Tuesday, December 16, 2014

1914 House Party

Sunday night we held our 1914 House Party.  We tried to look the part and appear serious on the picture but underneath we could hardly keep straight faces!

The girls look pretty good but I wish we would've moved the very modern day plastic chairs out of the way! We figured Miriam looked like the homemaker, Hosanna the suffragette, and Priscilla the girl home from boarding school :)

When people arrived, some in costume, Priscilla and Hosanna took turns giving 1914 house tours.  They shared some facts about 1914, things like, Babe Ruth made his debut as did Charlie Chaplin, milk and gas were 12 cents a gallon, bread was 6 cents a loaf, WWI was just starting over in Europe, etc.  Then they went through the house and pointed out things about 1914, like, no electricity till the early 40's.  No plumbing until 1973!  Etc. Sometimes it got so busy we missed giving people the tour. Did you know Wilbur Wright died in 1914 from typhoid?  An old newspaper has a drawing of an angel carrying him to heaven with the caption, "Last flight".  We learned lots of other neat facts but you'll have to do your own research if you care.

We tried to stick with food that people in this area would've had in 1914.  Not easy!  We did serve tomatoes which they wouldn't have had in the winter, and we had cracker dips which they didn't have either.  Not sure the pretzels would've been drizzled in chocolate but otherwise we were pretty close.  Even jello was very popular as it was easy to transport to stores and had a long shelf life. 

I'm not sure if lemonade was available around here but in the cities it was very popular. 

When it got crowed, some headed up to our room to play a game.  Forgive the messy bed, some boys decided to unmake it :)

We're so thankful for all the people that came out despite the thick fog.  Glad they found our driveway!

Elizabeth took time to read some of the little ones a few stories.  Thank you, Elizabeth!

Isaac so graciously put legos in his room and this occupied most of the younger ones for hours!  

Priscilla found time to visit a little with Jessica.

Hosanna and Priscilla keep checking things out upstairs. 

We were really excited to have a few of the people who have lived in this house come to our party. One lady grew up in this house from the late 40's to late 50's.  She brought along pictures from back then and explained a few things that we wondered about as far as what was here or there.  Two other couples came that lived in this house at some point and all of them enjoyed looking around as did some that remembered coming to this house in years past.

We also enjoyed having relatives over that I'm not sure have ever been to our house, various aunts and uncles.

Overall, we had over 100 people come and I think everyone enjoyed it as much as we did!  Thank you so much to those of you that came and made this evening so special!!

Friday, December 12, 2014


Thank you, Matthias and Melita, for building me a snowman! It's cute!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Getting Ready

This coming weekend we are having a 1914 house party.  Our house and barn are 100 years old this year and we've been thinking all year that we should do this.  The year is almost over so we set the date and sent out invitations.  We're pretty excited and the girls have been busy trying the 1914 hairdos and planning outfits that look like they came from back then.  We've also been busy baking.  We're trying to keep most things to what they would've had in this area in 1914, which wasn't much compared to today.  In the picture above, the girls are making lefse and we know they made that.  For those that have never had the Scandanavian lefse, it looks like a tortilla but is made out of mashed potatoes and flour.  They are VERY good and are usually eaten with butter and sugar rolled up.  Basically, we are serving a very simple lunch like they would've had back then.  The house is also getting a good cleanup, like we usually do right before Christmas anyway.

Other than that, Isaac was happy to get his captain's license today.  It's taken a long time to get the training and paperwork done.  Anyone want to get married on the lake or ocean?  He can perform the wedding with his license!  It also gives him permission to be a fishing guide anywhere on US waters. Now we'll have to wait and see if God has a plan for this license.

I hope you all are enjoying this wonderful time of year, the gorgeous weather God is sending us, and the joy of a future in Heaven!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Our Kitchen - Before and After

Okay, we're not completely done but I thought I'd show you some before and after pictures.  This is the before.  I really did like the burgandy and I love flowered wallpaper, but the wallpaper was getting really worn out.  The picture hides its flaws!
This is the after. Please excuse the play dough and cookie baking leftovers on the table. The grandaughters have been here all day so that should explain it!  We put up wainscoting panelling on the bottom.  And yes, I know its higher than it ought to be, but practicality won out over what might look better.  It's the bottom half that gets bad so this was an attempt to put off redoing the wallpaper!  The top half we used paintable wallpaper and I was thrilled with how good it came out.  Unless you look close, you can't see the seams except where the walls are a little uneven. Arthur put up the nice crown moulding, and Priscilla decorated it for Christmas so there we are.  Now the other half.
The before.  This time you need to ignore the redecorating mess on the counter!  This was taken when the other half was almost done.  On the left you can see a couple of new shelves Arthur put up for me.  You know the saying, "A place for everything and everything in its place."?  Well, for years, the important mail, mainly bills, got put on the shelf with the teacups and such.  Now, the basket will hold those important things.  For those of you that know me, I really do try to be organized :) On the close right you can kinda see a picture frame on the wall.  Before we had a marker board up and most everyday Miriam writes a verse on it for everyone to learn.  I found this picture frame, put in some scrapbook paper, and now have a nicer looking markerboard for Miriam.
And the after. Big improvement!  None of our counters were standard size so we made new countertops out of some birch type plywood and birch trim boards around the counters and backsplash.  Notice the big counter in front. Originally Arthur built a large counter as you can see above.  The problem was the cupboards were really deep and so things got shoved in the back and disappeared.  We cut the counter in half lengthwise, and added a couple of new upper cabinets on the back side.  Much nicer and much more organized.  The door in the back of the picture leads to our "big" entryway.  Basically, the guys work clothes, tools and woodstove are in there.  Might not look the greatest but lots of nice heat comes through that door!

And another close up of the counters.  We were a little hesitant but after doing lots of research, it seemed like everyone with wood counters absolutely loved them.  I stained them and added five layers of a food grade varnish. They ended up a little darker than I had planned, but they match the woodwork in the rest of the house perfectly so I'm happy. After days of enduring the smell, we have been using them for over a week and so far, we really like them.  Water seems like no issue even if it sits on it overnight.  We haven't cut on them or put hot pots on them, which you probably wouldn't do anyway unless they were older like our old ones were.  One thing I am enjoying with these counters is we made them to overhang the cupboards by 1 1/2 inches or more.  Before, the sink corner had no overhang at all so anything that fell or dripped off the counter went into the drawers or lower cupboards.  Nice improvement and gave us a little more counter space. Also, we tried to level out the counters, except for one spot, as before they were different heights. I was happy at how nice the handles turned out too.  We have a little left to do but for now, the whole house is glad to have that project done.  If you patiently read this far, thank you for letting me share something I'm really excited about!

Well, its late and I need to go to bed. I'm so glad God gave us sleep to renew us after hard days of work!  Have a great evening everyone!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hosanna is Home!

Hosanna here - I am finally back home after being gone for around seven months! For those of you who may not remember, I've been interning/volunteering at the Bible Bee Headquarters. After being in the Bible Bee for three years it was fun to see and be able to help with the behind the scenes work. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. While I was working there, I ended up running the Bible Bee E-Store for a while - including onsite at the National Bible Bee. In the above picture, I am at Nationals sitting with J.B. (She helped me a lot there.) in front of the Bible Bee onsite E-Store Booth.

This year the National Bible Bee was in FL! What you can see in this picture is the view from one of the hotel's ground level doors. It was very warm there during Nationals and a couple of the days I would even say that it was hot. It was fun getting to see all the palm trees - they are a bit of a novelty to me. :)

On the way back to OH from Nationals, I got to ride on a charter bus with a lot of the other volunteers and even a Bible Bee contestant family. Everyone was tired after Nationals so I think most people ended up taking a nap on the bus at some point. We were able to move around on the bus some, so we were able to visit with different people on the bus and even play a few games. I think the trip was around 20 hours.

The church I attended while in OH (Sligo Baptist Church) had a goodbye party for me. They were so sweet and made me feel right at home there. If any of you end up in that area on a Sunday or Wednesday, I would recommend that you stop by and visit them.

Back at home, Isaac caught four different animals today while out trapping.  Anyone want to guess what they are from left to right?

Friday, November 21, 2014

This and That

Isaac had his 25th birthday about a week ago. I don't have a great picture to post of him but he's been busy trapping lately, and in this photo he's reaching down into the icy water to check a beaver trap.  We love you Isaac and look forward to seeing God do more great things in your life in the coming year!

I'm still working, with a lot of Arthur and Miriam's help, on what feels like a never ending project.  One thing I did when taking off the kitchen door handles is spray them with this neat looking spray paint from Menards.  I've sprayed these same handles a number of times over the years. Its starting to look really nice and the end is in sight.

Tomorrow, Arthur heads to Ohio to drive home with Hosanna.  We are excited to have her coming home!

Have a great weekend praising God!

Saturday, November 15, 2014


The little grandsons popped in for a visit today to warm up from the cold.  They got quite distressed at seeing our large counter top gone. Over and over they asked, "How are you going to make cookies?!" That was their main concern :) Have a great Lord's Day tomorrow!