Monday, August 7, 2017

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."

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


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.*

Monday, July 24, 2017

Every Home Should Have a Pretty Bell

The harbor in the south shore of Massachusetts at sunset - July 2017
(Click on the photograph to make it larger.)

I visited my Aunt early this month.  I enjoyed seeing the ocean and all the boats.  The above picture was taken by my sister. (She has a much better camera than I do!)  My Aunt is 80 years old and looks amazing. She is still active and has a lovely home.  She does word search puzzles, for fun, which gave me an excellent idea.  Our local dollar store sells these for very little cost.  I bought a few for Mister.  This is something he can do to pass some of the time for entertainment. (He has been disabled for more than 2 years now.)  This helps keep one's mind sharp.

My Aunt has always had a collection of pretty bells.  She used to keep them by the front bay window of her Massachusetts home.  There were pretty decorations on them, and we children loved to pick each one up (ever so carefully) and ring them to hear the different sounds.

This past week I received a "call bell" in the mail.  It is just a plain design, but something you ring when you need to call someone from another room.  I showed it to my grandchildren. They were delighted!  "Will you ring the bell, Me`me?"  One will ask.  I smile and oblige.  Every so often, I will ring it just for fun.  It makes us all smile.

It is also good to have a bell in times of sickness.  If one is on bed-rest, the pretty bell could be on the nightstand to call those for little services such as a cup of tea, some toast, or some water.  Every home should have a pretty bell.

I am very worn out and trying to take things slow.  I have not had much energy to write here, but hope to get back to it next month. I hope you have a wonderful summer!

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Our new Way of Life with Mister's Disability - The Shabby Garden.

Making the Best of things - Poor and Pretty Living.

I'm Happy to Be - 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. 


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Beautiful Devotion after the Rain

This picture was taken down the street from our Vermont Estate, just after the rain, a few days ago.
(Click on the photograph to make it larger.)


I have been reading old books like "The Flower of the Family," by Elizabeth Prentiss (1800's) and "Choice Stories for the Family" (1905).  The second book is full of short fictional stories and beautiful poems for the edification of the family. It has been a time of precious devotion.

I was out on errands with my 19 year old son, John, after several days of rain. As we were nearing home, he noticed a rainbow in the sky.  I pulled the car over and took the picture (above).  It is so peaceful looking, and reminds us of the promises of the Lord.

This morning, I came across a poem by Horatius Bonar in a 1905 book. I thought it would be perfect to put on the photograph.  Horatius Bonar was a minister during the 1800's in Scotland. He also wrote many hymns and poems. His writings are incredible and provide great spiritual nourishment for the soul.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

The true work of Christian Homemaking - "The Mission House."

Wisdom from the old Samplers - "To Earn and Not to Spend."

Contentment and Happiness in Marriage - "When Groceries are the Presents."

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. 


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Pretending To Garden

Mrs.White's Grandbaby picking a bunch of "flowers" at our Vermont Estate.

It is supposed to rain for the next several days. I keep trying to get outside and do some gardening.  I am only an amateur so I don't do very much.  Late this afternoon, I put on my gardening gloves and went up to the back property by the river. This is where our strawberry garden rests, right beside a nice bench for me to sit and take my breaks.

When I finished a few sections, I started to walk the property. I take my time, stopping to look at many of the trees.  Today, I saw some wild daisies growing by the side fence. I was delighted! 

I also saw tiny little blue flowers, yellow ones, and white ones.  I have no idea what kind they are, but they are probably weeds. (gentle smiles).  They grow, here and there, throughout our two acres.

When I am walking the grounds, in late afternoon, I often see three of my grandbabies standing in the front picture window. They are so excited to see me outside!   Soon their Mother brings them out and we all have a lovely time in the front yard.  The children love picking flowers and weeds, just for fun.  They will pick two tiny flowers and give one to Mother and one to Grandmother.  They laugh and run and enjoy the Estate so much!  It is a delight to sit and watch them in their happiness.

Sometimes, the children wonder what I am doing on my walks.  They see me staring at the different leaves on the many trees, looking for changes, and enjoying the beauty of nature.  As I walk along the property, I hear birds singing and hear the beautiful sound of the rushing river at the edge of our Estate.  This, I suppose, is what is called a "nature walk."

I have no idea what I am doing, or what I am seeing. I will often pull up some random weeds, here and there. Or, I will pull off dead leaves from a plant or tree.  I call this, "pretending to garden." (gentle smiles)

This is how I am learning, by just walking around, observing, and trying to garden. It is a peaceful work. It is a cheerful pastime.   This is also how we learn to keep house, be a good wife, and to mother our dear children.  We just play at it, we pretend, we have fun with it, and this gives us the knowledge and experience, over time, to do it well.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Training Children - Nobody Wants to Clean a Messy House.

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

A Happy Marriage - Serving Mister.

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. 


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