits and fry up the meat, or stir up some oatmeal.  The scent from the kitchen and the crackling of the fire helped to slowly awaken the family.

Each would wash up and do their chores and then sit down together for the morning meal. They had their prayer and time of devotion and then each would attend to their tasks.

This quiet, pleasant, winter morning is something many of us crave. Yet, we are bombarded by the distractions of noise and technology.

 Perhaps if we found a way to enjoy the silence of a winter morning, and did old fashioned preparations for the day, we would find some peace and courage to manage in this stressful world.

Mrs. White

Passing on a Legacy - Homemaking Links the Generations.

Some old fashioned Help - How a Godly Mother May Guide an Imperfect Family.

The Difficult work - Mother as the Coach.

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.  I would also love to have you connect with me on Facebook and Twitter!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

When There Isn't Much

Wooden Shack in Oil Boomtown, with Sign That Says " I Do Sewing"

When someone would get a new apartment, we'd go take a look and start cleaning it. We'd all pitch in and get that new home ready for the family. Sometimes that apartment wasn't much to look at. But with all of us cleaning, we'd make it look pleasant and happy.

There are times in life where we take a "step down" in our standards. These are times when we have lost much or are just struggling. We have to live in a smaller home, or deal with a broken-down car. The best way to deal with this is to look at it as an adventure. Remembering, that we still have our skills and talents.

 Years ago, when our family owned a country store,  I would sit behind the cash register, in the evening, while some of my younger children would play on the front porch. My husband would be working the kitchen, making food for customers. It was a small town and the community was wonderful. I would sit back there and hand-sew while I waited for a customer to come up to the front register. Our home was upstairs in an apartment.  I used to sew for a few of the people. Someone needed mending, another needed a hem taken care of. I did it in a motherly way and didn't want money.  We had moved from a grand neighborhood in suburban Massachusetts. We experienced major culture shock when we moved to Vermont. But this was not a step down. Life was entirely different, but better.

I like to think of Ma Ingalls and the many times Pa had the family move. Ma would make do living in the wagon, while she waited for Pa to build a house. She would sweep the dirt floor, and use her homemade quilts for bedding.  She had very few possessions, but made each home cheerful because she kept things clean and neat. She also kept a routine. Those children knew what to expect. They had regular meals and chore time and play time.  My own Mother has made a home in many places and has always added nice touches here and there, even without money.

It used to be that when a bachelor got married, he loved the daily nurturing tasks a woman brought to the home. She would fluff pillows, make beds, sweep floors, iron curtains, and make the meals look pleasant.  She added life to the home with her creativity. She added rainbows and cheer with her attitude and acceptance of what she was provided with. She made things go far with what she was given.

Wherever we go, wherever we live, regardless of our circumstances, we can manage beautifully in a tent, a cabin, shack or house. We can do this with our talents and skills. Have you thought of how The Swiss Family Robinson survived on an island?  They were inventive, creative and used survival skills to manage each day. It is certainly not the ideal, but we can cope and cope beautifully in most situations.

This very thought, survival, can make us so grateful for each day. It gives us the motivation to get up and make a lovely breakfast, clean the house, and get all dressed up.  We can serve our family in love and devotion.

But when depression hits and makes things very difficult, as we dwell on our suffering, this is the time to get out the Bible and read the Psalms for comfort and guidance. This is the time to sing from the hymn books and to listen to the old time sermons. This is the greatest comfort you will ever find.

May your homes be like little sanctuaries of happiness and godliness.

Mrs. White

When the Children get Older - Sitting Alone at the Kitchen Table.

For when it gets Overwhelming - A Pink Day.

Thinking of Yesteryear - The Charm of the Old Days.

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.  I would also love to have you connect with me on Facebook and Twitter!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Visit From Our Estate

Garden Detail, San Domenico Palace Hotel, Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Last week I bought some flower seeds and other items and started dreaming about spring. Since the weather is so warm here in Vermont, it makes me think spring will come sooner than expected.

I already started some early spring cleaning.  I hope to wash the windows tomorrow morning and, perhaps, begin washing the drapes.

Today I baked a chocolate bundt cake and covered it with fudge frosting and powdered sugar. It was a nice treat. I had a small, French-sized, piece with a hot cup of tea, in the late afternoon.

Our wood stove is blazing and keeps the house cozy and warm. The snow outside is beautiful and peaceful. We live in a quiet community in a rural area. 

I want to re-read Jane Austen's Emma starting tomorrow.  I will take my time with it, reading a little here-and-there.  Classic literature adds something special to our lives. I still remember the excitement of finishing Dombey and Son last winter. Such a precious story, for those fireside readings!

Mrs. White

From the Archives:

A Visit - Late Night Housewifery.

What Happens - When Mama Falls Asleep on the Job.

The Special Time of Rest - Taking a Break from My Housework.

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.  I would also love to have you connect with me on Facebook and Twitter!


When Mother is the Maid

Woman in Cotton Dress and Maid Apron Standing

It can be a status-symbol to have a housekeeper clean your house for you. I also read a great book by a Home Schooling Mother. She hired a live-in maid to take care of things. Obviously she had the extra money for that, and I love that she had domestic help. For most of us, however, hiring help is not in the budget.

Too many people today spend their time "chilling" or "hanging out." It is certainly fine to rest and take breaks, but more and more people are becoming lazy.

Cleaning our own homes includes plenty of daily work.  In the 1800's, farm wives had plenty to do at home. They made meals, did dishes, tended gardens, preserved produce, made clothes, and cared for the entire family.  In the 1930's it was common to spring clean the entire house by emptying the contents, scrubbing out cabinets and closets, and even painting all the rooms.  There was an attitude of work more than leisure in those days.

There is a way to efficiently clean so that it takes less time. There is a way to delegate certain duties to different members of the family so the burden doesn't rest on one person. But Mother is the head housekeeper. She is the executive maid in charge of the entire home. 

She must be careful not to take on too many outside projects or responsibilities. Her work at home, caring for the family and home, is substantial! It is immense.  It is one of the greatest jobs in the world.

When Mother can be her own maid, with class and style, she is setting a fashion statement for the culture around her - that staying home is something to crave - something of value, that girls should want to aspire to.  When she does her job cheerfully and with pride, she sets the stage for a role many others will want.

Mrs. White

Grace Kelly would never be one of these - Bossy Wives.

To Encourage the - Mother of Sinners.

My Very Best, Favorite Room- The Purple Parlour.

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.  I would also love to have you connect with me on Facebook and Twitter!


Goldfish Grahams - New Flavors from Pepperidge Farm

Pepperidge farm came out with 2 great new flavors of goldfish.

1. Smores -

Chocolate Grahams, Honey Grahams and Marshmallows.

2. Cocoa -

Chocolate Grahams and Marshmallows.

Suggested retail is $2.39 per pack.

Grahams and fun to eat and delicious. The Little marshmallows add a nice flavor surprise in each pack. These would make a fun Valentines Day Treat for the whole family!

*Disclosure - I received this product from Pepperidge Farm for review purposes.*

To find out more about my commercial breaks, please see my disclosure page.

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.


Monday, February 13, 2012

No Spending Money

Paul Newman Shopping with His Wife, Joanne Woodward

I love to go shopping. I enjoy walking on Court Street in the center of Burlington, Vermont. I love the brick walkways and little shops. I enjoy the excitement of Stowe, Vermont and all the quaint restaurants. Did you know the Trapp Family Lodge is in Vermont? There are so many exciting things to do and see when we go out to spend money.

Can you imagine visiting an old boutique, antique shop or vintage bookstore? They are like places to find treasures. You can browse, and take your time, and enjoy an afternoon of leisure and relaxation out in these charming places of business.

It is delightful to come home with parcels, packages, and bags full of lovely things. The memories alone are worth those kinds of shopping days.

I have shopped in Mexico, California, Florida, Tennessee, New York City (okay... it was only the airport gift shop...), New Hampshire, Boston, Cape Cod and all over Massachusetts. I've shopped at Disney World, Disney Land, Dollywood, and I have dined in the most amazing California restaurants.  I know all about the wonder and adventure of shopping, and I love it. But it is a love that is slowly fading. 

I have had many stages of my life when I didn't have a dime to spare. I've had phases of poverty and living in extreme frugality.

This is why I have decided to do a little challenge. This week, I will not spend any money.  I will buy the basics, of course, the groceries and pay the bills, but I will not buy anything else. Even if there is something I need, I will put it off for a week, as long as it is not an urgent necessity.

There have been times in my marriage where I have gone years without a working dryer, or a working oven. I have used  Yankee Ingenuity   to manage without some needs, and know how to survive when I have to. So for me to skip spending money for a week, won't be a big deal. Yet, it will feel just a touch like deprivation - like not eating cake when you really want to. (smiles)

My goal is to have these little spending fasts throughout the year and build up my endurance for avoiding the idea of shopping for recreation, or entertainment.  Honestly, why do we Americans buy stuff that we really do not NEED?  Why do we tend to give in to impulse and buy things just because we LIKE them?

Did you ever walk out of a store, proud of yourself, because you only bought the things on your list? Or perhaps you didn't find what you needed and walked out with empty hands? The lesson here, the challenge, is to realize that there are more important things to do with money.

Have you ever decided to go on a shopping fast?

Mrs. White

This post is part of The Christian Home Magazine in the Financial category. To see more articles in different aspects of Home life, please visit the latest issue, hosted at Day by Day in our World.

The Never Ending Battle - Fighting the Money - Seeking Mentality.

When Money is Scarce - Financial Survival in Tough Times.

To Encourage Old Time Housewives - The Delicate Beauty of Homemaking.

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.  I would also love to have you connect with me on Facebook and Twitter!


Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Old Time Housewife

Woman Wearing a Print Dress and Apron Standing on A

Before American Feminism took root in the 1970's, women looked forward to marriage, family and a home of their own. A Girl would spend years learning to cook and clean and take care of a home. She might gather special things for her future life. She hoped for a future as a wife and a mother. When that day finally came, it was like her graduation. The moment she stepped into her first place, whether an apartment or house, she got right to work.

She dressed nicely, did laundry, baked, cooked, grocery shopped and kept a nice home. She catered to her husband and followed his wishes, just like a secretary would assist her boss. There was a mutual respect and admiration - each contributing much needed skills to the marriage. Each had their place.

These old time housewives took great pride in their work. And they were grateful.  The husbands wanted their wives at home. One common saying was heard by these good men, "I don't want my wife working." A husband wanted the home kept. He didn't want his wife running around, getting into trouble, gossiping, or working to earn the living.  He wanted his wife dependent on him, which in return helped make her sweet and gentle and thankful.  If she became discontent with the income he earned, or tried to run out and earn the living, she was usurping his authority - she was criticizing his role.  A good wife learned to adjust her housekeeping to the lifestyle her husband provided her - whether in a small, humble cabin or a grand mansion.

A wife who was sheltered and protected in the home, the kind who loved being there, this wife was the joy of the family. Her sweet spirit was surrounded by her loved ones. She was there for all their troubles and turmoils. She was there to nurse them from the pain of the world. And they dearly loved her!  She was not distracted by schemes of getting rich, or finding herself. She was not lured away by the local mall or the endless luncheons put on  by women's clubs. She was home and happy and cherished. Why was she cherished? Because she was grateful and humble and willing to serve her family.

When a housewife acts like they did in the old days, eventually it brings out the chivalry in a man. It makes him want to protect and care for her. But her actions must be genuine, and they come from years of trial and error.  The good wife is motivated by her desire to do her part, without any reward. But, the reward does come.

Something went wrong, over the years, when these old time housewives stopped setting the example to the younger generation. The young people of today prefer sloth, messy homes, and co-habitation over an old fashioned home life. They find no pride in keeping a nice home. I wonder if this is because some feminist came along and whispered in their ear, that the floor does not have to be scrubbed or that it was okay for dust to accumulate. Her whispers told the wife that she deserved better and she wasn't being treated right. Feminist trickery was designed to make the wife unproductive and take away her work at home.  So she would be free to run around, or get into her husband's business and try to usurp his role. I wonder if these little, subtle steps, slowly eroded the yearning for a godly family. I wonder if this breakdown started with being tricked into running off and neglecting the home.

Mrs. White

[Edited update - (several hours after this was posted, and after several negative comments.)
 - This post was written as the "ideal," many Christian Mothers strive for.  Obviously not all women want this kind of life.  Read what helps. Ignore the rest. Comments on this post are now moderated. Very few will be published.]

I want to be - Like the Mothers Before Me.

Rules to help - Keeping House with Small Children.

Take Special Care of  Him - Cooking for Mister.

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.  I would also love to have you connect with me on Facebook and Twitter!