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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Homemaking Party: Turning Lemons to Lemonade on the Columbia River Gorge

 Hello Everyone! Welcome to the Homemaking Party! 
When I was in the 7th grade, I won a button at the school carnival that read, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." I took it home to my mom to have her explain to me the meaning---basically, when you're faced with hard times, you have two choices: negativity or positivity. 

Our family has had to choose to make a lot of lemonade the past couple weeks! To make a long story palatable, our van is toast. Toasty toast. We lost the engine last week and the van is too old to make the repair costs worth doing. So...the kids and I were stranded in Oregon unsure how to get home at the end of the month---for about 24 hours. Then the body of Christ began stepping in and we are well on our way to being able to afford a trip home on time. Yay! 

Anyway, this is just the kind of stuff that used to get me down. However, God has faithfully provided for our needs so many times that I didn't even worry this time! I knew it would work out---and it will!

So, on the day I had to go sign off the title to the guy from the scrap yard, I decided to take my oldest son Michael along and make it a happy day. First we stopped for ice cream---yum! Then we took the old highway along the Columbia River Gorge and found several spots with Oregon Trail ruts.

When we got to the town of Arlington, we stopped at the little park in town and I showed Michael my childhood swimming hole! I hadn't been there in at least 30 years!

Every day we encounter things that can bring us down. Some are simple like an impatient person in the checkout line---some are really big like being stranded 1,800 miles from home with nine children. If we choose to make lemonade out of those sour experiences, we might discover fun things like bits of history, a great swimming hole, or ice cream!

The Autumn Pen Friend Exchange is open to new participants at my blog, The Victorian Letter Writers Guild. I'd love to have you join!




Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Visiting the Children's Museum of Eastern Oregon in Pendleton

Welcome to The Homemaking Party! Today is Kynthia's birthday---she's 6 years old! We are having a great time celebrating our fourth oldest daughter.

Cainan (13) was given a free pass to the Children's Museum of Eastern Oregon and since the activities are mainly geared toward younger kids, he decided to take Brenna, 4, for a special day out last Friday.

The pretend grocery store was Cainan's favorite part of CMEO when he was little and Brenna loved it too!

I sat at a table in this pizza shop and wrote letters while they played restaurant. 

The Alice In Wonderland tea party room had a verrrry low ceiling! Ha!

When they'd played for a couple hours, I let Cainan pick out a souvenir for Brenna. He chose a wooden flute and they each got a snack. It was a great day out!

We are going home in 29 days!!! I can't wait! Did I tell you all we got a house? I can't remember...but we did! It's gonna be great. I can't wait to show you all around!


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Taking Daddy Home

We had a great visit with Daddy over two weeks, but had to take him back to Boise to meet his plane on Friday. We stopped at the top of the Blue Mountains to get some photos.

This picture doesn't come close to capturing the vastness of the mountains and canyons behind us! We were standing at the edge of a very steep drop off. We had fun imagining the early pioneers, as well as later travelers, making their way down the mountains into the valleys below. The freeway wasn't put in until the mid 20th century. Amazing!

We've got about five weeks left until we head home. Can't wait!


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Good morning! Welcome to The Homemaking Party! We have really been enjoying our time with Daddy these past few days. He will go home on Friday and the kids and I will stay here in Oregon for six more weeks. There's good news though...we've got a house! Yay! I'm so excited to move into our new home!

Hope everyone is having a lovely summer!


Friday, July 7, 2017

This Week's Linky Parties

Hello everyone!

There will be no linky parties the weeks of July 2-16 as we are spending time with family and going to pick up Jamie from the airport for a visit!!! Woo Hoo!!! 
Come back Wednesday July 19 for The Homemaking Party and again on Saturday July 23 for Vintage Show & Tell!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Vintage Show & Tell: Tales of a Wayside Inn by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Welcome to Vintage Show & Tell! 
The following is an article I originally wrote for my literature blog, Belle's Library. Today I was thinking about it and realized it would be the perfect thing to share for Vintage Show & Tell! Check this out...

You know those times when you have something to share but you don't know how to properly express the level of awesomeness that goes along with it? That's how I'm feeling right about now. Last summer, I picked up this 1915 copy of Longfellow's Tales of a Wayside Inn in the books-for-sale section of our library. You've read before about our library's awesome shelf of antique books that sell for super cheap---it's irresistible! I try to pick up Longfellow when I see him because I plan to save them for our own Evangeline---four year old Brenna Evangeline.

The reason I got so excited about this copy is because of what's written inside. Don't worry, I'll show you in a minute...just let me tell my story! If you're not familiar with Tales of a Wayside Inn, here's the scoop: Originally published in 1863, the book is narrated in turns by fictional friends who are staying at the real-life Sudbury, Massachusetts inn and are telling stories in the form of poems. The Wayside Inn was actually known in real life as The Red Horse Tavern. It was established in 1716 and was a popular hangout for Harvard students until it closed in 1861 upon the death of the owner. Longfellow visited in 1862 and was inspired after receiving a tour of what he thought to be a "rambling, tumble-down building." 

In 1897, the inn was reopened by a man who wanted to restore it and fill it with the beautiful antiques he'd collected on his travels. One of the pieces he added was Daniel Webster's desk. In 1923, Henry Ford bought the inn and that's where this book comes in.

Just like Longfellow's group of friends who stayed at the inn, Mr. Glenn L. Davis and Mr. Max Herzog visited the inn with their wives and recorded the event by signing the inside of this book on August 28, 1930. What's more, they signed it on Daniel Webster's desk! Whomever owned this book also thought it was a special memento because they came back to it 25 years later to record the fire that destroyed Webster's desk in 1955, along with many other beautiful antiques and much of the inn.

There is so much fun history to be read about The Wayside Inn---it's still operating today! It's located along the Old Boston Post Road---one of the oldest in the country, having been in operation since 1673. George Washington passed through there in 1775 on his way to Cambridge to take command of the Patriot army. In fact, it's recorded that both Washington and LaFayette passed by numerous times. Henry David Thoreau noted in his journal that he left his horse there in 1853 while attending to other business in town. 

So, what do you think? Pretty awesome, huh? 
How I love books! Beautiful, wonderful, holders of history.

Thanks for stopping by Vintage Show & Tell! Have a lovely weekend!

Linking with:

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Orange Lime Torte

Welcome to the Homemaking Party! We're all having a nice time in Oregon with Mom still---but definitely ready to go back to Daddy and home and routine! Did I tell you Jamie is coming out to visit for a couple weeks? YESSS!! So excited. He'll be here on the 8th.

Today I'm sharing a delicious recipe that I created a couple years ago when I was working with SunnyD. You don't have to use SunnyD for it---use orange juice, if you'd like!

I love anything citrus. From desserts and drinks to lotions and perfumes, the scent and flavor of citrus is one of the best parts of summer time! A couple years ago, I made this delicious Orange Lime Torte with SunnyD. Does anyone remember when it was called Sunny Delight? They had the best commercials. My kids would laugh at me if I called it that. Ha! Maybe I'll do a quiz to see if anyone knows what the "D" stands for...

Anyway... It's easy to put together this refreshing summer torte. In fact, the steps are really similar to my Strawberry Cream Torte. (Ok, I'm really wanting to make both of these again now!!) Start by baking a pound cake in a 15" jelly roll pan. Once it's cooled, turn it upside down, poke holes throughout, then brush SunnyD all over the surface of the cake. Cut into three equal pieces, and set aside.

Mix the filling ingredients, being sure to sprinkle the pudding mix on top of the whipped topping before stirring it all up together. This mixture will be thick.

Spread the filling between layers of cake, and on top of the last layer.

Garnish with citrus zest and sliced fruit for a delicious and beautiful dessert. 

Orange Lime Torte
16 oz. pound cake mix + ingredients to make the cake
1-2 TB lime zest
1 c. SunnyD (or orange juice)
2 TB lemon juice
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1/3 c. milk
12 oz. whipped topping
3.4 oz. instant vanilla pudding mix
orange and lime to garnish

Preheat oven to 350º and line a 15" jelly roll pan with parchment paper.  Prepare cake mix according to the directions on the package, adding in the lime zest, and spread evenly into prepared pan.  Bake about 20-22 minutes, until done and cool completely. Prick the cake all over with a fork and then brush it evenly with SunnyD.  Slice the cake into three equal pieces and set aside. Whisk cream cheese and lemon juice together until smooth, then whisk in milk.  Spoon whipped topping over top of this but don't mix in. Sprinkle with pudding mix and then stir it all up well. Spread the filling between the layers of cake and top of the last layer. Garnish with citrus zest and sliced fruit. This dessert must be refrigerated when it's not being devoured by you and your guests!


Thanks for stopping by The Homemaking Party! Hope you're having a great week!


Linking with:

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Vintage Show & Tell #2: Chalkware Piggy Bank

Welcome to Vintage Show & Tell! I'm so excited to be offering this new linky party to my readers. I absolutely love collecting, reading, and writing about vintage and antique treasures so this weekly party will be a real treat for me! I hope you'll all enjoy visiting one another, as well, and invite your friends to come party, too!

Tonight I want to introduce you to my piggy bank. For as long as I can remember, this sweet piece has been my special coin bank. I've never been one to hold on to money for very long, so he's been a very hungry piggy over the years! From very early childhood until I graduated high school, he sat on my dresser or shelf. Once Jamie and I were married, I packed him away in a box of special things, but I've recently dug him out and he now sits on my dresser, once again!

This is a mid-century piece and is made of chalkware composite, a material that's sturdier than regular chalkware. Chalkware was known as "poor man's porcelain" and was popularly used in carnival game prizes in the early 1900s before stuffed animals became the coveted prize. It's hand-painted with oils or watercolors and glazed. It was made in Taiwan and has many bumps and scars. Still, it's a priceless treasure to me!

I'd love to see what you've got to share today! Link up your vintage stuff---(older posts are fine!)---and let's all visit one another and be inspired by fun things from the past!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Lemon Tea Cookies


Welcome to The Homemaking Party! I'm so happy you're here visiting as I've got a very yummy recipe for you to try out! Do you love lemon? I do! Lemon cake, lemon tea, lemon chicken...it's one of my favorite flavors. Today I'm showing off a recipe for Lemon Tea Cookies. Unlike any other recipe I've found, these ones are definitely full of tart lemon flavor.

Lemon Tea Cookies
2 c. flour
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. cornstarch
1 c. butter, softened
1 egg yolk
juice and zest of 1 lemon

Combine flour, powdered sugar, and cornstarch in a bowl and mix with a wire whisk. Zest the lemon and squeeze out the juice. Then stir in the zest, juice and yolk until it's all well blended. Scoop the mixture onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 350º for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges and not doughy in the middle. 



Friday, June 16, 2017

What Would You Do With This Vintage Post Office Box Door?

Hello friends! Thanks so much for stopping by for my revived Vintage "Stuff" Linky Party---The Vintage Show and Tell! It's been a year or so since I last ran this party and I'm super excited to be offering it again. Please link up your recent posts featuring vintage "stuff" and share the party with all your friends!

Earlier this week, I was at the post office here in Pendleton, Oregon and noticed these metal post office box doors sitting on the counter. They were selling them for $5 each so I asked the clerk about them. She said they had a whole box of them that they were selling and let me sift through it to find the best one. Most of them were dated in the 1950s but this one from 1971 was the only one that still retained the box number. 

What kinds of crafty things would you do with this cute bit of history? I was looking up ideas and found this neat project by Brynne at The Gathered Home. I especially like her little GIF that shows how she painted around the Greek key designs.

I can't wait to see what you've got to share with us this week!
Linking with:

Beverly's Pink Saturday @ How Sweet the Sound
Dare to Share

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Our Visit to the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center and Gold Panning in Sumpter, Oregon


Welcome to the Homemaking Party! We're still in Oregon---ha! A couple weeks ago, Mom and I took the kids back up to Baker County to visit the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Baker City. It was a blast!

We started off with goofy pictures in these photo stands...

Grandma even got a funny shot with Liam!

Then we went into the museum where they had a big room set up for kids to interact with toys, games, art supplies, dress up, games of mathematics and skill, and more. Here Liam and Kynthia have been out rabbit hunting with their trusty wolf dog.

Then we wandered around the exhibits. These life-size and life-like scenes are amazing!

Some of these looked like real people standing there...

After the museum, we headed up the mountain to visit Sumpter again.

Elisha has been wanting to learn to pan for gold for several years. Since it was his 14th birthday weekend, I decided it would be a great time to take him!

He found many garnets and lots of gold flakes!

Then Grandma bought him his own gold pan! It was a great day!

Thanks for visiting the Homemaking Party! Be sure to come back Saturday morning as I'm reviving my Vintage Show & Tell Linky Party and have several neat things to show you!


Linking with:

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Our Visit to the Old West Mining Town of Sumpter, Oregon


Good morning! Welcome to the Homemaking Party. 
Last Friday, we were having a great afternoon. The kids were all doing school nicely and I was puttering, when it occurred to me... I wanted to go to the mountains! So, we did. Two hours one way to our favorite old mining town of Sumpter, Oregon. Sumpter is about 30 minutes up the mountain from Baker City, the town Jamie and I grew up in. Three times a year, they offer the Sumpter Flea Market, featuring vendors from all over the northwest and Memorial Day weekend is the kickoff. I knew Friday afternoon was the calm before the storm of visitors so I figured it would be the best time to take nine children all by myself. Ha! 


On the way through Baker City, I was reminded of the short time I worked at the restored 19th century Geiser Grand Hotel shortly before we were married. It's gorgeous inside, too.

On the way up the mountain, I stopped to get a photo of Phillips Lake, a favorite hang out spot when Jamie and I were in high school and after we were newly married.

Directly across from the last scene is this one: the Elkhorn Mountains.

Once we got to Sumpter, we parked near the site of the Old Sumpter Bank. It was destroyed in a fire in the early 1900s so all that's left is the vault.

This is one of the oldest buildings in Sumpter, thought to have been built when the town was incorporated in 1866. I'm sure it's got a lot of memories bottled up inside---like an Old West T.A.R.D.I.S.!!!

We took a pretty wooded path down to the Dredge site. Last time I toured the Dredge was high school---about 1995. They've done a lot of restoration work on it since and it's a pretty fun educational site now.

Elisha spent some time explaining the mechanics of this giant mining machine. It was pretty cool. 

On the way back to the van, the girls found a couple pretty rocks.

...then, everyone found gold!!
{"Mom! We found gold! Is this REAL GOLD???"}
Of course me, being the homeschool mom, had to tell them they're painted rocks. They know all about Santa, the Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, too. I'm such a party pooper. If it were my mom telling the story, they'd have glorious leprechauns and beautiful mining fairies dancing in their dreams instead... Ahh well...

Jamie and I have always wanted to take the kids to buy something yummy from the food trucks---but it's always so expensive. This day I splurged and spent $40 on corndogs. I'm not even kidding. That was one corndog per person. But they were yummy! We bought a bag of cotton candy too and the lady thought the kids were so sweet that she gave them a second bag for free!

Oh yeah, and we grabbed a bag of kettle corn too, which these two sillies are so proudly displaying.

On the way back down the mountain, we stopped at this bridge to get one more group photo. Cainan (blue t-shirt) once caught a fish here with Daddy when he was about two years old. 

It was a fun day full of special memories. I'm trying to get the kids out of town once a week while we're here. We're actually going back up to this area on Saturday---this time taking Grandma with us. I'll keep you posted!

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