Monday, June 17, 2019

A Day of Homemaking

Homemade bread at Mrs. White's Table


I have been trying to stay home as much as possible.  It is so much easier to do projects and cook and bake when one is not rushed, or worn out, from errands.  When I focus on staying home, things are slow -paced and peaceful.

I made homemade pizza this morning.  I made several for the freezer and some for the grandchildren, in case they stopped by during the lunch hour.  I had planned to make homemade wheat bread too, but didn't know if I could manage all the work.  I have not been to the store in several days and we were running out of many things. I have not made wheat bread for quite some time, but I thought it would be a good kitchen project.  By early afternoon it was time to start the bread.

Soon 4 of my sweet grand-babies arrived with their mother.  They had been at a friend's house for lunch and were delighted to see me making bread dough.  I had just started the batter.  They were so excited to watch. 

The children were, in fact, hungry.   They watched me knead the dough (for 10 tiring minutes!) and put the dough aside for the first rising.  I took some of the pizzas out of the freezer to make for the children.

The babies colored, told us stories, made us laugh, and were great helpers.   They enjoyed their 2nd lunch and then it was time for them to get back home.  We would see them again soon.

Throughout the day I worked on the dough and read about the Depression -era from a book called, "When The Banks Closed We Opened our Hearts."  This is an excellent book full of first- hand accounts of daily life with very little money.  It is so inspiring!

I kept looking out the window to see the beautiful landscape out front. I wanted to take a walk around the property, but didn't seem to have time.  There were two loaves of wheat bread baking in the oven. The scent was amazing! 

I finally told my husband I wanted to take a quick walk.  We checked the timer on the oven, found that we had exactly 8 minutes, and headed out to the back property.   We visited the strawberry garden, the river, the blueberry bushes, and our cucumber garden.  The afternoon sun was shining through the trees, glistening onto the green grass.  It was such a beautiful day.

I rushed back indoors in plenty of time to get the bread out of the oven.  After a short time of cooling, we were able to have a few pieces with butter. It was so good!

It is now late in the day and I have just a few little cleaning projects to do.  I am trying to rest as much as possible.  It is an ordeal to make food from scratch.  But if those are the only major things I do in a day, I can manage.  In just a little while, I will have a cup of tea and rest while watching "Little House on the Prairie," on DVD, for some old time inspiration in simple living.

Blessings
Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Marriage - When Groceries are the Presents.

Something to Strive for - A Cozy Humble Home.

What Many of Us Crave - An Ordinary Life at Home.






Find Home-keeping Inspiration, in Mrs.White's book - For The Love of Christian Homemaking.  Paperback, 274 pages.










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Saturday, June 8, 2019

Simple Days at Home

Library of Congress: A Farm Worker's Home 1941 Idaho


There is such a thing as a pleasant routine for homemaking.  It may seem ordinary to some, or not very exciting to others. But the basic work of housework and of spending time with family is a wonderful way to enjoy our days at home.

Baking in the Kitchen -

I spent the other day baking muffins, brownies, and homemade pizza.  The sun was shining brightly through the windows. I could hear the birds singing sweetly, and the rushing sound of the river behind the property.  As I worked in the kitchen, the family came in- and- out to get a snack, or to visit with me.  I also listened to a precious sermon on my kitchen radio as I was making the pizza. This was the hardest part of my kitchen work - to make the dough and prepare all the pizzas. So the encouraging sermon was a joy to hear as I did the hard work.  It was a blessing!

Playing Games with the Family -

I have found that playing cards or classic board games with teenagers and young adults is a wonderful way to laugh and talk and visit.  One of my sons (in his 20's) was getting ready to go to work, but had about an hour of leisure before he had to leave. I brought out the word game - "Boggle" and we had the most wonderful time finding words using the three minute "hourglass" timer.  He left for work in a cheerful state of happiness, and with a love for home.

The Gardening -

Part of the day was spent in walking the property. I checked on my lilacs out front. They are beautiful and have such a wonderful scent!  I picked some to put in a mason jar on my kitchen table.  Then I walked out to the back grounds and checked on my blueberry bushes and strawberry garden. I saw that I needed to weed the garden, but because I am a known neglecter of plants, I did not do the work. I will get to it very soon, perhaps later today.  Once I start the work, in the sunshine of the day, I know it will be a pleasant task.

The Laundry and the Cleaning -

I gathered up some clothes to wash.  Then I did a little dusting and sweeping in the parlour. As the clothes went through the cycle of the machine, I straightened pillows, and did a little organizing.  I hung up some of the wet clothes to dry, and then arranged my lilacs to look extra pretty on the kitchen table.  The work of tidying and making things look pretty brought me a great deal of happiness.

Winding Down the Day -

The supper hour will always be a favorite time for me.  It is when all are called to a pretty, set table to enjoy a home -cooked meal. We hear the prayer from father, thanking the Lord for the food, then we enjoy the nourishment and gentle conversation of pleasant things.  As the sun sets, all the curtains and drapes are closed.  Soon it is Bible time and the singing of hymns.  We hear the Scripture read and take our turn reading. The we sing an old, classic song from the hymn book to warm the heart. 

Another simple day has ended.

These are just the pleasant joys of family time and homemaking.  We can all have these happy times with a great deal of peace if we make the effort to do them regardless of our circumstances.  Are there moments of conflict?  Is there a time of sadness or some worry?  Then when peace is restored, get back to the simple tasks of making a home.  We do the good things, in the middle of normal trials of life.  This is what brings peace and happiness to our homes.

Blessings
Mrs. White

From the Archives -

The Joy of Home Duties - Gracious Homemaking.

Peaceful Dedication - The Mother Who Isn't Busy.

Encouragement for Hard Times - How The Old Time Mother's Survived Poverty.







Mrs. White's special book for homemakers:"Introduction to Home Economics:  Gentle Instruction to Find Joy in Christian Homemaking." Paperback, 200 pages. 







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Thursday, May 23, 2019

My Trip to see Franklin Graham at Decision America tour Burlington Vermont

The Decision America Bus in Burlington Vermont, May 21, 2019.


I took a little trip to Burlington, Vermont the other night. I wanted to attend the Franklin Graham event and hear him preach.  It was to be on the fairgrounds and we were to bring chairs and blankets.  From what I understand, there were 3,400 people in attendance.  I have never been to anything like this before. But I dearly love reading about the old tent revival meetings in our nation's history. My grandfather was a revival preacher. My uncle was also a preacher in the rural south. He would have week-long revival meetings every summer. We went to these preaching services throughout my childhood.  It was such a blessing to hear.  This Northeast Tour by the Billy Graham evangelistic organization was an incredible opportunity for me to see.

One of my sons (in his 20's) traveled with me for an overnight journey.  It was a 2 hour drive to get to Burlington from our home.  We have some family in the area, which made it easy to spend the night after the event would be over.

It started at 7:30 at night. There was to be Christian music by "Crowder," a sermon by Franklin Graham, and then fireworks at the end.  The weather was a bit cold and we worried it might rain. But with our coats and picnic blankets, we were comfortable.

Walking towards the event from the parking area.

There was an enormous crowd of thousands.  We walked up on the side and sat on the outskirts of the event.  We sat right beside a small blue tent where there were chaplains, staff, and prayer volunteer workers. They were so kind and welcoming.

Our view on the outskirts of the crowded audience.

The music was beautifully done.  There was a stage in the center, with large television screens on either side for everyone to see.

When Franklin Graham appeared, there was hearty applause. So many of us were so grateful that he came here to Vermont to give us a very precious sermon.  I video taped about 2 minutes of his introductory remarks and will share that video at the end of this post.  The entire sermon was encouraging and such a blessing to hear!  I was not able to get a video of the entire sermon, but was happy to at least get the 2 minutes in the beginning.

I remember watching Billy Graham crusades on television in my childhood home. To this day, whenever I watch a classic video of his invitations, or "altar calls," I always cry when I see the response from the audience as they stand and come forward to accept the Lord.  At the end of Franklin's message, he gave a modern-day altar call, there in the fairgrounds in Burlington, Vermont.  Many stood to accept the Lord. It was incredible to be there to see and hear it all.

After a prayer, it started to rain.  Franklin paused and told us that rain was a sign of a blessing from God.  There was cheering and applause.  The gentle rain only lasted about a minute or so.  It was a precious sign.  Just before Franklin finished his message, he told us that he didn't know if he would ever be back in Burlington. He told us his age. He is in his mid 60's.  He said, if he was not able to come back to see us here in Vermont, he would see us in Heaven.

The musicians returned to the stage and there were to be fireworks to celebrate the precious souls who came to Jesus.  Many packed up their things and got ready to leave.

As the crowds began to head out to their cars, the fireworks began.

Mrs. White watching the fireworks at the Franklin Graham event in Vermont


It was such a gift and a blessing to have been able to attend this event.  Below is the short video I was able to get of the beginning of Franklin's message. I transcribed his words and added them to the footage.  Just click on the "CC" or "Closed Captions" to see them. I will also include the transcription below.

If you are receiving this post in an email, and cannot see the video, here is a direct link to watch:

https://youtu.be/p8Mgd0T7fjY








Here is my Transcript of Franklin Graham's opening remarks before his sermon (as seen in  my video above).

--------------------------------------------------

(Applause) You know a Lot of people have kind of written Vermont off. I haven't. (Applause)
You know, when you think about the history of New England, and
what happened up here spiritually. . . over the centuries, how
God has used this area of the world to produce some of the great
preachers. . . and the great missionaries that have gone to other parts of the world,
and I think about the seeds of the gospel that have been sown,
the prayers of the saints of past generations. . I don't think those
prayers just disappear. I don't think they just disappear. We're gonna
watch tonight what God's gonna do, I believe there'll be many people tonight,
(Applause) will come to faith in Jesus Christ. And that's what this is all about.
If You're here tonight. . and you're not sure that you're saved, If you're here
tonight, and you're not sure that if you died that you'd go to Heaven,
I want you to know tonight how you can be sure and confident. I'm going to
invite you tonight. If you've never done this, I'm going to give you an
opportunity to invite Christ to come into your heart, to tell God you're
sorry for your sins, and by faith to believe on the name of His son
Jesus Christ, who took our sins on the cross, who died and shed His
blood for you and me, who God raised to life. He's not dead. He's right here.
(Applause) He's here in Vermont tonight. (Applause) He'll come into your heart and
your life if you're willing to trust Him.  God's got a plan for your life. He loves you.
But the only way we can find out God's plan, is to turn from our sins and by faith
to believe on the name of His son Jesus Christ. If you haven't done that, You get ready to do that. But before we get started, I've got a message tonight. It's titled,"Would you invite Jesus to your house for lunch?"

-------------------------------------------------------------


(I will add this to my Tour of Vermont Series.)

Blessings,
Mrs. White


From the Archives -

Some help for those Sad Days  - Domestic Happiness.

Managing Money - The Housekeeper's Budget.

A Simple Life - Poor and Pretty Living.







Find Home-keeping Inspiration, in Mrs.White's book - For The Love of Christian Homemaking.  Paperback, 274 pages.










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






Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Secret to a Happy Home

Library of Congress:  Mr. and Mrs. Charles Herbert on their porch, Maryland, 1942


There are many ideas for having a happy home.  We could always use encouragement in getting along with others, following a housekeeping routine, and of managing money. There are so many good things which will help us have peace and a strong family.  But there is one little piece of advice I want to give you. It is the secret ingredient to a happy home. It is this:  Don't Panic!

When Mom or Dad are moody, things can get difficult. If the children are not listening or are causing trouble, it can be stressful. When sickness or financial trials hit, there can be a sense of fear. But if we have some tools in place to handle a crisis, we will not panic.

Years ago, when I was in CPR training, I was shocked at how slow and peaceful the medical staff was in handling a crisis.  I have also been a patient at the hospital many times and needed specialized care. But everyone was calm through it all.  I have a family member who is a trained Medic and EMT and there is never panic.  The reason is that they know what to do!  Why should they fear when they have training and ways to manage all these troubles?  This is why they do not panic.

I want to transfer this idea to the home.  The wife is the one who most commonly has the training in home economics.  It is more than just cleaning, cooking, baking, and sewing. It also include family dynamics. It teaches how to get along with others, how to manage children, and how to have a happy marriage.  These are the most essential aspects of home economics!  We must constantly be learning how to manage relationships.  People are always going to be moody. There will be moments of anger and of sadness.  There will be mistakes, and there will be regrets. This is life in an imperfect world. No home will be free of trouble.  This is why mothers need tools to manage our days and to remain peaceful and calm through it all.

I would like to share just a few suggestions in getting along with others in the home. I hope some of this will give you some ideas or inspiration for your own situation:

1. Marriage:

When a husband comes home from work, he really needs time to relax and not worry about anything.  My mother used to get off the phone, or stop visiting with neighbors, whenever Dad came home. This was family time!

 They would spend some time sitting at the table with coffee and just visit together and enjoy some peace.  Then Mother would start dinner while Dad went to the recliner to watch a little television.   But consider this - Dad had Mother's full attention at this time. She was not distracted or busy with outside cares.  This showed consideration and respect. They both cared enough about each other to take the time to sit together and just focus on home life.

These days, there are more things taking Mom's attention. There are computers, cell phones, and social media.  Just like my Mother would get off the phone, or stop visiting, at a certain time of day, we might consider doing the same with our modern technology.  When Dad comes home from work, or when the dinner hour is approaching, it is good to just focus on the family.  This will help bring peace and happiness.

2. Teenagers:

When children are young, we expect them to get into trouble, to argue, and to need constant supervision.  This is common and normal. But when they get to be teenagers, we sometimes expect them to have the wisdom and maturity of a 50 year old.  We can often be shocked by their behavior.  This can cause us to panic.  The best tool we can have for this is to set up house rules. Everyone should know what to expect in a household.  It is easier to have peace and happiness if we all know the rules.   But also realize that new rules can be added as situations come up.  Sometimes, we have no idea what is going on in the modern world of teenagers and need to set up boundaries to protect our home life.  We can evaluate and change rules as needed. But always remain firm and kind.  It is so much easier to point to a chart of rules, than to always be in conflict about every little offense. 

As children grow up, they are changing. They are going to have moods and moments of anger.  We should practice the art of patience, grace, and mercy.  My mother had an incredible sense of understanding and she could get along with anyone.  But she was never walked on. Nobody could change her mind about her convictions.  She always had incredible dignity, class, and manners, through every trial.


3. Conflict:

We all have heard the Biblical wisdom, "A soft answer turneth away wrath." (Proverbs 15:1).  When a family member is angry, know that this is an irrational mood.  Anger will pass. It needs time. But a soft and kind answer will help soothe the wrath. This can be simple sentences, such as, "I am sorry this is happening." or "I know this is difficult." Then perhaps go back to whatever you were doing. People need time to calm down.  When the anger has passed, a normal discussion can happen to resolve future difficulties.  I don't know of anybody who can use good manners or think clearly when they are consumed with a bad mood.  When someone is in an irrational mood, they are not reasonable.  There is an old saying that people need time to "cool off."

When trouble happens with a small child - they often throw tantrums because they get overtired or do not know what is best.  If we give them a scornful look, they will get more upset. We do not want to provoke our children to wrath.  But we can give them a compassionate, loving look.  They just want Mom to "make up with them."  Mom can make it okay again, with a kiss and a laugh and a letting the moment go.  We cannot hold grudges or expect children to be perfect.  

Teenagers and small children do not need to get in trouble for every single offense. We are all flawed.  Let the little things go with compassion and understanding. Love overlooks imperfection. This is why a set of rules for the home will make it easier to know what is expected.  You also want a household routine, or a schedule, so everyone knows when the meals are served, when the chores are to be done, and when bedtime is to happen.  With order and routine, there is peace.

Make it easy for others to cheer up, to calm down, and to forgive, by your sweet response.  Pride is a powerful thing and can make it very difficult for people to let go of conflict. When Mother makes the effort to restore peace, or give them time to cheer up, she will help restore happiness in the home.

4. Never Make Decisions when you are Emotional:

So many homes have been wrecked or destroyed because someone got so mad or depressed that they gave up in the middle of a crisis.  We have to seek peace. We have to let the emotion calm down.  It is like the raging ocean during a storm.  We do our best to survive through it.  Then when the storm is over, there is a calm and a peace which is restored.  This is the only time to make serious decisions - when the fluctuating emotions have settled down. A family and a home need to seek constant restoration through each trial.  We see problems and we look for ways to prevent them. We repair the holes in a sinking ship, we do not abandon the ship.

5. Don't Be too Busy:

It is essential for Mothers to get rested during the day.  This includes avoiding technology, phones, television programs, and thinking about bills. She needs her mind to rest.  If she is overloaded with too much going on, or too much to think about, or too much drama, she cannot get through the common trials that occur in the home.  She needs to take breaks and to have quiet times for the mind. 


6. "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus":

This is a favorite hymn.  I often sing this song to cheer up and get me through the day.   Our trust and our faith, for all things, is in the Lord. This will bring us the greatest rest and joy that others may never understand.  Keep reading the Bible (especially the Psalms) and praying each day. Keep seeking holiness and the joy of a close walk with the Lord. This peace that you receive will radiate to those in your household and bless your home.


There are many other ideas we can all come up with to keep our homes happy.  But just remember the most important one of all - Do not panic!  Every single person is flawed. Every single home has trouble.  This is why we should constantly learn (and practice) to be peacemakers, to bring cheer, and to provide a haven of rest for our precious families!


Blessings
Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Colonial Wisdom - To Earn and Not to Spend.

Simple and peaceful Home - Standard of Living.

Joyful Moments - Walking the Gardens with Baby.








Find Home-keeping Inspiration, in Mrs.White's book -Mother's Book of Home Economics .  Paperback, 312 pages.










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Saturday, May 4, 2019

Neglecting the Housework

Library of Congress:  These sweet children are helping with the housework. New York, 1943



I was so tired the other day that I spent most of the time resting.  While it is essential to rest, it is not okay for me to be a slacker.  I enjoyed several hours of reading, watching old black-and-white television programs, and puttering through a few minor homemaking tasks.  This was a much needed day of rest for me.  But sometimes I take resting too far.  If I lounge too much, I forget to do the daily housework.  I suddenly realized that no one was going to make dinner for me. If I wanted some brownies, I had to bake them myself.

 I had to get up the courage to do the work. We all get tired. We all suffer from aches and pains. It is important to rest and take breaks, but we also have to take the time to keep house.   I told myself something I often say when I am giving-in to being tired, "toughen up!"  I already had sufficiently rested.  I needed to do the little tasks of home keeping.

Brownies and dinner do not just appear, someone has to make them.   By late afternoon, I was able to get into my kitchen and do some real work. I baked and then did some cleaning. I also made dinner.  This gave me the strength and energy to get back to normal.  I had rested enough and was so happy to have done some work.

This reminded me of how easy it would be to reduce my standards of a tidy and sanitary home. I could easily neglect washing floors, vacuuming, sweeping, and putting away the laundry. Over time, this would cause me to have a neglected and unhappy home. 

An unkempt home may cause sickness and disease throughout the family. This can spread to those in the community.  I have read that many diseases, or illnesses, from the past have been greatly reduced in frequency - some have just about disappeared (such as scarlet fever).  The reason given is that improved living conditions - in the form of clean homes and good nutrition - has helped prevent these types of sicknesses.
 
This reminds me how essential it is to have an education in home economics.  We should know how to clean and make healthy food.  We should know how to manage a home.  But this takes time to learn. We should be constantly practicing these skills and continuing to learn so our families will have a safe and healthy home.

I used to read cleaning books by Don Aslett. I loved his approach to cleaning. Some of his books had cartoon illustrations that were so amusing.   He even wrote books about getting rid of clutter.  But the sweetest lessons on organizing will always be found in the old books by Emilie Barnes. Her gentleness and faith in the Lord shined through her words and made her readers want a lovely, peaceful home.

I love to see the whole family helping to clean and cook. It is wonderful for them to be involved in all aspects of homemaking.  It is important to involve the children in this.  Some of my grandbabies think cleaning and baking is part of the fun of their visits to our Estate.  I delight in the work and they catch on to this love and want to be involved. 

I appreciate having a routine schedule to follow for days of the week.  This way, the plan is already in place. I don't have to think about what I should be doing each day.   It would be easy to procrastinate, and avoid work, if we did not have a plan or goals for housekeeping.   To stay on track, some keep lists on their refrigerator. Others may use 3 x 5 index cards to stay organized.  Many use a homemaking binder where a careful plan of managing one's home is all written out and easy to follow.

The greatest way I have learned to avoid neglecting housework, is to take many breaks throughout the day. There should be tea times (or coffee breaks) and little walks.  There should be time for reading storybooks to little ones.  A serving of cookies or a fruit plate while reading a pleasant book are wonderful times of rest.

 In the middle of all this time of recreation, we stop and do a chore. We may do the dishes for 10 minutes before we read.  Or perhaps we wash the kitchen floor and then go outside to pick flowers.  Housework is easier to manage when there is much time of peaceful rest.

Blessings
Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Is This True?  - Only Rich People Have Clean Houses.

Are You Ready For This? - Beware of Random Kitchen Inspections.

The Precious Joy of Grandchildren - I Hear Angels Crying.







Find Essays and Remembrances of Family and Home,
 in Mrs.White's book -Mother's Book of Home Economics
 Paperback, 312 pages.










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