Sunday, July 12, 2009


Good Evening, Dear Friends,

I pray that this issue of HEARTH AND HOME finds you and yours healthy, happy, and enjoying all that summer has to offer. Here in southwest Missouri the weather has been extremely hot and humid, with temperatures climbing into the upper 90’s most days, with heat indices often reaching into the triple digits. I believe it’s one of the hottest summers that we’ve seen in quite sometime.

It’s been a while since I’ve been with you, and there’s much to share, so why don’t we just go straight to it?

1) As some of you know, the past month and a half or so has been quite traumatic for our family. On the 29th of May our 17-month-old grandson, Silas, was injured in a mowing accident. It resulted in the loss of his left leg just above the knee. The hours, days, and weeks that have followed have had their ups and downs for all of us, but, overall, God’s presence has been in full evidence…His lovingkindness ever present…His blessings many. Thank you to all of you who have come alongside our family and helped in this time of crisis. There are no words to express all the love and gratitude that we feel in our hearts for you. All I can say is…and I mean this with all my heart… may God’s richest and most abundant blessings be yours…today and always. Thank you!

For those of you who are interested in following Silas’s continuing progress, please, feel free to do so, by clicking here:

(You may have to set up a little account in order to get in, but it’s not complicated.)

Again, thank you to all who have been here (in person, via the internet, on the other end of the phone, and in every other way), and, please, continue to keep our family…especially Silas, his parents, and sister, Audrey…in your prayers. While the coming weeks, months, and years, promise much uncertainty and many unknowns, we know that with your loving thoughts, kind prayers, and sweet encouragement, coupled with the love, wisdom, counsel, and direction of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the promises found in God’s Word, all will be well. Thank you!

2) (Rebecca stops short…her mind blank) LOL! Wow! I get to #2, and I have to hesitate. All of this with Silas has overshadowed anything and everything else that has happened in our lives since the end of May, and, to be honest, I don’t know what to say. I thought I had a lot to share, but, come to think of it…I haven’t done too much at home lately. I haven’t tried any new recipes. In fact, I’ve barely cooked at all! Since things have settled down a bit, I think I had one really good week in there somewhere, then I got sick with bronchitis or something. I’m just now getting over that…so…you know what I’m going to do? I think I’m just going to put together a hodge-podge of a few things we’ve done around here over the past few months, and hope that that will suffice now, because, to be honest, it’s the best that I can do right now. Forgive me, friends!

3) Before all this with Silas…on the 8th of May…we had tornadic storms in the area, and one of the trees in our front yard blew over and landed on our roof. Fortunately, it didn’t do a whole lot of damage. There is a little bit of damage along the front edge of our roof, the front porch is damaged, and all our guttering was knocked down. We don’t have insurance, but FEMA has stepped in and will pay for repairs. For this we are very thankful!

4) On the 14th of May we made a trip to our state capitol (Jefferson City, MO) and participated in making home education history. To read what all that was about click here:

(The title of the article is: Details and Results of May 14, 2009 Rally and Legislative Alert on Senate Bill 291)

5) Our garden hasn’t done too well this year. It was too wet to plant early on, then we were gone a lot and the weeds took over. A friend was kind enough to come over and replow our ground for us, and, even though it’s not what we envisioned when placing our garden seed order early in the year, little by little we are getting a few things out of our garden, and several people have been kind enough to bless us with a few vegetables along the way. We’ve picked up a few nice things at the local farmer’s market, too.

6) Our 13-year-old son and I have started a yearlong study on the Civil War. We have read several good books (and have a whole big stack of them yet to read), participated in a Civil War related event (Border Disorder hosted by Prairie State Park, Mindenmines, MO - - every other year), and visited several Civil War museums and battle sites. We have a lot still to do! Field trips over the past couple of months or so include The Civil War Museum at Lone Jack, MO - , The Bushwhacker Museum and Jail at Nevada, MO - , and Fort Scott National Historic Site at Fort Scott, KS - . We very much look forward to continuing our study in the near future.

7) The 2009-2010 home education school year officially began on July 1st. We opened the day with a celebration of Canada Day. My offering to the event was a plate of maple-leaf-shaped, maple-iced sugar cookies. Here’s my favorite recipe…


1 c. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking powder
5 c. flour

Cream butter and sugar together. Add milk, baking powder, salt, eggs, and vanilla. Blend well. Add flour a little at a time until all the flour is mixed in. If dough is sticky, extra flour may be added. Being extra generous with the dusting flour, roll dough out about 1/4-inch thick and cut with cutters. Bake at 375 degrees until cookies are slightly browned on the bottom and are a little spongy on top.

Ice with the following…

Maple Icing

1 c. butter
4 c. powdered sugar
2 T. milk
1 tsp. maple flavoring

Cream butter with an electric mixer. Add maple flavoring Gradually add sugar one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add coloring if desired and beat until mixed evenly. Yield: 3 cups.

8) For those of you who use a clothesline AND believe in the power of prayer…here’s an idea for you! Write the names of friends and family on wooden clothespins. It will be a reminder to pray over those individuals every time you hang your laundry out-of-doors to dry.

9) How about a cool summertime dessert? My friend, Kathy, gave this recipe to me a few years back...


1 small can frozen limeade (or, if you want lemon, you can use lemonade)
1 8-oz. carton Cool Whip
1 can Eagle Brand condensed milk

Beat ingredients together and whip until fluffy. Pour into a prepared graham cracker crust and freeze until ready to serve. You may refreeze leftovers.

10) Recently a friend of mine was having a problem with an invasion of fruit flies in her home. In hopes of finding some information that might be of use to her, I came across this great article from WikiHow. Perhaps someone else would find the info useful, too…

11) A friend of mine recently shared this interesting women’s ministry idea with me. I thought I’d pass it along. Perhaps some of you ladies would be interested in doing something like this…

Well, dear friends, I’m sorry that this edition of HEARTH AND HOME isn’t much, but at least it’s something. Hopefully, I will be with you again real soon. Until then, take care and know that you are fondly thought of…even when I’m not in touch with you as often as I’d like to be.

God bless all here!
All My Love,

P.S. – Don’t forget to check out my new HEARTH AND HOME blog on Blogspot at:

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