Monday, December 18, 2017

Tea Time – The Importance of Formal Ceremony at Home

Tea table at Mrs. White's Vermont Home

I usually have tea in a regular coffee cup. It is almost always plain "Salada" tea. I do not take cream or milk. I only add a small amount of table sugar.  In my healthier days, I would drink peppermint tea with honey (never sugar).  Recently, for special occasions, I have been using dainty china cups.

I will not have "tea time" unless some of my grandchildren are present.  I do this to entertain them, to teach them manners, and to help them develop a sort of refined culture in daily life.

I will say to Miss Grandgirl (currently age 3), that I would like to have tea. This is usually after we have done some chores together and have colored with crayons.  She immediately says, in a rather dignified way, "okay." And immediately walks over to the hutch to get my tea cup and saucer.  She places it on the table for me, and we begin the process of preparing a "formal" tea.

I have to say that I was very hesitant to let her handle my fragile dishes. But after a few lessons at the sink washing some of them, she has proven to me that she cares very much and will try very hard to be cautious.  I also have to say that I am willing to give up any of my china and dishes with a sympathizing smile should there be an accident.  In other words, if Miss Grandgirl drops and breaks my cup or plates, I will gladly take the loss.  After all, at the end of life, we cannot take things with us.

At the table, there is a sugar bowl.  Just for fun, I have this filled with sugar cubes.  This is the "company best" sugar that adds to the fun of tea time.  I will say to one of the grandchildren, "I would like one sugar please."  They take turns getting me a cube and placing it into a tea cup.  This delights them!

We always use linen napkins. Some are homemade, some are store bought, and others have been given to us.  These are neatly folded and kept on the hutch or sideboard table.  The children will get one for each of us.  "These go on our laps," I tell them.  We also have extra napkins on the table beside our plates.

I keep a "creamer" container on the table which is always empty. It is there for looks, since none of us take cream or milk in our tea.  Perhaps in winter I will fill it with miniature marshmallows and turn "tea time" into "hot chocolate time."

There is a silver call bell at my place setting.  This is what one would use to call the maid to the table or ask for help.  Since I am the only maid (gentle smiles), I ring the bell to make the children smile.  I might say, "Time for tea," just before a ring.  Or I might say, "lunch is served" and then give the bell a little shake.  The children find this endearing.

In my kitchen, there is a small canister full of flavored teas.  The children and I have enjoyed papaya, and apple cinnamon the most.  I give the children only a taste with a teaspoon, and then I drink the rest.  They love the scent, the fancy cups, the sugar cubes, and watching the steam.  Then they are happy to enjoy juice and a treat in their own seats at the table.

We sit up straight, we talk politely, and we say our prayers with folded hands.  We ask each other, "Is there anything else you need?" or "Would you like some more?"   Here at the tea table, we learn to take care of each other. We learn to be kind and considerate.

Tea time is very short, but the lessons extend to meals.  The children always use linen napkins at grandmother's table.  We always use our very best manners, whether it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner time.  This does not mean that every one of us is perfect, or without fault.  There are still the gentle sounds of an argument among young ones.  There are still complaints about not wanting crust on one's sandwich, or the whining request for more juice. But the ideal is here.  The foundation is being taught by example each time we are at the table.  The children may have interruptions of trouble, but then we get back to our sweet and happy times of placing that linen napkin on our lap with a sweet smile, and then saying, "should we say our prayers now?"  This makes the children very happy.  We do the good things in the middle of the distractions.

If a home had more formal times of ceremony in daily life, there would be more respect and kindness. Manners have always been known to be a virtue and the foundation of a civilized society.  This is why, even though there are mostly little ones at my table, we find joy in a formal approach to tea.

My home is humble and old. My dining table was obtained from a neighbor's front yard with a "free" sign on it, almost 20 years ago. It seats 8.  A white tablecloth I use for "best" is more than 2 decades old.  My chairs do not match. My dishes are an assortment of mostly gifts and hand-me-downs. Yet, it is so very precious and beautiful to have formal manners and tea time in our very poor family. 

It will never be about the money we have, or the quality of the possessions we own.  It is about kindness, and morality.  It is about virtue, patience, longsuffering, and bringing beauty into our lives by our sweet behavior.


From the Archives -

Honoring Husbands - Cooking for Mister.

For The Hard Days - Make the Mess Look Pretty.

The Virtuous Mother - Amazing Dedication.

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. 



Review – First Catechism

 The following is a homeschool review of "First Catechism," obtained by Christian Liberty Press:

Booklet:  "First Catechism: Teaching Children Bible Truths"
Publisher: Great Commission Publications.
Paperback, 38 pages.

This is an adorable little book that children will enjoy. The few illustrations are perfect for this age group (kindergarten and up).

The book contains 150 brief questions and answers that are simple to follow.  The format is derived from the 1840 "Catechism for the Young" by Joseph P. Engels.  It has been simplified for young children and made very clear and easy to follow.

Here are a few samples of the questions and answers:

Question 1:  "Who made you?"
Answer:  "God."

Question 76:  "How many commandments did God give on Mount Sinai?"
Answer:  "Ten commandments."

Question 102: "What does the eighth commandment teach you?"
Answer: "Not to take anything that belongs to someone else."

This book can be used in whatever way you, as the parent, feel is best for your family. You might find some of the questions and answers harder for smaller children to understand.  Or the questions might bring confusion to children of today, which would require a great deal of discussion.

Personally, I would pick and choose the questions that I think my students would benefit from most, and use Bible reading, family worship, and church lessons to teach the rest.

Overall though, it is a very cute book that could be a great resource in your home teaching.  You could also use it to quiz older children who would very much enjoy getting the answers correct.

You can find this book at the Christian Liberty Press site:

First Catechism

  This post is the eighth in a series of reviews I am doing using Christian Liberty Press curriculum.  I hope to do 2 reviews each month as I work with my grandson for Kindergarten. To start with the first post, please see the introduction:

"24 Years of Homeschooling with Christian Liberty Press"

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


The Restaurant at Home

Cake at Mrs. White's Vermont Estate

I have a set of pretty dishes that came from a Museum.*  I have been saving them for just the right time to use here at our Estate.  They are so pretty and elegant.  I made room for them in the cabinet yesterday.  We just started using them.  I have to tell you that our home is very humble.  It is an old 1850's house that is in need of repairs and general maintenance.  I like to bring pretty things here, humble - old fashioned items, that bring class and elegance for very little cost. This brightens up our shabby surroundings.

* My dishes came from a community yard sale hosted by our town's museum a few years ago.  The entire box cost me $3.00. *

Setting these up in my kitchen inspired me to get back to the old time tasks of making good food for the family.

This morning, I grated mozzarella cheese and made a batch of whole wheat pizza dough, seasoned with oregano, garlic powder, and olive oil.  While I worked, there were grown children and grandchildren all around. We talked a little, but when it came time to knead the dough, I sent them into the parlour. I do my serious work when everyone is safely out of the way.  The little ones pulled up miniature rocking chairs and put them on the carpet nearby so they could watch.

I set up a fresh tablecloth on the dining table.  I put cloth napkins by each place.  The children noticed this was not the time for play dough or games. We were to have a lovely luncheon.  Soon the first batch of two pizzas were ready and the children enjoyed a nice lunch.

I was ready to take a break when one of my sons called to say he was on his way over to pick something up.  "Have you had your lunch?" I asked him.  He had not.  I told him I would make him a pizza. He was delighted.  This son is a chef in a beautiful Vermont Inn and restaurant. He greatly appreciates food made from scratch, with care and love. 

By the time he arrived, I was ready to put his pizza in the oven. It was covered with fresh organic spinach and cheese.  I started to clean up the mess so my kitchen and parlour were kept neat. This makes me happy. I love to see things looking pretty.  I delight in the work.

In the background, one could hear a gentle sound of an orchestra playing hymns from my kitchen radio.

Someone called for me to go out on an errand.  I was a passenger in the car and enjoyed talking about what I wanted to bake when I got home. 

Once I was back in my kitchen I prepared a white cake with chocolate frosting.  Then I put fresh sliced strawberries on a plate, along with a couple of small scoops of mint chocolate chip ice cream. To this was added a delicate slice of the cake. (See photo above.) A piece was served on one of my pretty new plates.

After all was clean and neat, I noticed the bananas and thought it would be nice to make banana pancakes in the morning. I looked in the refrigerator and thought of what I would make for the next day's lunch. 

In this area where we live, there are very few restaurants.  I have been to the Inn where my son works and it is upscale and beautiful.  Yet, there is nothing to compare to the humble, old fashioned home where I can bake and cook in my very own restaurant at home.


From the Archives -

A Happy Wife - Serving Mister.

I Will Always Try to Be - The Mother Who Isn't Busy.

You Can Do It! - Housekeeping - With A Will.

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. 



Living a Quiet Life

Humble flower garden at Mrs. White's Vermont Estate

A few weeks ago, I bought three potted geraniums on clearance.  One had pretty red flowers. The other two were a gentle pink. The cost was $4.00 for all three.  I wanted to brighten up our front garden to add some cheer to our yard.  I am often looking out the second story window of our parlour and wanted to see some flowers. This was just what I needed.

It was inevitable that I would neglect them.  Once I put them in the homemade garden, I ignored them. I never visited them. (gentle smiles)  I never watered them. I left them alone because I am a terrible gardener. 

Despite my failures, the flowers thrived.  The red geraniums have constantly kept pretty flowers for me to see.  The pink ones look like they will soon produce more flowers very soon. I noticed it just today, when I finally ventured over to see how they were doing. I was delighted.

The sun on the lush green grass somehow makes the property look elegant. It is lovely to walk the grounds and enjoy the sounds of birds and nature.  It is a quiet way of life to walk the gardens and see the sights.

I have been settled comfortably here at home. My summer journeys and adventures are coming to a close.  It is time to get back to preparations for a rapidly approaching Vermont winter and enjoy the indoors for a season. 

I have been cleaning with the help of my little 3 year old granddaughter. She delights in clearing the table and doing little household errands. I will say, "Will you close that door please?"  She stands up straighter and says sweetly, as she walks toward the door, "Yes I will."  I will ask her to bring me the children's lunch dishes, help me put away puzzles, and make my bed.  She is a charming little housekeeper.

Last week we had a wonderful day on the front grounds.  There was a birthday for one of the children.  There were homemade activities created by the mother of the birthday child.  Most of the time, I was holding an 11 month old grandbaby. 

Mrs. White with one of her grandchildren

There was cake and juice and candy.  The games included ring toss, throwing water balloons into buckets, playing with bubbles, and going on the slides.  We all had such a lovely time hosted by one of my daughters here at the Estate.

This afternoon, as my lunch guests (grandchildren) were eating, I held the youngest baby and sang "Precious Memories" from the hymn book.  It is a lullaby for our life.

Being settled at home, doing all the many duties,  hearing angels cry, and the noise of family, to me, is quiet.  It is peaceful.  There is no anxiety from the world's materialism here. There are no advertisements and sales pitches coming at us while we are at the Estate.  Home is quiet. It is a quiet life focused on holy living and a happy family.


From the Archives -

D.L. Moody's Mother - Poverty in the 1800's.

In Case you wondered - Retirement Planning for the Poor.

It means everything - Just a Housewife.

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. 



Review – The World God Made

The following is a homeschool review of "The World God Made," published by Christian Liberty Press:

Book: Softcover, 92 pages.

Grade Level:  Kindergarten

I have had such a wonderful time going through this book with my grandchild.  The pictures are bright and the text is large.  There are Bible verses throughout (NKJV) which go perfectly with each lesson.

The Author and Editor of this book did an outstanding job in choosing their text.  The words are clear, simple, easy to understand, and make it so easy to teach a small child.

Inside you will find seven sections of lessons.  These sections include the seven days of creation:

1. The Heavens and the Earth.

2. The Sky.

3. The Dry Land, Seas, and Plants.

4. The Sun, Moon, and Stars.

5.  The Fish and Birds.

6.  The Land Animals and Man.

7.  God Rested.

There are bright photographs throughout, along with illustrations for the student to color.  There are short questions and activities at the end of each section.

The lessons can be done at a pace of a page a day, (which is what I have been doing), or a couple of pages, depending on your student. 

In addition to this workbook, there is a Teacher's Manual.   It is 21 pages, stapled together and is a simple guide.  It contains answers to all the activities, a brief lesson plan, and very short instructions for each page in the workbook.  

You can find this book at the Christian Liberty Press site:

The World God Made

  This post is the seventh in a series of reviews I am doing using Christian Liberty Press curriculum.  I hope to do 2 reviews each month as I work with my grandson for Kindergarten. To start with the first post, please see the introduction:

"24 Years of Homeschooling with Christian Liberty Press"

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


Why we began homeschooling and why we continue

Why We Homeschool

I believe as a result of our fast paced world the influence of home is lost. Our little ones are growing up without proper training and soon become a curse to the world, themselves, and the family. As parents we have alienated our children from us and us from them. There are many things pulling at the heart strings or our families. We have heaped countless activities upon us that are pulling us from our homes and the children are doing the same. I believe we need today more than ever a deeper and more scriptural sense of the importance of family life in order to preserve it. It is the duty of Christian parents to create a Christian home. But exactly what is a Christian Home and how do we build one? And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand. Matthew 7:26

A Christian Home must be full of good fruits. It is here-in the home that our real character is revealed. And it well should be. But how do we assure that our homes are producing fruit that will bring glory to our Heavenly Father? After all, this is why he created us! Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven. Matthew 5:16 This verse is a family focus favorite in our home. Because it is in the home where we are trained to bring glory to the Father through our good works.

Using the Noah Webster 1828 edition dictionary I will define the original meaning of the word "training" The act or process of drawing or educating; education. I find it interesting that the word 'training' and 'education' are used side by side here. In the same dictionary the word "education" means...The bringing up, as of a child; instruction, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important' to give them a religious educations is indispensable, and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties. Whew! There's a mouthful of words. Indeed they bring a mouthful of responsibility. And as parents and guardians of the blessings the Lord has sent us we have felt it OUR duty, to the best of our ability, and by the grace of God to fulfill these duties. We have felt all along that the public school was not adequate enough to uphold, fulfill, and deliver such high expectations and that is why we, through that loving grace of God took it upon ourselves the calling to homeschool.

Why We Homeschool ~ Still

To begin with I am going to share a quote from Teaching and Learning America's Christian History by Rosalie J. Slater. These words echo the feelings of heart and that is why I decided to share them. "What a folly and a sin, therefore, for Christian parents to give over their holy mission to another, while they immerse themselves in the forbidden pleasures and recreations of the world. You will love the society of your households more than the fashions and the fashionable resorts of the world: you will not substitute the 'nurse' and the 'boarding school' for the more efficient ministrations of the Christian Home. Martin Luther said, "I am afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them the heart of the youth." ------------------

If we think on the words of Noah Webster than the first and most important thing to decide about our family and the training up of our children is to have a vision. A vision that projects far into the future when our children have left the nest and are required to stand on the things they were taught while growing up. Things taught both inside the home and outside of the home. What are we, as their parents, allowing the tender hearts of our children being exposed to? Are our children being brought up with a Christian worldview or a secular one? Your answer to this question may indeed give you a glimpse of the future of your child. Because whether we have really thought about it or not. We ALL have a world view. We have certain presuppositions and biases that affect the way we view all of life and reality. A set of lenses which taint our vision or alter the way we perceive the world around us. Our worldview is formed by our education, our upbringing, the culture we live in, the books we read, the media and movies we absorb, etc. For many people their worldview is simply something they have absorbed by osmosis from their surrounding cultural influences. They have never thought strategically about what they believe and wouldn't be able to give a rational defense of their beliefs to others. Paul from the NT teaches us exactly what we should be after....If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. Just in these few words Paul has inspired me to continue to move forward, stay focused, and keep my vision in the training of my children's hearts.

Feeding the Family

Mrs.White shopping with one of her Grandchildren in Vermont

Home Economics training for young ladies used to be essential, especially when it came to feeding a family.  Girls studied nutrition, cooking, baking, and careful shopping.  We need to start focusing on this again.

There was a wonderful market in my hometown in Massachusetts.  It was called, "The Fruit Center." It was a beautiful store and contained the freshest quality produce you could find. (Across the street you could see the harbor with a little public beach, and, off in the distance, was a view of the city of Boston!)  The prices were affordable, and the displays were inviting.  Quite a few homes had small gardens in this suburban area, but when we needed to supplement the harvest, or buy things out of season, we went to "The Fruit Center."

Here in rural Vermont I am finding it harder and harder to find delicious fresh foods all year round.  I can understand why many grow their own food and preserve it for the winter season.  However, I did manage to freeze some of the strawberries and blueberries from my tiny gardens this summer.

My Mother did a marvelous job feeding us nourishing foods throughout our childhood.  We always had milk and orange juice.  She cooked wonderful, comforting suppers for us every single night. Breakfast was always nourishing and our lunches were mostly eaten at work or school. She was very careful with her grocery budget and made sure we had quality food to eat.  She would not buy junk food.  If we wanted something foolish like that, we had to use our own money. 

There is a sort of laid back attitude these days when it comes to providing food for our kitchens.  I see a lot of young adults buying mostly processed foods, frozen convenience dinners, and lots of pizza.  They are buying what is easy and not necessarily what is healthy.

I remember watching an old episode of "Happy Days." After all the family sat down for dinner, the youngest child grimaced when looking at her plate.  Mom had made liver.  (shudder)  It was more common for homemakers to serve nourishment for the evening meal, rather than what everyone wanted.  I don't remember my mother asking any of us what we wanted to eat.  She just made the food and we ate it.  Of course, she would notice when we enjoyed something more than usual - such as her spaghetti and meatballs!   But always, there were fresh vegetables along with a good, hot, homemade meal.

I once read of Rose Kennedy ordering her dinners at home by telling her servants what she wanted.  In the morning at breakfast time, she would go over her plan for the evening meal with the paid staff.  It was up to them to make sure any shopping or cooking was done in plenty of time to serve the food. 

In the instance of a wealthy family with a hired cook or a homemaker doing her own work, there is a requirement of planning, budgeting, and overseeing the work of providing good, nutritious food for one's household. 

This should not be taken lightly.  It will take hours of work each week to shop, write lists, plan meals, and then to actually prepare food each and every day of the week. 

To make this work more pleasant, we ought to find ways to enjoy the shopping and the kitchen duties.

 I try to shop in my favorite stores when they are not very busy. That way I can take my time. Sometimes I have grandchildren with me. At other times I might have a grown son who will help me with the unloading of groceries.  Rarely, though, do I shop alone.  I find it more fun to have company when I do necessary errands.

Our kitchen ought to be inviting and pretty. It should be the place we will enjoy spending a great deal of time.  My old time cabinets are painted a light purple.  It is a cheery kitchen which makes me smile.  I enjoy baking and cooking while sitting on a tall kitchen chair.  I have my radio nearby so I can listen to old time gospel singing or sermons on CD.  My parlour table is in sight as I work. I try to make it all clean and pretty so I can work in a happy, pleasant environment.

Feeding our guests and family good quality food does not have to be expensive.  It does not have to be fancy.  Basic, recurring menus are perfectly okay and used to be common in households.  There are ways to keep costs down.  Here are a few of my posts, from the archives, that might help:

Why the High Cost of Food?

The Thrifty Kitchen

How the Old Time Mothers Survived Poverty

I am planning to stock up on several items over the next few months for our long, cold winters.  I will have to reorganize my shelves and cabinets to make room.  I will also make a list of basic "inventory" items so we can avoid running out of things in case I forget.  I am just about to make a weekly menu, something I haven't done for quite some time.  I have been slacking on being efficient and wise in my kitchen work.  Lately, I have not been taking it seriously. I have fallen into the common ways of being too laid back. 

I have to say this.... I believe part of the sliding of kitchen values has to do with the lack of a supper table.  People are eating on the couch in front of the television more now than ever before.  I have even heard of many people who never even use their table.   Let's bring back the old time family meal at mother's table!

This effort is just another adventure in homemaking.  It is something we can do with a smile. We can take care of ourselves and our families by doing the necessary work of shopping and baking and cooking.

I am off to bring a revival to my kitchen!

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. 



Review – Hearts and Hands

The following is a homeschool review of "Hearts and Hands," published by Christian Liberty Press:

This is a really fun book for Kindergarten age children.  It is called, "Hearts and Hands:  Beginner's Drill in Letters, Numbers, Phonics, and Math."  There are a total of 124 pages. It is a softcover workbook.

The pages contain the perfect combination of colored illustrations and basic text.  It does not overwhelm or overstimulate the child.  I have noticed that when there is too much excitement in a school book, the student is overly entertained and finds it harder to study or learn. They get more interested in the pictures or a story and have trouble focusing on the actual lesson.  That is not a concern with this book.

Each page is called "drill sheets." You can do these alone or combined with the rest of the Christian Liberty Kindergarten curriculum.  There is a suggestion at the top of each page for doing the drill page after a Math or phonics page.  For example:

On page 25, there is a note in small print at the top of the page of "Hearts and Hands" which says, "Complete after page 62 in Math and Phonics."  I looked up "Liberty Mathematics Level K" and "Adventures in Phonics Level A - third edition" and found on page 62 of each one that they work perfectly with the drill page on 25 of "Hearts and Hands."  I have to say, I am impressed with the seamlessness of the entire curriculum when used all together.

This workbook contains a variety of lessons, including manuscript writing, filling in a missing letter for phonics and reading purposes, numbers, simple addition and subtraction, learning phonics rules, and more.  It is a complete book that works very well for drills. It is an excellent resource which will help students attain a good solid education in this grade level.

I have been using this with my grandson and he enjoys it very much.

You can find out more about this book, and even take a look inside, at the Christian Liberty Press site.

Hearts and Hands workbook.

I also want to mention that when I first starting homeschooling my children in the early 1990's, I used the original Hearts and Hands workbook, which is a little different than the one mentioned above.  All my children used the original and loved it very much. It is no longer in print, but you can get a pdf version from the Christian Liberty site if you are interested:

Original Hearts and Hands workbook.

 This post is the sixth in a series of reviews I am doing using Christian Liberty Press curriculum.  I hope to do 2 reviews each month as I work with my grandson for Kindergarten. To start with the first post, please see the introduction:

"24 Years of Homeschooling with Christian Liberty Press"

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


Rich and Humble Living

Library of Congress: House and Garage in 1935 Mississippi  by Arthur Rothstein

In 1905, a book of moral and religious stories contained a sketch of a struggling family who were in great need of new clothing, comfortable furniture, and home repairs. *  Mother did her best with what money and resources she had, but it was difficult and discouraging.  When a good sum of money was obtained, she was able to do several things which greatly boosted the happiness and morale of the family.  The lesson here was that times of hardship should be a temporary matter.  It is a blessing and a gift to have pleasant surroundings, pretty clothing, and treats which make one smile, particularly if these can be done with prudence and frugality.  We must not pile up an abundance of money, letting it sit idly in savings, when a portion can bring happiness to those around us.

Providing a bit of comfort and pleasantries for daily living does not have to cost a great deal of money.

Happiness may also be obtained in our activities.  These past few weeks I have been playing tennis with my grown sons.  There is a beautiful court in a lovely park maintained by the town.  The only cost I have incurred is the purchase of a set of rackets and tennis balls, which were a small one-time expense.  These should last me many years, perhaps even a lifetime.  One often feels rich when one takes even an hour a week to enjoy some outdoor recreation in season.

We can slowly add material items to our homes and lives,  over a long period of time. These may be a set of pretty curtains, lovely dishes, cheerful paint for a hallway, elegant pictures for an entryway, games for the parlour, and yes, even a set of tennis rackets. 

Amy Dacyczyn, in her book, "The Tightwad Gazette," teaches that we can add things to our lives on a yearly basis that will help save us money, and also make our lives better (such as gardening tools, a set of quality baking pans, a sewing machine, cloth diapers, a good dress suit, fruit trees for the back yard, etc.).  The method is to take a small amount of money in the first year to frugally purchase what is wanted (or needed) and then each year, purchase the next thing on your list, and on and on.  Over time, with lots of hard work and patience, you will have the desired items to make your life better (and happier).

Some may think that being poor, or of humble means, suggests that being "lower class" should be taken literally. This is rarely the case.  In the history of our American ancestors, many started out in humble cabins yet were people of virtue and good citizenship. 

Evangelist Dr. John R. Rice (1895 - 1980) was a very rich man when it came to family and friends. He is quoted as follows:

"You say, 'Crime is excusable because somebody is poor.' I was poor, too. My family was poor. I wore "hand-me-down" clothes. Eight of us lived in a four-room country house without plumbing, without electric lights, without running water; and we were decent and honest, and went to church, and paid our bills, and did right. Being poor doesn't give any excuse to break the laws of the land."

Abraham Lincoln is well known for coming from a childhood of poverty and humble means.  He went on to become the President of the United States of America.  His son, Robert, became a wealthy businessman who built a beautiful mansion in Vermont.

Poverty is often as temporary and fluctuating as the stock market.  Things get better!  We can live rich lives through the good times and the bad, depending on our attitude and outlook.

Mother Teresa explains this well:

"Spread love everywhere you go: First of all, in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to your next door neighbor. . . Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting."

There is something called, "the joy of the Lord," which will greatly help us in our attitude.  This is a life of strong faith and trust in Almighty God.   He owns the cattle upon a thousand hills!  (Psalm 50:10)  He feeds the birds!  (Matthew 6:26)   And just like the old, sweet hymn says, "His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me." 

We are truly rich, indeed!


* "Sabbath Readings for the Home Circle"

From the Archives -

A Peaceful Retreat - "The Privacy of Home Life."

Happiness in - "Making Money Last."

Wisdom from Yesteryear - "Building a Strong Work Ethic in our Children."

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

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Review – Celebrating Art

The following is a homeschool review of "Celebrating Art," published by Christian Liberty Press:

Book:  Softcover, 103 pages

Grade Level: Kindergarten

I have used this book with my children when they were very young.  The book was originally published in 1994. 

Inside you will find:

1. Table of Contents, listing all 36 lessons.

2.  Introduction.  This is inspiring and also shares some helpful information.

3.  There are 22 patterns at the end of the book which are used along with many of the lessons.

4.  There are 5 very short stories in the midst of all the lessons.  Personally, I do not like three of them.  I would just skip over them.  The two I do like are: "The Little Engine that Could," and "The Hare and the Tortoise," (which includes an adorable drawing that is inspiring and charming).

Some of my favorites:

1. Drawing Faces.  (Page 20)
These are very cartoonish and would be fun.  The faces include "happy," "goofy," "angry," and more. 

2. Lunch Bag Puppets. (Page 35)

3.  Tic - Tac - Toe Felt Game. (Page 42)

4. Drawing Bunnies.  (Page 53)

5. Paper Birdhouse. (Page56)

Each lesson includes a purpose, list of materials, instructions, final thoughts, and a star rating for level of intensity.

This book provides enough fun lessons for craft time, perhaps on a once a week basis.  A parent's help is necessary. 

You can find this book at the Christian Liberty Press site:

Celebrating Art

  This post is the fifth in a series of reviews I am doing using Christian Liberty Press curriculum.  I hope to do 2 reviews each month as I work with my grandson for Kindergarten. To start with the first post, please see the introduction:

"24 Years of Homeschooling with Christian Liberty Press"

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

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