Friday, January 31, 2014

The Quiet Little World of Home

Estate Peonies

There was a time, many years ago, when home was a quiet place of seclusion. It was a dream to have one's own home and to rest and be refreshed in that special place for family.  In Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations" there is a character in the story, who is firm and professional at work, but leaves his "heart at home."  He does not talk about his home or his garden to co-workers. His personal life is left at the gate of his own estate, when he takes that long walk into the city each morning.  Those at work, or out in the world, do not know about his happy home.  It is a place of peace and gentleness. 

Home used to be a little world of privacy and rest.

Today, the generation coming up has been exposed to reality programming, constant updates from friends and family about every aspect of their daily life in social media, and are free with pictures, stories, and anecdotes about what goes on in their own life.  They not only view all of this, they contribute to it.  There is no peace.  There is no quiet.  There is no time to recover from a tiring world that keeps us all on edge and "riled up."   

Little ones, before they went to bed at night, had a gentle routine to get them ready for quiet and rest.  They would have a bath and story.  In the twilight hours, as the stars shone down through the windows, these little ones would say their prayers and get tucked into bed.  They could fall asleep content and comfortable.  No one was allowed to "rile" them up or get them overstimulated before bed.  Bedtime was when the day had been wound down and all was quiet and well.   This is just what home should be like for all of us.  This is what a quiet little world used to be like when a weary soul went home to rest from his vocation in the "city."   Home was like the "country;" It was that quiet place where one could "get away from it all."

Some live in apartments, mobile homes, cottages, or great mansions.  But once the door of that royal home is closed; (for all homes can be like places where royalty resides) it should be a private place where paparazzi is not welcome; Even if that paparazzi are the residents of one's own home, releasing stories and photos that should be kept for their own family's happiness. We must try to learn from royal families and those in the public eye, that family deserves a private life. This helps bring peace and security.

Home should be a quiet, happy world where one can truly rest and recover from a loud and stressful world.

Mrs. White

From the Archives:

Mother's Sweet Faith in Poverty - All of God's Children Have Shoes.

For the Happy Family - Lingering by the Hearth.

The Wisdom of Economy in the Kitchen - Basic Cookery.

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

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


Monday, January 20, 2014

Tea in the Parlour

Deer Park Parlor

Won't you come in the parlour for a visit? I haven't had a chance to write in such a long time. I was called away from home for an emergency in the family. There had been an accident. Grandfather slipped on the ice and suffered a severe head injury.   Matthew (21) came along with me and Nana to be with him.  He was transferred from our local hospital to a Level 1 Trauma center in the next state.  The entire family, church family, and neighbors were in constant prayer for him.  After almost a week, he is now back home with us and continuing his recovery.

Nana and I spent some time in a hotel near the hospital, with Matthew as our "bodyguard." (gentle smiles) He did an excellent job and helped us tremendously through this entire crisis. 

When I got home, it was back to the normal routine with my family and caring for Grandbaby.  I had a new CD with Christmas songs of Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Perry Como and Dean Martin.  I walked baby through the rooms in his carriage, while the songs played in the background on my kitchen radio.  Baby heard the "crooning" of Bing singing "Silent Night" and he drifted off to sleep.  The old fashioned voices and songs from my kitchen helped settle me back into our cozy home.

My husband and children took on much of the care and work while we were away.  It has made life a little easier for me as I am now home.  Things are new, different, and a little better.  I have more quiet time since others have picked up some of my work.

All is well.

Thank you for your continued visits. I am grateful for your company and kindness.

Mrs. White

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

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


Genealogy Revelations Project

Company - Genealogy Revelations

Hostess - Anna Rae

Anna graciously gave me a research package for review purposes.   I have always been curious about my extended family history.  I have seen all kinds of places online to do one's own research, but just don't have the time or the interest in doing all that work!  Anna had me fill out a questionnaire.  I answered easy questions including names of parents and grandparents. I also told her any dates of marriage, birth and death that I was aware of.   I told her the names of states and cities where our family has lived.  I chose to only have her search for my side of the family because my husband didn't want to "play." (gentle smiles)

 I have my parents nearby and they were able to confirm much of Anna's findings.  For example, my mother didn't know her grandmother's name.  But when I read the report, she immediately remembered that, yes, her name was "Maggie."  I was delighted!  My father didn't remember his grandparent's names or the names of his father's siblings. Anna found those for us and we were just thrilled. 

It was great to see the neatly organized report, in a beautiful binder.  The report included:

1. Introduction, which was a letter from Anna explaining how the report works.

2.  A Pedigree Chart (This looks like a neatly organized family tree.)

3.  Ahnentafel Report  (This listed the generations with more detailed information.  My report included 12 generations!)

4. Outline Descendant Report (This was a short version of both my father's side of the family and my mother's side of the family.)

5.  Family Group Sheets (This was one person's family per page.  Mine was 7 pages long.  It started with me, and listed husband wife and children, as well as birthdays, name of parents, etc.) 

6. Sources - Anna listed where her information came from, including census records.

I took this report to my parents and as we talked about it, I heard many stories about my extended family. I wrote notes inside my report, which made the book even more valuable to my family. For example:  My mother talked about visiting her aunts and uncle in a 3 story house in Massachusetts. In those days, unmarried adult children remained in the family home.  They often worked and took care of the home.  Mom remembered walking up to the house, as a child, and seeing one of her aunts standing on the porch.  She then told me where they worked and what they were like.  I had never heard any of this before!  Anna's report jarred her memory and greatly added to the recording of our own history.

Anna did an incredible job.  She loves her work, and her customer service skills are excellent.  She worked right with me, through email, to verify information, and ask questions.  She found census records that told me where part of my family was living at one point in history, with a date, and the type of occupation family members had.  It was wonderful to learn this through Anna, who became a sort of assistant to help me find information about my family. She really cares about people and loves finding information for her customers.

A General Research Package is listed as $175. Anna also works by the hour as needed. 
For more information, please visit her site at "Genealogy Revelations."

To see more reviews, please visit the Bow of Bronze page.

Classical Astronomy with Jay Ryan

When we look at the sky, we see part of the miraculous creation of God.  The sun, the moon and the stars are beautiful and mysterious.  Author Jay Ryan has published resources to help Christian homeschoolers understand Astronomy.

 Moonfinder -


This hardcover book is 32 pages long.  It is beautifully illustrated.  The simple paintings inside depict a family at home. These were done by Jay Ryan, who also wrote the story.  The book starts with a verse in the Bible from Psalms. 

The story is about a young boy, David, spending time with his Dad and asking him questions about the moon.   You will also see the Mom and David's siblings.  We see them during the day, at the market, and at the park.  They find the moon way up in the sky during both the day and night.

Through the story, Dad teaches us about the moon.  We learn that it changes in size and in places.  We learn that it is God that gave us the moon to teach us about time.

The book includes a chart and information in the back of the book.  It is called "The Monthly Cycle of the Moon," and is fascinating.

  The pictures and text will make you smile.  It is a lovely storybook for children.   

Jay has also authored a homeschool curriculum, "Signs and Seasons: Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy" along with a companion (paperback) workbook, "Field Journal and Test Manual."  This set is very detailed and full of great information.  It will remind you of the Old Farmer's Almanac.  It is fascinating!

The books were published by Fourth Day Press.  For ordering information, please visit the Classical Astronomy Website.

*Disclosure - I received these items for review purposes.*

Monday, January 6, 2014

All of God's Children Have Shoes

The Sisters

Many years ago, a dear old mother taught her children great faith in God.  She had no education and raised the family in material poverty.   She was one of many, many mothers in similar circumstances throughout history.  This dear lady, in particular, loved the Lord with all her heart.  She taught the children songs which cheered them on their daily path.

One of the songs went something like this:

"All of God's children have shoes. . .
In Heaven, Oh! In Heaven, they put on their shoes. . .
Oh in Heaven . . All of God's children have shoes."

The children smiled at this sweet lesson. I am sure they repeated the song as they walked the fields doing their chores.  They sang the song as they walked miles to school.  Often they had no shoes, or wore ones that were old and did not fit.  But they thought sweetly of Heaven and of their sweet Mama.  They learned of Great faith and of the journey to their Heavenly home.  There was something much more important to these children, than just their own lot in life. There was a future and a reward, where they would have wonderful shoes and get to be with God.

There is a beautiful prayer many of us say each day; it is taken from Scripture (Matthew chapter 6). Part of it goes, "Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom Come. Thy will be done. In earth as it is in Heaven.  Give us this day, our daily bread. . ."  This prayer acknowledges that God takes care of us today, as the needs come.  He may not always provide tomorrow's needs before it is necessary.   Often, we impatient children pray for a need and expect it to suddenly appear.  In this way, we are forgetting that it is not "OUR will" that must be done, but "HIS," and in His timing, for His purposes. (Romans 8:28)

We must have faith in Him, like a trusting child.  We are grateful to be called His very own children, and we are happy to work here in His service.  Sometimes, we must wait days, months, or years for our prayers to be answered.  At other times, our prayers are answered in beautiful ways. 

Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon suffered for most of her life as an invalid.  But she did incredible work for the Lord.  At times, her sickness and weariness caused her to pause and recover.  But once she was better, she got right back to work. She was the wife of the beloved British Pastor, Charles Spurgeon.  She was a loving mother of twin sons, and kept the home. She also faithfully did charity work (from home) to help other Pastors who suffered in want.  God blessed her efforts greatly.  Sometimes her prayers were slow to be answered. Other times, the need was supplied before she realized it was necessary!   There was a time when something she wanted (a "want" mind you), to cheer her.  Just some sweet things, -  an opal ring, and a singing bird.  She only told her husband. They both laughed, thinking it was not possible.  In those days, people were more practical and did not spend money on that which was frivolous.  Oh, but the Lord heard that little prayer and worked through the Saints, who didn't even realize her request.  These dear ones passed the little gifts on through Charles, as they were no longer needed in their own homes. And so it was that Mrs. Spurgeon got her ring and bird, to brighten her sick days.   Charles said to his dear wife, something like, "I think you are one of God's spoiled children."  And how dearly sweet and precious it was!

Our prayers are like songs that reach heaven.  We may have dire needs, or little childish requests.  Yet, when we trust our Heavenly father to meet those needs whether it be here on earth, or after we pass the gates of Heaven, and are content with HIS perfect will, we will be happy in heart.  Our little songs and prayers, as we travel along this life, pass on sweet lessons to those around us because of our FAITH.

Just remember, whenever you may find your faith weakening, or your heart getting weary, remember that dear old mother who taught her little ones, that all of God's children have shoes.

Mrs. White

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

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


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Surviving Financially

Immigrant Tenements in Donovan Lane near Five-Points, New York City, 1870s

Many of us are struggling financially. The culture around us is debt-ridden and debt - dependent. This brings about an illusion of suffering. What do I mean by that? Well, if we live in American "wealth" (compared to third world countries), our standard of living, our standard of "need" becomes distorted.   We think that if we don't have a new vehicle, we are poor.  We think that if we don't have a nice house to live in, we are poor.  We think that if we don't have enough money to go on vacation, or that we don't have enough gas money to go out for a drive, we are poor.  We think that if we can't buy junk food today, we are poor.  This has taken away a great deal of our courage in financial survival.

We have become weak, and pampered, when it comes to standard of living.

Last summer, I wrote about how my car died.  I have not driven at all since then. It has now been 6 months.  I have been mostly home-bound, other than an occasional ride I get to the market.   Shortly after this happened, my husband's van needed repairs that we couldn't afford. So he started "Yankee - style" repairs on his old Cadillac and got it to barely run.   It has failed him repeatedly in the last few months and is on the verge of dying.  He is now getting rides to and from work from co-workers.  We have old cars.  We obviously need a new one.  We have no debt, and little savings, so we must save and scrimp until we have the money for one.  We have suffered for the last 6 months, but we know that we are going to be okay.

It used to be that people had to walk many miles each day.  They had to work much harder to grow, gather and preserve food.  Today, we have buses and cars and large supermarkets. We don't have to make clothes for our entire family, we can buy them inexpensively.  There is less worry and less work.  We have it much easier.   Yet, when hard times come, when it takes more effort to pay the heating bill, or make food from scratch because we cannot afford the high costs, we have to bravely face each day and know that we are going to be okay.  We need a good outlook and a good attitude.  We need cheerful courage.

This is the Pioneer Spirit. It is the Immigrant Spirit.  We work very hard, we take on the task at hand, live the lot we've been given to our very best, and we wait until the blessing comes.  We work on through the dark, dreary days, waiting for the Spring, or the Rainbow of reward.  Good things will come.  The fruit of our patience and hard work will happen if we don't give up.

In the meantime, we keep praying and making do.  God is with us. Praise Him in all things. We can do this!

Mrs. White

From the Archives:

Remembering my Childhood - When Television was Special.

The beauty of a formal morning table - Breakfast at Home.

Mother's work - The Pleasant Task of Cleaning.

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

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