Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Miss Bea's Birthday Party

It's time for an old-fashioned birthday party!

Hang up the decorations!

Wrap some presents!

Ice the cake!

Light the candles!

Cut the cake!

And sing "Happy Birthday" to a special girl!

Miss Bea had a lovely day full of special surprises. She had a quiet family party with a special rainbow cake and dinner out. We also did some shopping for special gifts with clues that Miss Bea had to decipher to figure out where her what stores we were going to and what gifts we were buying. She had fun picking out a new bicycle and helmet, a few pretty blouses, and a birthstone purity ring.
We had beautifully warm weather for the first official day of spring so Miss Bea and I wore skirts and short sleeves most of the day.

A fun an special day for a sweetheart of a girl. I love you Bea!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Not What These Hands have Done


I love the words of this old hymn that is sung by Nathan Clark George on his CD Rise in the Darkness. If you haven't heard of NCG check out his music filled with poignant lyrics and Biblical truth. Hope you've had a blessed weekend!

Not What These Hands have Done
by Horatius Bonar, 1808-1899

1. Not what these hands have done
Can save this guilty soul;
Not what this toiling flesh has borne
Can make my spirit whole.

2. Not what I feel or do
Can give me peace with God;
Not all my prayers and sighs and tears
Can bear my awe-full load.

3. Thy work alone, O Christ,
Can ease this weight of sin;
Thy blood alone, O Lamb of God,
Can give me peace within.

4. Thy love to me, O God,
Not mine, O Lord to Thee,
Can rid me of this dark unrest
And set my spirit free.

5. Thy grace alone, O God,
To me can pardon speak;
Thy power alone, O Son of God,
Can this sore bondage break.

6. I bless the Christ of God,
I rest on love divine,
And with unfaltering lip and heart
I call this Savior mine.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Miss Bea!


Happy Birthday to a sweetie pie!
My dear sister is 14-years-old today and my family and I are going out to celebrate so I'll post a little bit more about her special day at a later time.

Happy Birthday Miss Bea! :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!


"St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time - a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic." - Adrienne Cook


"When after the Winter alarmin',
The Spring steps in so charmin',
So fresh and arch
In the middle of March,
Wid her hand St. Patrick's arm on..."
- Alfred Percival Graves

Everything is coming up green around me. Even breakfast has a greener hue!

So far today I've eaten pancakes colored with green food coloring, donned green clothing and my Claddagh pendant necklace and green jeweled hair tie. TCM today is having a marathon of older Irish films and I watched My Wild Irish Rose with my mom and sister. Currently I am watching a Celtic Woman concert and posting about Irish things. Later my family and I will have corned beef and cabbage dinner, and we're looking up desert recipes (it's tricky because our oven broke down last night!). It's a perfect Spring day outside, the sun is bright and the air is fairly warm, a good reminder and Spring officially starts on Saturday! :)

Even my computer has a St Paddy's Day makeover by donning green wallpaper that makes Henry Tilney look a bit like a leprechaun! You can find this and other Jane Austen adaptation wallpapers at the Jane Austen Fan Club.
This made me reflect on whether Jane Austen had written about Ireland or included Irish characters in her stories. Besides Miss Austen's own Irish suitor I indeed found a few mentioned in some of her books!

Irish actor Ciaran Hinds portrays Captain Frederick Wentworth

The funnest is this quote about Captain Wentworth from Persuasion:
"A very fine young man indeed!" said Lady Dalrymple. "More air than one often sees in Bath. Irish, I dare say."
High praise from Lady Dalrymple who was part of Anne's "family connections among the nobility of England and Ireland..."!

Another Irishman is the much talked about but never seen Mr. Dixon in Emma. Jane Fairfax seemed to have a special liking for Ireland, according to Miss Bates "she heard everything he might be telling Miss Campbell about his own home in Ireland...Jane was quite longing to go to Ireland, from his account of things." Ireland also seemed to be a special note between Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill who noted of a music book he bought with the pianoforte: "And here are a new set of Irish melodies....True affection only could have prompted it."


When Irish eyes are smiling,
'Tis like a morn in spring.
With a lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angels sing.
~Author Unknown

I pray your day is filled with lovely bits of fun like these.

Happy St Patrick's Day everyone!

God Bless,
Miss Laurie :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ready For Some Green


Tomorrow is Saint Patrick's Day! And I am gearing up for a mini celebration of my own. Why celebrate? First because of St. Patrick himself, one of the first missionaries to spread the gospel to Ireland. I enjoy Patrick's story since I first heard it dramatized on Adventures In Odyssey by Focus On The Family. After reading some of his writings his testimony is clearly faith in Christ.

"If I have any worth, it is to live my life for God so as to teach these peoples; even though some of them still look down on me." - Saint Patrick


Another reason I enjoy St. Patrick's Day is because it's another excuse to listen to my favorite Celtic music! Lively and fun, Irish ballads, reels and other songs sung by Irish natives are among some of my favorites to listen to.
There are also a few good period films that I enjoy watching around this time: The Quiet Man, Widows' Peak, Finian's Rainbow, The Happiest Millionaire and Behind The Waterfall (not period but a good family film).


Green is also a lot of fun to wear this time of year because after the white and brown of winter it is wonderful to start seeing color! Green reminds me that soon spring will be upon us and plants will soon start to grow. St. Patrick's Day is also a wonderful reminder to me of God's love and saving grace that makes us new creatures growing in His love.

So what do you do special for St. Patrick's Day?
Hope you're having a lovely day!

God Bless,
Miss Laurie :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Feelin' Feminine - Day 8

It is Day 8 and our last day of the Feelin' Feminine Challenge! We did 8 days altogether because we started on a Sunday and wanted to end on a Sunday too. Today we just wanted to post one picture of our outfits and then get to answering some questions about the challenge.

It was really rainy outside today so we took some photos inside. We wore green today because St. Patrick's Day is coming up!

Miss Bea's Skirt: Homemade jean skirt, this was another Home-School project she did last Fall
Miss Bea's Shirt: White short sleeve with embroidered roses
Miss Bea's Sweater: Green cotton sweater a hand-me-down from our friend Sarah
Miss Bea's Shoes: Black Mary-Janes from Kohl's

My Skirt: Gray polyester, bought on sale at Fashion Bug
My Blouse: Striped 3/4 length sleeve button down from Target, green tank underneath
My Shoes: Brown/Green flats with pointed toe, K-Mart

I want to thank my sweet sister for taking on this challenge with me. It was a lot of fun and we certainly learned quite a bit. I love you Bea! :)


Now just a short quiz, our answers to the questions on the Feelin' Feminine website.

  • How was the experience for you? A bit awkward at first but we both really enjoyed our time in skirts!
  • Any particular stories? The second day of the Challenge we went for a country walk and it was certainly different "hiking" in a skirt.
  • Did wearing skirts rather than pants affect the way you felt? Yes, wearing skirts made us feel dressed up and feminine.
  • The way you felt about yourself? We felt prettier and more ladylike.
  • The way you acted? Not too much, we were around the house most of the week so we really just acted normally.
  • The way you carried yourself? Wearing skirts kind of made us stand straighter and walk a bit more nobly.
  • Were you able to go about your everyday activities as freely as in pants? Most of them, we hiked and went shopping in our skirts, I drove the van and did errands just the same. Miss Bea says that riding a bike in a skirt was rather tricky but she did it for a while. :)
  • How did people respond? Some people were a bit surprised that we wanted to take on this challenge but most were very encouraging and said they admired our determination, especially with these cooler temperatures.
  • Were you more respected? By some people, but in general people's attitudes toward us were the same as always.
  • Did you feel more like a lady? Yes! Miss Bea says she felt more like a Princess and felt we were more dressed up than usual. It was fun trying hairstyles and putting a bit more thought into what we wore each day.
  • After the challenge do you desire to keep wearing skirts more regularly, or were you desperate to wear pants again? We kind of want to wear pants but just because it's turned really cold these past few days and our ankles are freezing. But we really enjoy wearing skirts and wouldn't mind wearing more skirts as the weather turns warmer.
So the verdict is, it wasn't much of a challenge wearing skirts for a week because we really enjoyed it! :)

Thanks to all of you who commented and encouraged us throughout the week! We had a lot of fun taking photos for ya'll.

Hope you have a lovely day!

God Bless,
Miss Laurie

Complete In Thee


The hymn below was one that a fellow blogger posted with the video and the tune, harmony and especially the words are beautiful ones to meditate on today. May you be blessed as you attend your church services today and remember than Christ's finished work for us has made us whole and complete.

Complete In Thee

Complete in Thee! no work of mine
Could take, dear Lord, the place of Thine;
Thy blood hath pardon bought for me,
And now I stand complete in Thee.

Yea, justified! O blessed thought!
And sanctified! Salvation wrought!
Thy blood hath pardon bought for me,
And glorified, I too, shall be!

Complete in Thee - each want supplied,
And no good thing to me denied;
Since Thou my portion, Lord, wilt be,
I ask no more, complete in Thee.

Complete in Thee! No more shall sin.
Thy grace hath conquered, reign within.
Thy voice shall bid the temptor flee,
And I shall stand complete in Thee.

Dear Saviour! when before Thy bar
All tribes and tongues assembled are,
Among Thy chosen I shall be,
At Thy right hand, complete in Thee.

Author: Aaron Rl Wolfe 1821-1902
Refrain: James M. Gray 1851-1935

Below is a beautiful rendering of this amazing hymn! Enjoy! :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Feelin' Feminine - Day 7

I can't believe it's Day 7 already! Because it was Saturday Miss Bea and I really didn't try to dress up very much. Miss Bea and I donned skirts and sneakers for some errands and a romp in the pasture to take photos.
My big adventures for today were mailing a birthday package to my friend, an hour of driving practice, lunch with my mom and brother, and a visit from our dear friend Sarah.

It was very cold when we finally took pictures today and we were in a very silly mood. So our photos today are funny ones to match our weekend fun. :)

Miss Bea was very chilly so she tucked her hands up in her sleeves.

Miss Bea's Skirt: Homemade navy blue skirt, this was a home-school sewing project from last year.
Miss Bea's Shirt: Flip-flop tee with long sleeve red tee underneath for warmth, both from Walmart

When I went to touch the metal gate the bar was so cold - just at that moment Miss Bea caught my reaction.

My Skirt: Jean skirt found at Goodwill, same as Day 2
My Shirt: Brown crisscross shirt, Walmart
My Hair: Ponytail with headband, just thrown up for an on-the-go day

Miss Bea's Hair: Combed straight with a barrette on the side (nothing special I just liked the photo)

So today was the last official day of our Feelin' Feminine Challenge but we hope to post pictures of our church outfits tomorrow and answers to the questions found at the Feelin' Feminine website.

Hope ya'll are having a great weekend!

God Bless,
Miss Laurie :)

Feelin' Feminine - Day 6

Today we ladies were quite late in getting our photos taken and had some camera troubles so didn't end up getting them posted before we had to do the evening grocery shopping. So here's Day 6, a little later than I wanted. We had lots of fun today!

Today was a pink day!

Miss Bea's Skirt: Jean skirt from Sears, same as Day 2
Miss Bea's Blouse: Pink cotton shirt over top of a pink floral long-sleeve tee. I love the colors together.

Miss Bea's Hair: Half up in a barrette, we call this hairstyle a "Pollyanna" and it's one of my favorites.

My Skirt: Jean skirt on sale at Fashion Bug, same as Day 3
My Blouse: Pink stripe Goodwill find, I love the cut!

My Jewelry: Pink dangle earrings and heart charm bracelet, Birthday gifts from a special friend and former co-worker

My Hair: Top part clipped back and to the side with a silver barrette. I love this hairstyle, so simple but usually turns out nice.

So Miss Bea and I had fun out shopping in our skirts. It did get a tad chilly around our ankles later in the evening but wasn't too bad. Our find of the night was at the bookstore we found a set of all 7 Narnia books dramatized by Focus On The Family Radio Theatre. I love this series and the set of 19 CDs was only $12! I was so excited and look forward to listening to the series again!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Feelin' Feminine - Day 5

I can't believe it's already day 5! Only two more days to go!
Though we wore our skirts most of the day it took us a while to take pictures so with the sun going down it was very cold outside and tricky to take photos with out shivering! :)

Miss Bea's Skirt: Jean skirt with embroidered flower applique, thrift store find
Miss Bea's Shirt: Lime green short sleeve tee, found on sale at L.L. Bean
Miss Bea's Cape: Mauve fleece cape, gift from an elderly friend
Miss Bea's Shoes: Lime green clogs

Miss Bea's Hair: French braided pig tails

My Skirt: Ankle length jean skirt, from Sear's (this is one of my favorites, comfy and versatile)
My Blouse: Floral corduroy with pink long sleeve tee underneath, both K-Mart finds
My Shoes: Brown clogs with tassels, Walmart (these shoes are a bit old but I still love them because they are comfy, add a little height to my 5 ft 2inches, and the tassels jangle when I walk :) )

My Hair: Simple bun (I had wanted to do french braids but...it just wasn't working today! Miss Bea calls this a "Little Dorrit" style bun)

So it's off to help make dinner, and we'll see you all tomorrow.
Hoping you've had a fabulous day!

God bless,
Miss Laurie :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Feelin' Feminine - Day 4

Today was a warmer day and the very bright sun made us squint in most of our photos. We stepped over the wire fence into an empty pasture next to our house to take these photos.


Miss Bea's Skirt: Short Jean from Walmart
Miss Bea's Top: Red stripe polo from Walmart w/ long sleeve tee for warmth and modesty
Miss Bea's Hair: Piggytails!


My Skirt: Black calf-length on sale at Fashion Bug
My Shirt: Red long-sleeve embroidered tee with tank underneath for modesty, on sale at Kohl's
My Jacket: Jean blazer on sale at Kohl's (I love the cut of it)
My Jewelry: Silver fashion ring from Kohl's and red jeweled flower earring that were a Christmas present from my friend Karis (both of which you can't see)


My Hair: Curled with my hot rollers and pinned on the side with a red flowered clip.

Today we learned a lesson about taking how we look too seriously and how even though we look nice on the outside it's still the inside that God sees and that's the part He's most concerned about. It's good to look feminine and neat and pretty but it's more important to be clothed in virtues that imitate and honor Christ.

This lesson reminds me of a favorite verse:
"Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised." - Proverbs 31:30

I pray that you have had a lovely day!
God bless,
Miss Laurie :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Feelin' Feminine - Day 3

Ever have one of those days where everything you try on just doesn't seem to fit right or match? That was me today!
The outfit I was planning on just wasn't working at all (sweater didn't match the skirt AND didn't fit right!).
After one failed photo shoot, two frozen young ladies came back inside where we rummaged through my closet and bureau trying to find something for me to wear. In the midst of clothing being tossed around the room this is what our cat Gunther had to say about most of my outfits:

He really yawns like this, no kidding! :)

(Gunther really wasn't much help but he was super cute as always!)

So after several photo shoots and the brisk wind whipping our hair every which way Miss Bea and I finally found a few good pics:


Miss Bea's Skirt: Goodwill find, jean skirt with pink flower applique, so cute!
Miss Bea's Shirt: Pink embroidered t-shirt w/ white tank underneath for modesty, both from Walmart
Miss Bea's Jacket: Grey hoodie on sale at Kohl's
Miss Bea's Shoes: Pink crocks with her flower and butterfly buttons
Miss Bea's Hair: Top pulled back with pink flower clip, really very cute!


My Skirt: Jean, on sale at Fashion Bug
My Shirt: Flowered long-sleeve tee from...?...I don't remember...maybe Walmart?
My Jacket: Magenta hoodie from Walmart
My Shoes: Brown Mary-Janes from Walmart
My Hair: Wind blown with a headband thrown in to help restore order :)

So we both got very cold today because the wind was quite harsher than yesterday, but we had fun.
Now I'm off to finish my Bible course on the book of Luke, plan what's for dinner and read the new book I got in the mail today. I'm so excited to read His Perfect Faithfulness, the love story of Eric and Leslie Ludy!

Hope you're having a fantastic day!

God bless,
Miss Laurie :)

New Header - March

I'm getting excited for Spring so I wanted to change the header to one that added a hint of Spring. Little Amy Dorrit sure does that, I just love her bright face and sweet disposition!
Moving headers seem to be a thing I do. I'v actually made up a whole bunch of different headers and hope to use all in due time. So ever couple months or so my header may change.

This was my Winter header:


Monday, March 8, 2010

Feelin' Feminine - Day 2

Last day of the official Feelin' Feminine Challenge and the second day of my challenge!
The day started off with a ladies' country walk with a dear friend, my sister and my mother. Strolling down a dirt road with a slight breeze, warm sunshine and Christian encouragement.


Miss Bea's Skirt: Jean skirt from Sears
Miss Bea's Shirt: Quarter-length jacket with light blue tee underneath, from Walmart
Miss Bea's Shoes: Black mary-janes from Kohl's
Miss Bea's Hair: Ponytail!


My Skirt: Jean skirt found at Goodwill, an old stand-by
My Blouse: Goodwill find, checked wrap blouse, tag says Avon
My Shoes: Dark blue crocks
My Jewelry: Aquamarine necklace and earrings, birthday gift from a dear friend


My Hair: Up-do with lots of bobby pins and jeweled barrette cover

The rest of my day will be spent with online Bible courses and hopefully some house cleaning.

I pray your day is going well!
God bless,
Miss Laurie :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Feelin' Feminine - Day 1

This is Day 6 of the official Feelin' Feminine Challenge and Day 1 of mine.

It was a beautiful morning, bright sunshine warmed the air and cheered the heart of fellow church-goers. My brother and I are learning how to drive and I had the privilege of driving my family to church this morning.

Miss Bea and me after church

My Skirt: Black faux suede, Walmart a few years ago
My Blouse: Walmart
My Shawl: Birthday present from my dear friend Sarah
My Jewelry: Pearl earrings from Claire's, pearl button bracelet from my friend Amanda
My Shoes: Black Land's End flats on sale at Sear's

Miss Bea's Skirt: Black hand-me-down
Miss Bea's Sweater: Thrift-store find
Miss Bea's Jewelry: Ladybug earrings


My Hair: Half twist with pearl barrette

My sweet sister Miss Bea who is my challenge buddy!

First day is going well, we're both really enjoying wearing skirts and being girly and feminine! Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I'm Feelin' Feminine!


Since I first heard about the Feelin' Feminine Challenge a few months ago I've really loved the idea and wanted to join in. So I didn't know that challenges officially start at the beginning of every month and the March challenge is being hosted by Miss Sarah-Anne and started on Tuesday. But I've decided to join in tomorrow finishing off the week with the other challengers and then continue on by myself (March 7th-14th).

sm 20

To make the challenge more interesting my dear sister Miss Bea will be joining me for all 7 (or really 8) days of wearing skirts/dresses. She and I are both very excited to be entirely feminine and girly for a whole week! This will be different for both of us because, although we love wearing skirts, in our very cold winter climate it's just warmer for us to wear pants daily. I'm also looking forward to trying different hairstyles each day and dressing up a bit more.

So my post for the next week will mostly be on the Feelin' Feminine Challenge. There will definitely be pictures! I'm so excited to get started! :)

I pray you are having a good weekend!

God Bless,
Miss Laurie

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Few Recommendations

I'm sorry it has been so long since I last posted. It's been since last month in fact!
These past few days have been filled with storms both spiritually and then physical storms in my northern climate which left me without power for 60+ hours. It was very interesting trying to celebrate my father's birthday with no electricity - it's rather hard to bake cakes and watch new movies. But my family and I made it through and mostly enjoyed our time "camping" and seeing the joy in simple things. Now that I have electricity again it makes me appreciate my modern conveniences such as hot water, lights and washing and cooking appliances. But I've also re-discovered the fun of playing board games and card games with my family and watching the snowflakes fall outside our windows.

Now as promised here are some recommendations of items I have recently purchased and have been enjoying:


My family and I had been trying to watch BBC's new production of Emma on Masterpiece Theatre but for whatever reason our local station never did air the final episode! I also found PBS' airing Emma in 3 episodes to be very disappointing as I noticed a few scenes from the original were cut rather short for time's sake. So Emma was purchased from Amazon.com for a very low price (my local department store is selling it for 5 dollars more) and a re-viewing of Emma commenced. What a delight to find this 2 disc set does indeed contain all original scenes in their entirety! Also there are four lovely special features on the DVD set which include an interview with actor Michael Gambon, and discussions about Emma's Locations, Emma's Costumes and Emma's Music. These beautifully done behind-the-scenes videos show how much thought was put into every detail of the miniseries. How lovely when you can see actors and movie makers really understanding Jane Austen's novel! They just totally get it!
I am really loving this adaptation of Emma, it is so thoughtfully done and has many lovely moments.


Along with my collection of Jane Austen movie adaptations is my much smaller Jane Austen soundtrack collection. I love the music from the new Emma miniseries and truly coveted this soundtrack to add to my collection. I must have been feeling rich because I went ahead and bought it along with the Emma DVD. And I was not disappointed! This is an excellent recording of some very beautiful period music. There are 28 tracks and just about 45 minutes of musical delights! It contains two of the dance numbers from the film and each moment of excitement, sadness and joy are bottled up in this wonderful CD. Highly recommended!


When purchasing the Emma Soundtrack Amazon ads brought up another interesting item none other than The Music of Cranford soundtrack! I didn't even know there was such a thing! And come to find out the music was composed by none other than Carl Davis who also composed the wonderful scores for Pride & Prejudice 1996. This CD has 30 tracks and just about 1 hour of listening time! I was also extremely pleased by the cover art and accompanying booklet which not only has notes about and by the composer but also includes detailed info on each track of music and what is happening during each piece of music! It is altogether a lovely item and I am totally enjoying it!

So there are three items that if you don't have them you absolutely should! I just love period drama and music and these are some of the finest!

Hope you're having a simply delightful day! God bless! :)
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