Sunday, August 4, 2019

Evening Devotions

Evening Devotions at the parlour table at Mrs. White's House.

I love the end of the day when the family can gather all around and have evening prayers.  This can be such a special time of reading the Bible, singing some hymns, and then having a time of prayer.

Our routines will often change as the family grows, or when schedules fluctuate. When the children are little, it is more common that all are home at the same time.  As they get older, they may have evening classes or work obligations. Sometimes Dad may be working a night shift and the family Bible time is better organized earlier in the day. We will often change the routine as needed. But there is nothing like closing out the day with a simple time of Evening Devotions.

How very precious is a habit of evening devotions! If they are generally done at the same time each day, such as at 7 p.m., it produces a stability of a beautiful tradition. No matter who is available at home to participate, it could become a regular routine. 

This time of family worship could be just Mother, or many in the family together, depending on who is at home.   It could be a time to read a verse in the Bible and sing one hymn. Or it could be a reading of several passages of Scripture and a few songs to sing.  It may only be a simple time of precious prayer, at the same hour each evening, day after day, week after week, year after year.

Whether it be a brief time of quiet worship or a longer time, it is such a precious spiritual habit that will close out the day with gratefulness and praise to our dear Lord.  When Dad is away from home, or older children are away at that hour, they can know that Mother is at home praying for them during the evening devotions.  This will comfort and soothe weary hearts and help give them spiritual courage. 

This is a beautiful way to end each day.

I did a brief video sharing what we are currently doing for our Evening Devotions here at our house.  For those who are receiving this by email and cannot see the video, here is the direct link:

The video is below:

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Peaceful Living - Simple Days at Home.

Staying Home  - Gracious Homemaking.

Frugal Living - The Housekeeper's Budget.

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

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

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Afternoon Tea at The Governor's Mansion

The Governor's 1893 Mansion in Vermont

This is the fourth post in my series of touring Vermont.  (Please click on any picture to make them larger.)  I have lived in this state for 16 years and rarely stopped to look at the sights.  Starting in 2017, I made the effort to stop and visit some of the places that I see on my travels. This does not mean that I would need to spend money, but that I would take a few moments of rest and visit some of these places, instead of just rushing through life and never taking a scenic break.

The tour:  Afternoon Tea at The Governor's Mansion 

I had a great many appointments and meetings to attend all throughout last summer.  These were stressful at times and certainly tiring.  But we did our best to enjoy the drives and try to see the scenery along the way.

Sign for Afternoon Tea on the grounds of the Mansion in Vermont

One day I noticed an advertisement for Afternoon Tea at a lovely, historic bed- and- breakfast.  It was only 10 minutes away from a meeting we were to attend in that area.  I called to ask a few questions and then made a reservation to have a formal tea for two.  One of my grown daughters would be with me. I was told a simple tea with scone would cost $8.50 each.  This was an affordable treat that would be such a rare blessing!

Entryway with Coat-rack and umbrella stand

The grounds and the mansion were lovely and old fashioned. The architecture of the building was stunning.

The main entryway with fireplace

Once we stepped inside, the main entryway was very large and elegant. It had a formal fireplace and beautiful seating.  One could sit by the fire to get warm in winter.  Off to the side of this area were two large parlours.

The Cozy Tea Room

The hostess of the establishment led us into one of the main parlours. It is the tea room.  She let us look around and just enjoy the peaceful room as she went off to do her work. She told us to, "Stay as long as you would like."  It felt like all the stress of the day just went away as we enjoyed this restful place.

A Piano in the Parlour

There was a piano, with sheet music, in the room. An enormous library of assorted books was on the back wall.  There were cozy chairs with little tables of books, games of chess, and little dishes of wrapped candies.  It was the perfect room to visit and enjoy the company of others.  We happened to be there during the slow season, we were told, so there was only one other small party of two with us for afternoon tea that day. Each group at our own tables.  It made it extra quiet and restful for us.

The Tea Cart

A beautiful tea cart was already set up when we arrived.  This is where the hostess served from. I would love to have my own tea cart here at our home!

The ceremony of her serving and setting up the tea was lovely and such a treat.

She brought in a block of some kind of wood and placed the teapot on it, at our cozy little table.  She asked if we would like milk or lemon with our tea?  One of the party smiled and said, "I would like both."  The hostess was taken aback and gently chided with, "Oh, no. You never have both.  You have lemon or milk. But not both."   The party chose lemon.  I was incredibly amused!

Next she asked who would like to serve the tea?  From what I understand, it is an honor to be the one to serve.  My daughter chose to do this special task.

Our Tea Table in the Parlour

The hostess showed us how to set up a beautiful strainer on top of each tea cup. Then the tea was poured through this into the cup.  It was like a lovely ritual of serving a pleasant tea.

The tea was the most delicious I have ever had in my life. Any time we each wanted a bit more, my daughter graciously did her duty, using the strainer to pour more.  "Would you like more tea?" She would ask. It was wonderful!

The scones were served on a tray, along with jam and clotted cream.  We helped ourselves to each, by spooning some on our plates and then using a little knife to spread them on our scones.  They were incredibly delicious!  I could not believe I was enjoying such an elegant treat in such a beautiful place!

As we were getting ready to leave, I went back into the main entryway and took a picture of the staircase which led to the guest rooms.

Hallway and Staircase at the Mansion

I spotted a chalkboard on the wall. It had the breakfast menu for the guests to see.  It said:

Maple Crunch Oatmeal
Scrambled Eggs and Garlic Tomatoes
Scones and Jam"

Chalkboard with breakfast menu

The entire experience was inspiring.  It made me want to have formal teas at home, just for our own happiness with the family. It was relaxing and wonderful.

Thank you for having tea with me at the Governor's Mansion here in Vermont!

** My next stop will be a visit to The Vermont Country Store. We have an appointment in that area coming up soon.**

The First Tour was -  A Vermont Christmas Tree Farm.

The Second Tour was - The Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe Vermont.

The Third Tour was - King Arthur Flour in Norwich Vermont.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

A Homemade Present for Grand-baby - Tea Napkins.

Humble Tea Time- The Importance of Formal Ceremony at Home.

Joyful and Peaceful Living - Simplicity of Old Fashioned Homemaking

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

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

Friday, July 19, 2019

Summer Heat in Rural Vermont

The Back grounds of Mrs. White's property here in Vermont.

The summer heat has been very difficult this year.  We live in the beautiful mountains of northern Vermont. But we still have some very warm days.  It has frequently been in the 80's.  I don't think I could handle living in Florida or in Texas where, I am told, the heat gets to be in the 90's and 100's. We recently had some missionaries come to speak at our church. They live in Texas and told us the work they are doing there.  They briefly described the heat and told us it is much cooler here in Vermont!  It gave me a grateful perspective.

To keep cool here at home, I close the blinds in certain rooms throughout the house. This blocks the heat of the sun.  Our upstairs parlour has burgundy, sheer, curtains.  The sun comes gently through this to give us natural light.  But the strong heat of the sun is lessened. It also makes the room look extra peaceful and comfortable.

When we walk towards the river (bordering our back property) there is a coolness in the air that is refreshing.  We also have many shade trees.  But I can only take so much time outdoors during hot days.

I love having box - fans in our old windows.  This brings much fresh, cool mountain air into our home.  It keeps us comfortable.

It usually cools off in the evenings and when there is an occasional rain.  There is nothing like the beauty of rain glistening on the trees and lush green landscape here in Vermont.   The beauty keeps us grateful.

I know that our bitterly cold winters will arrive very quickly.  We start preparing for the cold season in spring and work diligently throughout the summer months.   The Old Farmer's Almanac tells us our first frost date is in September.  There is often a bit of a chill as early as August, here in the northeast.  This is why I am enjoying the hot summer days as much as I can!

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

I am - Just a Housewife.

Encouragement for - Domestic Happiness.

Always Remember This - The House Comes First.

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

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

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Bible of My Childhood

Inside View of Mrs. White's Bible

A few days ago, just as I was about to start reading the Bible during our evening devotions, I noticed my Bible had broken.  It has been falling apart for many years. Now the cover had detached from the pages of Scripture. I was devastated.

I knew it was my own fault.  I had not taken proper care of it, over these many years.  I used to wonder why people used Bible covers. Now I know. 

 Many years ago, when I was a child, my parents gave me this precious Bible. They had my name inscribed on the front cover. It has my full maiden name. The Bible came in a sturdy box with a cover.  I have carried it with me throughout my childhood, and into my married years.  Sometime, over many moves, the box broke and could not be fixed.

I have read from the pages of this Bible nearly every day for decades. It is my most treasured possession.  There are a few minor scribbles, or a random pen mark, which came when I was a young mother and my little ones had gotten into it.   There is one tiny piece of a page missing, which a baby had gently grabbed when I was not being careful.  This Bible has tear marks from those difficult days when I cried and prayed as I read for comfort. It is a precious and dearly beloved book I have had since I was a young girl.

First pages of Mrs. White's Bible showing the name of the publisher.

When I noticed the cover had detached, I started to panic.  I felt terrible. I knew I should have reverenced it more. I should have put it aside in a box, or Bible cover, when it was not in use. It should have been kept up high, away from danger, whenever it was not in use.  It would still have some damage from so much use all these years, but at least it would have remained intact.

My husband said I should put this one aside to save (as a vintage treasure) and get a new Bible. He said I would love it just as much.  I thought it was a good idea.  I would have my married name on the cover of this new one.   But then I started to search for one just like this.  It was printed in England.  It is excellent quality, easy to read, and easy to study. I could not find anything close to it.  It was so discouraging!

Inside view of Mrs. White's Bible showing it was printed in England by "Her Majesty's Printers."

I wanted so dearly to get another "King James" Bible published in England.  But one could not be found.

My next idea was to simply get a Bible cover and help protect it while I carefully read each day.  But the prices of covers (of pretty ones) are so expensive.  I finally decided I would make my own simple, homemade cover for now.

I found some scrap fabric and a couple of pink zippers.  I would make up a plain pattern and see how it turned out. There would be a pretty floral fabric and then a lining of plain beige to keep it sturdy.

Setting up the Sewing project to Make a cover for Mrs. White's Bible

I will sew this by hand, over the next few days.  I will still search for a similar Bible, but I realize it may not happen.  I will also save up to buy a pretty "real" cover over the next few months.  In the meantime, this home-style cover will help me remember to take extra care of the fragile Bible of my childhood.

Mrs. White's Childhood Bible on the fabric for the cover.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Humble Homemaking - Poor and Pretty Living.

When There isn't Much - Living in Reduced Circumstances.

A Fun Homeschooling Idea - The Mailbox in the House.

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

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

Monday, July 1, 2019

The Anniversary of a Family

The Parlour Table at Mrs. White's Home

Every year, on our wedding anniversary, I try to do something to make the day special. I want it to be different than all the other ordinary days.  We live very simply and do not have much money to spend, so it takes extra effort to be creative.

As my children have all grown up and we became grandparents, I started to realize that a wedding anniversary is not just about the husband and wife. It is about the legacy of the entire family.  It is a celebration of the family unit. 

I have a tiny book called, "Wedding Memories" that my husband's grandmother gave to us after we were married.  It has pictures of the simple ceremony. I have carried it with us through the years, through all the moves, through every trial, through sickness and health, and through the happy times.  I place this on the table each year to look through, and to remember.

About seven years ago, just before our first grandchild was born, I created a binder for pictures. I gave it a title "The History of Mr. and Mrs. White and their decedents."  The cover has a faded picture of my husband and I on our wedding day.   It has now been 31 years since we got married.  Our marriage has been blessed with five children and nine grandchildren.

Each year, I gather up a few pictures to add to this binder of family memories.  I realized today, as I was setting the table with a white tablecloth, some pretty fake flowers, a lovely candle, and my books of memories, that this is not just about a wedding.  It is about maintaining and working hard to keep the family strong. 

The family is something of great value.  It is something that requires a great deal of humility and of gratefulness.  We need to keep working on cheering each other up, encouraging one another, and being there when we are needed.  We need to value the family.  We need to keep building up the home and strengthening our relationships. 

How easily each one of us could fall! How easily an argument, or holding a grudge, could destroy the family! Life is too short.  We need to be on guard and always learning to be peacemakers.  My mother used to say, "There but by the grace of God, go I."  His mercy and long-suffering towards us and the blessing He gives us is what keeps us going each day.

There are good and bad days for all of us in this life.  But remember to celebrate and focus on the good and happy times.  An anniversary of the family is a wonderful day to look at old pictures and remember our parents and grandparents, as well as our children and grandchildren.  This helps bring security as we link the generations and see that our lives are about more than just today. 

The Christian home, with the Bible as the foundation of all we do, is an incredible blessing to all, in every generation.    A wedding anniversary is a good day to look back at all the times of answered prayer, of blessings, of beautiful memories, and recommit ourselves to trusting the Lord and of giving Him all our burdens.  This is what will bring us great peace and joy.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

The Beauty of Home - Living a Quiet Life.

Practical Encouragement - Feeding the Family.

For Hard Times in the Family - Take Back the Home!

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.