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reathing Room-Charlotte Mason


 He gives more grace when the burdens grow greater.
 He sends more strength when the labors increase,
 To added affliction He addeth His mercy,
 To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

 When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
 When our strength has failed 'ere the day is half done;
 When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
 Our Father's full giving is only begun.

 His love has no limit, His grace has no measure.
 His power no boundary known unto men;
 For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
 He giveth and giveth and giveth again."

-  Annie Flint

Spa  At  Home

The stress of being home with children all day, every day can take it's toll on the best of us. There are some days when the thoughts of a hot bubble bath are just what I need  to make it through those last few hours until the kid's bedtime arrives! Occasionally I let myself dream of a real pedicure and wonder what it would be like to actually visit a spa for such a thing. But, as most of us "Tired Moms" know, finances are generally tight in a one-income family and the likelihood of me ever arriving for a 10am Tuesday appointment at a day spa is pretty slim. :o) What I have found though, is that lack of funding doesn't have to mean lack of pampering myself. I have experienced quite a few wonderful day-spa experiences within the confines of my husband's recliner. Here's how:

On an occasional Saturday afternoon, I tell the kids that I am opening a salon and would like to hire them all as employees. (Incidentally, it's amazing how many kids will happily work for non-monetary pay!). I take a hot shower, wash my hair and leave in my favorite conditioner, wrap myself in my best house robe and wrap my wet, conditioner saturated head in a sparkling clean white towel. OK, so I hide the jelly stain on the inside - doesn't take away from the experience in the least. :o) I slap on a refining mask (homemade of course) and stroll into the treatment room.

Austin (10) is my pedicure-man. He has a foot bath waiting for me and after sitting down for a 5 minute soak brings a dry towel for my feet. I relax in the spa chair (a.k.a. Dad's recliner) and put up my feet. He gives a mean 5 minute foot massage for the privilege of sitting in the front seat on outings for a whole week.

Next, Joshua (almost 6) brings in the lotion and rubs it into my feet and ankles. He dislikes the feeling of lotion between his fingers, so we swap by rubbing hands together. During the lotion trade, he massages my hands and fingers. His pay? One hour uninterrupted time on our new typing program. I feel guilty slipping in a school class as payment so I throw in his pick for our Friday night family movie.

Abby comes into the spa room next with cuticle cream and a nail buffer. She rubs cuticle cream into, well, my hands  AND my cuticles. But she is so happy while she's doing it that I couldn't ask for better service from a veteran nail technician! She won't get rich working for this kind of salary (25 cents) but at five a silver coin is still coveted in our house!

During all of this treatment, Luke (2 and counting), climbs aboard my lap for the occasional kiss and softly pokes my stiff and shiny cheeks with his chubby toddler fingers. Man - it doesn't get any better than this. I announce that after my bubble bath (and rinsing of my now soft, shiny, well-conditioned hair) we will all indulge in milk and cookies.

Now that I think of it, there's not a spa in America that could build my self-esteem like this one does. Not one of the high-dollar, appointment only establishments could come even close to this kind of treatment. Throughout the hour I get to hear, "Oh you are so beautiful!" from my Abby, "Mom, can I cook supper for you?" from my Austin, and "Ya know should take a day off." from my strong, silent Joshua. I think I'll tip them with an extra bedtime story. :-)

Body & Bath Recipes
From Victorian

Herbal Baths
Tie one cup of dried herb or two to three cups fresh herbs into a loose bag of cheesecloth or nylon hose. Place bag into enamel pan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and cover with lid and let steep for 15 minutes. Pour into tub of warm water and enjoy. Suggested herbs: Lavender flowers, rose petals or lemon balm leaves.

Lavender Bubble Bath
bunch lavender
1 large bottle clear organic shampoo
5 drops lavender essential oil

Place the bunch of lavender head down in a clean, screw-top wide mouth jar. You really only need the flowers, so cut off any long stalks. Add the shampoo and the lavender oil. Close the jar and place it on a sunny windowsill for two or three weeks, shaking occasionally. Strain the liquid and rebottle.

Scented Dusting Powders
5 tablespoons unscented talcum powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
5 drops rose or jasmine essential oil
or 2 drops peppermint oil
Makes 2 ounces

BathTime Resources
Homemade Cosmetics

Tea Time

I can't begin to tell you how we enjoy teatime in our home! We try to do it every school day, but honestly we don't enjoy it often enough. Just after our afternoon rest a cup of tea and a special snack are just what we need to get going again. Plus there is just something special about sitting down to tea - even the boys enjoy it!  It provides a much-needed respite during which time I can enjoy just being with my children. There are no deadlines, our schoolwork is generally finished for the day and we can just BE.

To begin with I purchased some quality 100% cotton fabric in a variety of prints. From each yard of fabric I cut 12 - approximately 12"  squares. After hemming the edges with a simple zigzag stitch we have REAL napkins to use for afternoon tea! This also affords Abby a great opportunity to practice her ironing skills. Being all cotton they do require ironing if you don't take them right out of the dryer when the cycle completes!  Sometimes we have a fresh bouquet on the table and nearly always there is a candle or two lit in sparkling crystal holders.

During tea, which consists of a beverage (not always tea) and a simple snack, I read from a favorite book. Generally I read from The Book of Virtues by William Bennett.  Every home should have this book! It has such a wonderful variety of stories from which to choose - all of which have beautiful moral themes without being preachy. While I am reading the children snack on anything from popcorn to biscuits to store-bought snack cakes depending on how much time and energy we had to prepare. No matter what the fare, it is always a time enjoyed and places a quiet, restful atmosphere in our home.

Tea Time Links
Victorian Rituals
Victorian Teatime Quotes
  Towne Victoria
Teatime @ Seeds of Knowledge
History of Tea Time

Home Is How The Heart Is

Miss Mason wrote much on what she termed "the atmosphere of the home".  She placed utmost importance on the impact this atmosphere has on our children - for better or worse.  I know of no quicker way to turn a house topsy-tervy than for Mother to get agitated, distressed, or angry. My sweetheart gently reminds me that "as Mom goes, so goes the home". How true. Through tea time, taking time for myself for prayer, Bible reading and exercise, I find it easier to be the Mother my Lord called me to be. 

If I could encourage Mothers to do ONE thing for their husband and children it would be this: TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. This is not selfish or wrong! Rather it helps keep this "temple of clay" a place where peace reigns and a servant's heart resides.

 A friend loveth at all times,
and a brother is born for adversity.

- Proverbs 17:17

Pregnancy & Home Birthing
Nursing Bras
Home Birth Reference Site
Home Birth Article of Interest
Midwifery Today
Water Birth Supplies
Homebirth Interactive Forum
Fetal Monitoring Pros & Cons
In His Hands Birth Supplies
Birth Partners
Granola Threads
Birthing Methods
The Compleat Mother
Dear Midwife

Children Are blessings!
Dedicated to providing encouragement and practical help to those
who are striving to raise a large and growing, godly family in today's world!
Natural Family Planning & the Christian Family
Open Embrace
How the Pill & other Birth Control Methods Work
Children: Burden or Blessing?

And a ministry close to our heart:
Blessed Arrows
a sterilization reversal ministry
Blessed Arrows is a ministry and email support group for people who are committed to trusting God with their family planning. This means no birth control.  We specifically minister to those seeking to reverse sterilizations. This ministry exists with a primary purpose of  getting  people together to pool their finances through donations to
Blessed Arrows to FUND the reversal surgeries.

Shawn and I are praying for the Lord to provide for a reversal. Please lift this up to the Father on our behalf. We covet your prayers in this!

Long Hair Care
One's hair style or length should hardly be a plce for division among Christians but alas, sadly it is often just that.  It seems that even this can be a stumbling block for some. I will offer my testimony here so that it may be of encouragement to others, as is the rest of this website, and in no way do I endorse the bashing that goes on among Christian women when one keeps a shorter-style.

My hair was shoulder length. Not long by many standards but not short by any means. My husband desired my hair to be grown out long but I didn't like the idea. I thought a fresh shorter cut was most becoming for me. Truth be told, I held onto having short hair tightly for it was, in my heart, my last hold on "freedom". I thought myself to be submissive, and in most other areas I was. This one area though I thought my husband had no right to. Afterall,  he didn't wear his hair the way I liked did he? Oh prideful heart! I "wanted" to "choose" my hairstyle. Afterall, in the grand scheme of things it didn't really matter. It was "my hair".  I grudgingly bargained my way to shoulder length hair, resenting it and not willing to give my dear husband his desire for it to be longer.

A note here: His reasons were not scriptural exactly. He just has a preference for long hair.

And so, I kept it barely at my shoulders, "toeing" the line of submission, or so I thought. You see, as with ALL other matters in marriage, it was my heart condition that the Lord chose to deal with first. Through a series of events I was terribly wounded by my husband and in a fit of depression and hurt I went to the salon and had them cut my hair. OFF. Here is the picture I brought with me:

I even spiked it up like that when I got home. And then I cried. And cried and cried. I couldn't believe what I had done nor why I had done it. I am still so ashamed of doing this! But I share it here so that you can see that the length of hair is NOT what is of utmost importance to Jesus! When I cut my hair, it is as if a mantle fell from me... the annointing perhaps as wife and mother? Not because God cared about the length of my hair but because I had turned against my husband's wishes on a very selfish matter. (Some would argue that this hairstyle is a man's, thus contrary to Scripture and I would agree now.) I struggled spiritually, emotionally, physically. It was an outward sign of an inward sin and I was paying the price. Jesus was there to hold my head as I cried but cry I did.  Slowly, it is growing back and with it I am learning true submission. It's not about "WHAT WE DO"!!! It is about our heart!!!

In your journey to becoming the godly woman we are called to be, consider this:

 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts,
recognized and read by everyone, since it is plain
that you are Christ's letter, produced by us,
not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God;
not on stone tablets but on tablets that are hearts of flesh. 
II Corinthians 3:2,3

It is our hearts the Jesus wants, not anything else. He will deal with the outward things in His own time.  I have met some head-covering, looong hair, dresses-only ladies who are anything BUT the model of a godly woman.  We have no business pointing fingers and whispering about how Mrs. So&So was so UNGODLY because she has short hair!

Please accept this testimony as just that. MY testimony. The Lord has asked me to share it. I know some will disagree with much of what I have said here, and that's ok. We aren't all alike (Praise the Lord! What a dull world THAT would be!). 

Hair Barrettes (How to fix them to be more hair safe.)
The Ultimate Long Hair Care Site -free
Winter Long Hair Care
Long Hair Tips
Some beautiful braid how-to's's Hair Care Page
When To Cut Your Hair For Maximum Growth



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