Saturday, July 21, 2012

Aging Gracefully...Old Treasures, Distressed Finds, And An Old Homeplace That *Love* Furnished !An Old House Furnished by *Love* !
The Old Homestead ~ "It is possible, as I have learned again and again, to be in one's place, in such company, wild or domestic, and with such pleasure, that one cannot think of another place that one would prefer to be - or of another place at all."  --Wendell Berry
 From the moment we turned the corner, drove under the canopy of trees, first spotted the old home place and saw the house tucked amongst the tall trees, we were smitten and felt at * home*.  We had prepared ourselves during the long drive to be disappointed, but we were not.  Perhaps we secretly hoped to be disappointed because moving to a new state would put us further away from many a dear friend and family member and out of our comfort zone. Our plans for rebuilding in the valley after the tornado weren't working out, so we had expanded our search and were continuing to pray about our next step.  We were in a wonderful temporary home owned by dear friends, but it was...temporary.  We knew we had to go somewhere eventually and begin again as a family, and we were *homesick* and wanted to go to our next earthly home, but where was home?
Our time of waiting was spent doing many needful things, and wonderful people called and brought incredible offerings of furniture and various other household items to be used when we *found* home.  Many items (beds) were found at the Thrift Store, painted and *distressed*, and then placed in the mini storage along with the many other treasures awaiting a place to go.  The children completed all their physical therapy, doctor's appointments and orthodontics, and many months after our first visit we learned that the old place was indeed to be our *new*  home!
 Many came that first weekend to help us with the move and with painting the entire interior of the house and putting up bead board and trim, and the trucks were unloaded to reveal what had been locked up in the storage buildings just waiting to make a house look like a home:)  Each piece having a story to tell of God's grace and the kindness and generosity of friends and strangers.
The glass was accidentally broken out of the bathroom cupboard above, but a curtain was added where glass had once been.

The school room we painted red, and the table, bookshelf, and bench are pieces Tom made.  They survived the storm as they were not in the house at the time.  We are very happy to have them and are reminded of the many pieces of furniture he lovingly made for our family over the years.

There is a screened porch off the kitchen which will probably be used as a summer kitchen.
The original part of the house was built in 1900.  I wonder how many little feet have pattered up and down those stairs over the past one hundred and twelve years?!
A little sitting area upstairs and a place for practicing piano.

We were so surprised when we first saw this room of the house.  It is so similar to the bedroom the girls shared before, and we were able to use the twin beds we had acquired from the Thrift Store over the past six months of waiting for home.  As each bed is different, Abi painted them all black and gave them a bit of a distressed look.  We are very pleased with the results and the price of approximately seven to fourteen dollars each!

A beautiful old piece with a story to tell of God's provision and grace.  Thank you!

Various linens and fabrics were provided and saved and this one was strung across an upstairs window with a beautiful view:)

 Each girl has a trunk in which to store things, and they are grateful!
The fellas are also all in one room, and the little bed on the right was given to Little Man.  The walls were painted a cinnamon color, and the tin is from the roof of the house which was next door in the valley.  Very durable, and I think they did a very nice job of getting it on the walls:)

Some of their decorations they found on the property.
The white dresser is used to hold the little girls clothes as they have a very small closet in the bedroom.  It used to be yellow and blue.  Leftover bathroom trim paint was used to make it match.

We are still a two bathroom family, but it works out just fine - especially when we realize how many people on earth are without even one bathroom.
My bed and the armoire are pieces salvaged from a home hit by Hurricane Katrina.  Some dear friends of ours helped a family there who were getting rid of it because of all the water damage and loss of their home.  They've had it stored all this time in their attic and brought it to us after we moved in.

 The night stand, along with many other pieces, we found on the property in various buildings.
Considering using chalkboard paint on a couple of the kitchen cabinet doors but haven't decided yet.  We cut a couple pieces of poster board and put them up to see if we like the *look*.  Love the sign above the cabinets:)
We really enjoy the view from the front porch and the gentle breeze felt while visiting or having a quiet time.
The large *welcome* sign used to be our bathroom mirror.  Someone found it amongst the rubble minus the mirror.  We painted it with chalkboard paint and use it as a welcome sign.
Grace sign - lovely gift, wonderful reminder:)
Living Room - home life continues here.  Whether the day be one full of joy and mirth or one which brings sadness and sorrow, may all our members remain faithful and loyal, by God's grace.  We are bound together in a special way, and we find shelter under the same roof. 
Love the sign on the mantel which was made by a talented young man whom we are blessed to call friend.
Rose Marie, did you notice the curtains?!!!  The three oak pieces are from three different states, and the shelf holding the cups was found here under an old shed.  The little spindles match the ones on the large hutch:)
The above French table was sent to us by someone whom we've still never met and was counter top height. While in our first temporary home it replaced the church tables we'd been using.  We still had the fold up chairs, and the table came almost up to our necks!  Eventually the legs were cut down so as to make the table standard size.  We figured it would be a lot harder to find tall chairs at a good price, so the legs had to be shortened.  It is nine feet long - almost as long as the one Tom had made for our family - and we are very happy to have it in our home.
We LOVE this piece which was originally green.  Abi re-painted it white so as to match the room, and it is used to store some small appliances and such.
Bethany is working on a baking center and has been painting various jars with chalkboard paint.  We are very happy to be baking again and getting things organized.
Thank you so much for taking this *tour* of our home.  We are very happy to be here and thankful for every opportunity to make new memories in this place where we find shelter, where character is being formed and impressions made in the hearts and lives of each family member.  May it be a place of refreshment and encouragement to each of our guests, and may the love of Christ be evident here.  Thank you and God bless you all...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday Sayin's

Romans 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."

For there is a home of which this earthly battle, even at its best, is but a type.  Into that home God is gathering the great family. The Christian household that is broken here or scattered shall be reunited there.  A father and his son were ship wrecked at sea.  They clung to the rigging for a time and then the son was washed off.  The father supposed he was lost.  In the morning the father was rescued in an unconscious state, and after many hours awoke in a fisherman's hut, lying on a soft, warm bed.  He turned his face, and there lay his son beside him on the same bed. So one by one our families are swept away in the sea of death.  Our homes are emptied and our fondest ties are broken.  But one in Christ Jesus we shall awake in the other world to see beside us again our loved ones whom we have lost here, yet who have only gone before us into the eternal home.
                                                                                                                 by J.R. Miller, The Family

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Barnhouse - A Week On The Farm!

This post actually covers more than a week, and what a busy couple of weeks we've had!  The above picture is of Johnathon plowing for the first time with Jim and Jack.  Jordan (oldest son) taught him this morning and turned him loose preparing a new garden spot.  The dirt is REALLY dry because of the lack of rain here.  It has also been unseasonable warm  this week, and we're praying for some rain and safety for those working outside in the many areas  experiencing high temperatures  and drought.
Little Man found his cowboy attire and got all dressed up for the day:)
We've been canning a LOT, and we obviously let some of our zucchini get a wee bit to big.  The girls have been making zucchini and squash pickles, relish (dill and sweet), breads, and a really good zucchini salsa:)  The boys have literally been bringing produce in by the wheelbarrow load, and we are experimenting a lot.  Got any favorite recipes?

I've also been re-reading a favorite book of mine, and I love the following excerpt about the importance of home life:  "We  are fast moving on through this world.  Soon all that will remain of us will be the memories of our lives.  No part of our work will then afford such a true test of our living as the memorials we leave behind us in our homes.  No other work that God gives any of us to do is so important, so sacred, so far-reaching in its influence, so delicate and easily marred as our home-making.  This is the work of all our life that is most divine.  The carpenter works in wood, the mason works in stone, the smith works in iron, the artist works on canvas, but the home-maker works on immortal lives.  The wood or the stone or the iron or the canvas may be marred, and it will not matter greatly in fifty years; but let a tender human soul be marred in its early training, and ages hence the effects will still be seen.  Whatever else we slight, let it never be our home-making.  If we do nothing else well in this world, let us at least build well within our own doors."  --The Family,  by J.R. Miller

Some of the produce has been harvested and spread out to dry, and  Duck Duck can be seen waddling behind the onions.
This is a picture of a shed the fellas are re-building.  There was a really old and leaning  one here when we moved in.  They took it down and promised to rebuild it back the same way.  
Here it is almost completed.  One side is for storage and the other is for chickens.  There is a fenced area behind the building for chickens, but we will probably use it for those needing a place to set and hatch chicks. Hannah Joy made the cute little false door seen at the top of the building.
"Thou, O Lord, canst transform my thorn into a flower.  And I want my thorn transformed into a flower.  Job got the sunshine after the rain, but has the rain been all waste?  Job wants to know, I want to know, if the shower had nothing to do with the shining.  And Thou canst tell me-Thy cross can tell me.  Thou hast crowned Thy sorrow.  Be this my crown, O Lord.  I only triumph in Thee when I have learned the radiance of the rain."  -- George Matheson, Streams in the Desert
The  flowers planted in front of the hoop house have their pretty faces turned heavenward and are a daily reminder for us to  bask in the sunshine of our Savior's love:)
Jeremiah fell off the 4 wheeler while trying to find and apprehend our runaway pony (Billy) and had to take a week off from doing his usual chores.  Billy (pony) got away for a time, but they eventually found him a long way from home and in the woods.  We thought he had a broken bone, but thankfully Jeremiah's  ankle was only sprained .
The white flowers remind me of those some sweet friends will be using for decorations at their upcoming wedding.  They recently had a *working* and were able to get their adorable future little house dried-in in just three days!  Some of my older ones were able to participate a little and were very encouraged by how well everything was organized and how quickly jobs were completed with many hands available to labor!
They also participated in a *working* for another friend, and much was accomplished.  Friends visiting from Georgia and Alabama helped as well, and they also got lots of planting and fencing work done here.  Many hands truly do make lite work for everyone.
Happy to have Jeremiah back on his feet again and Billy (pony) back at home and behaving himself.
Lots of fun's to be had at the creek, and it's a great place to cool off on hot summer afternoons.
The children found two *boats* when we moved in and they discovered a car carrier which had been left by the former owners.  They've spent hours paddling around and also fishing from inside their little *yachts*:)
I was amazed to discover a bunch of tunnels they'd dug out on the banks of the creek.  They've been quite busy!
"Hey, what are you doing in here?"

Toby is not about to be left behind and miss the fun.  He recently had an accident and very badly hurt his leg, but he is up and chasing bugs and butterflies again in the fields.
Little Man's Duck Duck and Goose Goose are the best of friends and can be seen and heard as they travel all over the farm together. 
The meat chickens are almost big enough, and the new moveable chicken houses the boys built are working out really well.  The chickens follow the cows and do a great job of fertilizing the fields.
The pigs are growing nicely and don't cause any trouble at all.  They eat all our leftovers, old produce, and some of the milk we have left over or from making cheese.
We found a LOVELY surprise out in the field early one morning.  A Jersey heifer, and isn't she beautiful!  
Mama's staying nearby:)
 Later that afternoon, the children discovered baby twin goats had been born.
They've loaded them up and are taking them down to a separate little fenced in area.  Our first time mothers seem to have a difficult time keeping up with their babies when they are left in with all the other goats.We have LOTS to learn about goats.
Above is the little Jersey heifer mentioned earlier.  I NEVER EVER thought we'd have a baby cow in the foyer of our home, but there she is!  With the extremely high temperatures we've been having, my son noticed that she was swooning in the heat on the day after her birth.  He came walking into the house with her and announced that he thought she needed to cool off for a moment.  It was hard to refuse entry to such an adorable patient:)

They've been checking the animals at least four times per day because of the heat.  They refill their water containers often, and the younger children are spritzing the chickens with water bottles.  That really seems to help a lot, and we haven't lost any more to dehydration.
Little Man's more than happy to have her inside.
But all good things must come to an end.  Jordan hauled her back to the pasture after a couple of hours spent cooling off.  She seems to be just fine now, but we're really having to watch the animals and keep plenty of extra water nearby.
Good bye and God bless!