Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Blog merge

Hello, Homemakers! This is just a note to tell you that this blog is merging with Nutmeg Notes and all the homemaking and kitchen sharing will be there. Please email me at smile529@gmail or smile529@yahoo.com if you have any questions. Love, Sandy

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Home Dreams

I am probably going back to writing Home Notes and Nutmeg Notes as one blog. I simply have not kept up with them writing separately as I used to when they were just one. So, I just wanted to share that. I will choose one of the two names and go from there. Any opinions on Home Notes or Nutmeg Notes? Send me an email at smile529@gmail.com or comment here and let me know. This kitchen is so happy! I love having a clickable "dream board" on the internet. Takes no space but gives me an ever flowing ride of inspiration and the ones that really stand out get pinned!

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I have been falling in love with pinterest and even though I don't know how it all works yet... want to invite you to follow mine and would love to follow yours:)
I just added on some beloved sisters (smiling your way, ladies) and seeing familiar faces made me realize I hadn't invited anyone yet!

Sandys Pinterest

I tried to figure out how to add this to my blog but with the new settings, I'm lost!

If you have a pinterest and would enjoy another follower, please comment here or email me at smile529@gmail.com and let me know!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Blake & Bruce: Bedroom Rebuilding Part 2

We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.
 Brother Lawrence

There were so many things I planned to write here!
Honestly, it does not seem I have stopped much (other than to sleep and shower) since Bruce and Kim left at the end of April.

I know I was going to share here how Bruce designed a new ceiling for our bedroom to make it much stronger and to help keep temperatures controlled. Blake has done so much work in our homes and in his business that he is very particular with the quality of work he does when he does manage to fit it in. I am sharing that because due to his standards coupled with his non stop working here and there and everywhere... he isn't the easiest man to work with!

Bruce made it happen! He pushed to get things done, explained his ideas and made himself available to work right alongside Blake. My husband LOVED the remodeling ideas and decided to (room by room, of course) re-do all of our ceilings with the same design.

We have to finish the light fixtures, put a floor down, get the scrap carpet out of the closet and we can move in!

Please pray for us to accomplish this --- it is a lot, lot, lot of work and right now, it is Blake and I to do it. He is working a full time job and still doing his business so it hasn't been quick to be finished.

*UPDATE* and praises!
Our sons wanted extra work and Blake has been so busy with the job and business that he has needed the help. . . SO. . . they completed the entire bedroom! The walls and ceiling were finished by Brandon (second to oldest who many of you prayed for when he was in Afghanistan) and Matthew (home from college and living at home until he gets married in March) and they painted them. Then, they started to lay the laminate flooring and Brandon finished when Matthew got a full time job. Brandon also got the floor molding cut, painted and put in and he has never done it before! He put in a new closet door and got all the trim painted. Blake put in REAL windows! We have never had those in this place and it is so, so nice! I keep opening them because I can and I have been so desperate for fresh air!
Blake  made the window trim and my "old fashioned" window sills and installed a lovely light/ceiling fan, a spotlight to shine on a beautiful quilt Kim made for me while in Latvia and gave to me on her trip here and two other spotlights!
The quilt I just mentioned is the deciding color scheme on the whole room! I loved the play of colors and design so much that we based the paint colors and room style on it and I will base the curtains and bedding on it as soon as we can save up to get those.

The bathroom is now cleaned out and ready to have work started but we have no one to  help right now so please pray over this. Only having one little bathroom for so many is difficult! The one joined to our bedroom is big and has a claw foot tub and used to be my place of relaxation and I want it back! The other tiny bathroom is falling apart now and literally... has room for the tub, the toilet and a small sink.

I am still singing praises to the LORD for the miracle of this room being done. There is still so much to do around here but we are working at it slowly and one day at a time.

 Sorry for the blur. These are my new windows and between them and over the bed is where my quilt will hang. I will hope to have a bed covering by then and I will share more pictures. 

I finally had a few minutes on the computer and thought I would finish this. I tried to change the fonts, style and design but just haven't figured all of that out. It is so foreign to me that after almost an hour ... I left things in whatever whacky place I'd put them and put it off for another day.

For the choir director; according to the Shoshannim. A Maskil of the sons of Korah. A Song of Love. My heart overflows with a good theme; I address my verses to the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
Psalm 45:1

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Blake & Bruce: Bedroom Rebuilding!

Never undertake anything for which you wouldn't have the courage to ask the blessing of heaven.

 G. C. Lichtenberg

Some readers may remember me sharing about us needing a new roof. We have rebuilt almost every room in this humble home but there seems to always be another thing to fix. Thus the way of being a big family in the home we planned to be a two years that turned into over 17.

We have skylights in three rooms and they have been a constant problem since day one and my husband has tried to fix them countless times to no avail. We finally realized they must be taken out and new ceilings and such built in their place. The decision came too late because some heavy rains came in one day and our bathroom roof (right next to our bedroom) collapsed. Literally, we went in the room to see sky and this was the prettiest room in the house at the time. It was the first room we focused on the appearance and feel as much as the practical needs and it was to have been leading the way for the other rooms. I'm not saying the rest of the house had no mind paid to appearance because I strive for cozy, comfortable, clean and pleasing as much as I can but with little space... MORE attention to function is usually the call.
To shorten some of the wordiness of this, the first room we focused so much on with new pedestal sink, redone claw foot tub, 1928 styled new toilet, hand finished armoire and on it goes was in worse shape than all in one swoop.

My husband owns his own business and is a one man "crew" and the economy not only hit him but time is a huge issue. As a result, before he even got more than a tarp covering the roof over the bathroom, weather broke through and rain flooded through our bathroom and came pouring into the bedroom ruining floors that were only a few weeks down!

Things seemed to be falling apart around us. The heating and air conditioning (along with the duct work under the house) all went out and we put a small window unit in our bedroom. It leaked but you couldn't see it so water traveled between the walls and between the new flooring and the floor's foundation and there was extensive water damage by the time we figured it out. By this time, mold and mildew formed in the bathroom and on one part of the bedroom wall touching the bathroom.

That is when we lost not only a bathroom but a bedroom. We don't have a spare bedroom but we had a room my husband built on after it had been torn down and even though still in bad shape... better shape than the bedroom.

By the time it was said and done, our home leaked and then literally poured water when it rained. We had four rooms we had to put stock pots and eventually buckets out every single time it rained and the damage was extensive.

Somewhere along the way... I did something I had not done once in my entire life. I started losing hope and once that happened, it was like a vortex sucking me under. My home ... this place I had poured my heart into and loved serving from and opened any chance I could to hospitality and so, so much more was physically falling apart piece by piece and my hopes, dreams and plans were going down with it.
I saw little hope for help.
What do you do when you have no money to buy supplies if you stop working but no time to use the supplies if you are working all the time? We had no money for gas for me to start work somewhere and no clothes beyond typical stay at home casuals.
It not only all seemed impossible to fix... it reached a point of being impossible to fix by human hands.

Kim in Latvia was chatting with me and she started praying and encouraged me to remember the source of my provisions in every area. God spoke through her, dear ones. He lifted my head enough to heed her advice and drag myself back up and collapse in tears at  His feet and at the altar of His Word.

I had to trust Him and be at peace and content in that trust no matter what things looked like in my spot on His world.
We started praying. I prayed. I read my Bible and Kim continued praying and time after time after time ... she urged me onward when despair tried to sap my strength.

Our three sons are all grown and on their own but we didn't let them know how much help we needed because they are all so busy trying to keep all the plates spinning in their own lives but they ended up telling us we needed to ask for help when we needed it. The problem was still getting it started so they had something to work on.

All of this to say that God answered from heaven and provided a job for my husband that paid for our entire roof. After years of that roof getting worse and worse and worse... we had a brand new, completely built and covered roof in 21 hours of work! The men who did it worked almost non stop until was finished!

We found out not long before this that Bruce and Kim were coming to the United States ... and HERE to our home!
In one of our talks in preparing for the time they would be here, Kim told me Bruce would like to help with the work on the house. I couldn't believe it. Work the one time in YEARS when they got to come home?! She insisted this is what he wanted to do and Blake (my husband) was ALL for it. He got to work clearing out mold and mildew, walls, ceilings, and putting real and brand new windows in my bathroom AND bedroom.
The miracles just started a landslide in my heart. I had prayed fervently for a roof even though by ALL appearances... it was humanly impossible with the money we didn't have, the time and so on. Far beyond the roof, I prayed for the Lord to provide real windows one day.

The first time it rained after the roof was replaced... I almost cried. I cannot tell you what it feels to this day to not have to worry over something ruining or imagine the damage being done by water pouring inside when it is raining outside.

This is getting long so I will break it up as I am doing the food and meals on the Nutmeg Notes blog!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Law of Your Mother!

The Law of Your Mother!
by James Smith, 1861

"Do not forsake the law of your mother!" Proverbs 1:8

A mother's influence is great; a mother's love is strong. Every mother therefore should endeavor to use her influence wisely, and for her child's eternal good. A very great responsibility rests upon godly mothers, which they should realize, and realizing--should act under a sense of it. The mother's life--should be the child's lesson; and the mother's words--should be the child's law. The authority of the mother--is essentially the authority of love; and the teachings of the mother--should be the teachings of love. With these thoughts in the mind, we want to enforce the inspired admonition to the young,  for
The OBJECT to Be Regarded. A godly mother's law. O what a privilege to have a godly mother! One who knows . . .
  the value of the soul,
  the person of the Savior,
  the way of salvation, and
  the power of vital piety in her own heart.

Such a mother will teach her child . . .
  to value what is really important and spiritual;
  to secure a saving interest in eternal felicity;
  to avoid the sinful and the dangerous;
  to do the necessary and the moral;
  to enjoy the lawful and the profitable;
  to prepare for the future and eternal.

In a word, she will enforce on her child the advice of the Savior, "Seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness." The salvation of the child's soul--will be nearest her heart. The early and entire consecration of her child to God--will be the object at which she aims. For this she will teach, and pray and act. Nor will less than this, ever satisfy her maternal mind.
Every child should . . .
  carefully attend to a mother's teaching,
  treasure up a mother's lessons,
  bear in mind the object of a mother's prayers,
  and endeavor to carry out a mother's wishes.

Notice then,
The TEMPTATION to Be Resisted. When young people leave home, and enter into a place of business, or some school to learn a trade, or a profession--they find themselves surrounded by new circumstances. They often fall in with new companions, and are plied with new temptations.
Away from home, away from under a mother's eye, out of the reach of the sound of a mother's voice--they are apt to forget the law of their mother. They once thought that they never would, never could--but they do!
Not only so, they are tempted to forsake a mother's law, and adopt a new and untried rule of life, perhaps the very opposite to that which their mother gave them.
Then they begin to pursue a different course, and a downward course too. This is smooth and easy at first. The flesh is pleased, youthful lusts are gratified, bad habits are contracted, and death, eternal death, is sought in the error of their ways! O how many young men, how many young women, have been ruined, by forsaking the law of their mother! Hence,
The ADMONITION, "Do not forsake the law of your mother."
Think of a mother's love--so strong, so tender, and so constant.
Think of a mother's wisdom--implanted in her heart, by your mother's God.
Think of a mother's concern for her child--how deep, how lively, how uninterrupted.
A child may forget its mother--but the mother will never forget her child. The child's interest in its mother may die out--but the mother's interest in her child never will.
A mother's love--is an undying love.
A mother's wisdom--is quick and inventive.
A mother's concern for her offspring--is as lasting as her life.
Think of meeting your mother before God in judgment! Then her lessons will all be revived in your memory--then her prayers and tears will come up before you anew. Then she will rejoice in your salvation--OR acquiesce in the sentence of the just judge, when he bids you to depart from him into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels! Yes, your mother will acquiesce in what is just, even in the eternal condemnation of her child--as a hardened, persevering rebel against God!
O how solemn the thought--a mother obliged to agree to the banishment of her child from God and eternal glory--unto eternal Hell! Think of having the image of your mother--a holy mother, a glorified mother--stamped upon your memory forever in Hell. Think of hearing that tender, touching voice--warning, entreating, and beseeching you to flee to Jesus--stamped upon your mind forever in Hell. Think of having the law of your mother, and the efforts of your mother to save you--ever before you, when all hope is gone, and every way of escape is barred, and barred forever!
Think of how you may now add to her joy, by deciding for God; OR increase her sorrow, by going on still in your trespasses.
Young man, young woman, by all the tenderness of a mother's love, by the intense concern of a mother's heart--if you would not shorten the days of her life, or embitter her dying hours, I beseech you, "Do not forsake the law of your mother!"
By the dread thought of meeting your mother as a witness against you at the final judgment, and hearing her testify her approval of the sentence of condemnation, pronounced on you, by the Savior you have insulted and rejected--I beseech you, "Do not forsake the law of your mother!"
By the horrid thought of being . . .
  haunted by the remembrance of your mother's form,
  tormented by the remembrance of your mother's prayers,
  and pierced through and through with the recollection of your mother's tears--in Hell forever; I beseech you, "Do not forsake the law of your mother!"

As you may greatly add to your mother's joys, OR increase your mother's sorrows; by all the love of a child, by the duty of a child--I beg you, "Do not forsake the law of your mother!"
Few realize the value of a mother as they should, while they have one--especially a godly mother. But when death has done its work in her, when her soul has departed, to look at a mother's corpse, to follow the coffin that contains a mother's remains, or to stand by a mother's grave--will awaken strange thoughts, new feelings, and perhaps bitter regrets. While you have a mother--love her, obey her, and make her heart glad.
Many forget and forsake the law of their mother, when away from her. This is unwise, it is unkind, it is ungrateful. A mother's advice . . .
  is unselfish;
  it is only for her child's good,
  it is the offspring of the deepest love, and
  often the result of the most earnest fervent prayers.

But fascinated by our companions,
deceived by an unbelieving heart,
allured by a false and vain world, and
ensnared by a cruel and crafty devil
too many of our young people forsake the law of their mother! Many will wish--but wish in vain, that they never had such a mother!
It will increase their condemnation,
it will add to their torments, and
will give intensity to the bitter pangs generated by hopeless despair!
The thoughts of what their mother was, what their mother did, and how their mother tried to prevent their ruin--will make Hell ten times hotter than it would otherwise be--to many a child of godly parents.

But on the other hand, many will bless God forever for . . .
  a mother's love,
  a mother's example,
  and a mother's law.

That love--won the heart for Jesus;
that example--was a constant lesson of warning, reproof and instruction;
and that law--constrained the soul to bow to the scepter of Jesus, and trust alone in his blessed name.

Young friends, endeavor to realize the value of a godly mother, while you have one! Never, never, let anyone, or anything tempt you to forsake her law--lest in Hell you should bitterly and eternally regret it! But let a mother's love, a mother's example, and a mother's law lead you at once to Jesus--that you may meet your mother with joy at last, and dwell with her in Heaven forever!