Monday, February 27, 2012

Keepers at Home ~ Historical Home Tour



"Home! The place where all man's best and happiest hours are passed.

Where in our language shall we find a word of four letters that stirs the sweet pulses of life,

like this of home - our home?"

~ Sarah Josepha Hale

Chawton, Nr Alton, Home of Jane Austen

“Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort.”

~ Jane Austen


Rocky Ridge Farm, Home to Laura Ingalls Wilder

"Home is the nicest word there is."

~ Laura Ingalls Wilder


Orchard House, Home of Louisa May Alcott


“The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.”

~ Louisa May Alcott


Dorset, Summer Home of Elizabeth Prentiss (Photo Credit)


“The best convent for a woman is the seclusion of her own home.

There she may find her vocation and fight her battles,

and there she may learn the reality and the earnestness of life.”

 ~ Elizabeth Prentiss



The Biblical Home


"That they may teach the young women to be sober,

to love their husbands, to love their children,

To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good,

obedient to their own husbands,

that the word of God be not blasphemed."

 ~ Titus 2:4-5




Keepers at Home


Oh, the sweet sentiments of home!

What a blessing to be a "keeper"

where your dear ones roam.

You have the honor to govern the place that all hold dear,

Embrace this beautiful role with love,

beauty, godliness and great care.

~ JES


Friday, February 24, 2012

Hot Chocolate

Buy at Art.com
Hot Chocolate
by Raimundo De Madrazo Y Garetta


A cold winter day, a blazing fire, a book… What is missing? Cocoa, of course! 


Have you ever made some from scratch? Why not bless your family tonight with a tray of mugs laden with hot chocolate? Be lavish… Add dollops of freshly whipped cream or some nice and thick, homemade marshmallows.  These small details in life will enrich the memories of all. You will delight them with the pleasing aroma and comfort them with the warmth of a steaming cup in their hand…


Though is seems by the painting above that the French really understood how to appreciate the tasty things of life, it is said that George and Martha Washington enjoyed hot chocolate together when it was still a European treat. They used to drink their imported cocoa daily out of gold and white porcelain cups which they would refer to as "chocolate cups". You can find Mrs. Washington's recipe here.


Questions for mothers and maidens:
  • Do you know where chocolate first originated?
  • Do you know what European country was the first to embrace it?
  • Do you know what countries grow it today?


Why not prepare a pretty tray and dust out those dainty mugs and enjoy an evening of "sweet" fellowship with your family before spring makes her entrance.


"A generous man will prosper;
he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."
~ Proverbs 11:25

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Olympia Morata



"I long to fade away,
so great is my confidence in Christ,
and to be with him in whom my life thrives."

~ Last Poem of Olympia Morata, Prior to her death

Who is Olympia Morata?

Olympia Morata (1526 - October 26, 1555) was a scholar, poetess, tutor, and hymn writer during the Italian Renaissance and Reformation.  Her faith in God sustained her during a dark and dangerous time in religious history.

Interesting facts about her life: 
  • Her father, a scholar, recognized intelligence in his oldest daughter and raised her as a classial scholar. By the age of 12, she was able to converse fluently in Greek and Latin and began translating important works and performing dissertations in front of the elite.
  • She was invited to tutor the princess Anna in the Court of Duke Ercole II in Italy. Her abilities were already widely known which made her a great ornament in the Court at Ferrara where friction was growing between the opposing religious beliefs of the Duke and Duchess. Duchess Renee harbored and invited many reformers to the Court  (in which John Calvin was a visitor) due to her Protestant stand while her husband sympathized with Rome in order to maintain peace and power in his duchy.
  • In 1547, Olympia's father became ill and she returned home. After he died (being a passionate convert to Protestantism), she began educating her brothers and sisters and was responsible for the well being of her family. 
  • She attempted to return to Court in hopes of providing for her family, but was denied for reasons that were unclear, though somehow related to rumors and reform. Now, at the age of 22, she felt completely abandoned. One friend stood by her side, the godly Lavinia della Rovere ( a noblewoman). Together they discussed life and the Scriptures. God was nudging her closer to Him and she began her own personal religious journey at this point in her frazzled life.
  • It proved a blessing that she was released from service of the Court for later she was able to reflect that, "I am glad for all that has happened to me, for if I had lingered any longer in that court, it would have been the end for me and my salvation.”
  • In 1549/1550, Olympia married Andreas Gunthler who was a poet, musician and doctor (who also shared her faith). She embraced the role of wife and was truly a woman in love. Her letters show deep feelings for her husband as they shared a close relationship and bond to their dying days.
  • Because of their Protestant beliefs, they were in great danger in Italy who was persecuting those who went against the church of Rome. The beginning of their marriage started with a 500 mile pilgrimage to Germany for safety only to find more danger!  The city they chose to settle in was seized during a war for over a year and at times they were forced to take refuge and live in their cellar. Famines and plagues followed this dark time in that city and Andreas her husband almost lost his life to the pestilence. When the city was finally released by the warring parties, the victory turned sour as the soldiers began burning down the town. Olympia and her husband managed to escape during this enemy raid only to find out that Protestants weren't accepted in the nearby cities and therefore they were arrested and put in prison to die!
  • She wrote “Among the refugees I looked like the queen of the beggars. I entered the town with bare feet, unkept hair, torn clothes (which weren’t even mine but had been loaned me by some woman). I was so exhausted from the journey that I developed a fever, which I could not get rid of in all my wanderings.”
  • They finally found refuge in Heidelberg after being released from jail due to mediations on behalf of friends and of course, the Providence of God! They began to rebuild their life together but her health had never recovered.
  • During all this time, she had tutored various students in her home of prominent people along with her eight year old brother whom she brought out of Italy to raise for her widowed mother.
  • She translated seven psalms in proper meter into Greek which her husband set to music allowing many Europeans to sing the same psalms together from any country. She also wrote poetry and letters to fellow women urging them to help support the reformers wherever she had influence. Sadly, most of her poetic work was destroyed in the fire during the siege.
  • At the age of 29, her last words to her husband were: "I saw, in my sleep, a place full of the clearest and most beautiful light. I am totally happy. I can barely make you out anymore, but everything else seems to me to be full of the most beautiful flowers."
  • Her epitaph described her “a woman whose genius and singular knowledge of both languages (Latin and Greek), whose probity in morals and highest zeal for piety were always held above the common level.”

Source 1, Source 2


What is beautiful in the life of Olympia Morata was the fact that you can see the hand of God bringing her closer to Him in her life. She was brought up as a child prodigy, was given all her wants at the Court of Ferrara and was highly esteemed in all the right circles. But her father's sickness brought her home, she was then released from the court by the Duchy and malicious rumors humbled her reputation. She felt abandoned! It was at this time in her life that she realized she was not alone. She found strength in the promises of the Scriptures. She found true wisdom, the fear of the Lord! And by the time she was forced to leave her homeland, lived under siege, lost her home and goods to a fire, became a refugee and lost her health, it was her faith in Christ that sustained her and no longer the works of classical philosophers. Thus, she used her talents to serve Him and loved Him until her last breath. Would there have been the same outcome had life gone as "she" had planned?





Weight of a Flame: The Passion of Olympia Morata (Chosen Daughters Series) by Simonetta Carr

This is an excellent historical fiction book, (based on fact) that girls 13 and up would benefit from. I found it to be very educational, well researched and her life extremely interesting. Many famous figures of history are woven into this story of 16th Century Europe. (Please keep in mind that she was raised with her calling being to the pen and not the embroidery needle, symbolizing the domestic arts, and there is some reference to this in the book on pages 40 and 41.)










Friday, February 17, 2012

Lighthouse & Lamplighter Giveaway Announcement

Lighthouse Landmark I by Thomas Kinkade


"Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
~ Matthew 5:16


The winner of the Lighthouse & Lamplighter G I V E A W A Y which was in honor of Grace Darling ~ Victorian heroine & daughter of a lighthouse keeper ~ is…

Jo Thiessen

Please email me with your address so I can send you the lovely book!





I hope you enjoy your copy of Saved at Sea by Mrs. O.F. Walton

and thank you for participating!



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Remembering Ribbons

Ribbons and Laces for Very Pretty Faces by Edmund Blair Leighton


Ribbons are such a feminine piece of our past…

Their popularity was proven by the fact that people

used to sell them as a business by themselves.

A Basket of Ribbons by Christen Brun

(Though not always successful…) 
Would you like to reinvent the ribbon in your dress? 

They can be used as a headband...


They can be worn around braids, woven through braids, or tied to ponytails…


This young lady uses a thick one as a sash around her collar.

Ribbons by Pati Bannister


Here are two more examples of hair adornment.

I think they are beautiful and feminine!

Ribbons today...

Incidentally, today the pink ribbon has taken on a new meaning and is associated with breast cancer awareness. This started in 1991 when the Susan G. Komen Foundation handed them out to runners in the New York City race for breast cancer survivors. The pink ribbon was adopted as the official symbol of breast cancer awareness the following year (in 1992) by the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


In Canada, the Royal Canadian Mint produced a silver commemorative breast cancer coin in 2006 with Queen Elizabeth on one side and an enameled pink ribbon on the other. 
In future posts, we shall take a peek into the past and see how the women

in history wore these lovely strands of color along with some historical meanings.






Linked up with: Deep Roots at Home

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lighthouses & Lamplighter Giveaway!

Grace Darling and Her Father by William Bell Scott

Where every parting agony is hushed,
And hope and fear mix not in further strife.
"But courage, Father! let us out to sea-- A few may yet be saved."
The Daughter's words, Her earnest tone, and look beaming with faith,
Dispel the Father's doubts: nor do they lack
The noble-minded Mother's helping hand
To launch the boat; and with her blessing cheered,
And inwardly sustained by silent prayer,
Together they put forth, Father and Child!

~ An Excerpt from the Poem Grace Darling by William Wordsworth

The painting above by William Bell Scott depicts the Victorian Era heroism of Mr. Darling and his daughter Grace that we read about in our "Portraits from the Past" last month. William Wordsworth even penned a poem to commend the bravery of these lighthouse keepers written about here. The keeper of the lighthouse had quite a job on his hands. Such responsibility weighed on them for lives depended upon their illumination!

Did you know that the family of Robert Louis Stevenson were lighthouse architects? His grandfather is responsible for building the largest one in Scotland with the opening of these words,

"May the great Architect of the universe complete and bless this building!"




It seems like lighthouses were the topic this month in my home! We just finished reading the Lamplighter Publishing book titled, Saved at Sea by Mrs. O.F. Walton and I thought it would be fun to offer this little treasure as a *G I V E A W A Y*. To enter, you just need to answer the following questions by leaving a response in the comment box. Winners will be announced this Friday the 17th so be sure to check back so I can get the appropriate email and address of the winner. One entry per person please.

Questions for the wives, mothers and maidens:
  • Who is your treasured heroine in the Bible?
  • Who is your favorite Christian heroine of the past?


"The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
the LORD is the strength of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?"
~ Psalm 27:1






Saved at Sea by Mrs. O.F. Walton Written in 1879 and republished by  Lamplighter Publishing, this is a sweet chapter book for ages 8 - 12 years of age or would make an excellent family read aloud.

"On the lonely island the lighthouse stands, warning of impending danger and providing light for seafarers in the frightening world of the dark turbulent seas. But even as they keep watch, old Sandy Fergusson and his grandson Alick can’t prevent the raging storms that lurk ahead."






Birdie's Lighthouse by Deborah Hopkinson (4 - 8 years of age)
A fun, picture book about a young girl based on a true story.








Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Godly Princess Unit Study

To be honest, I never nurtured the "princess" stage in my daughter's life. I was convinced it was too much pampering when a true servant of God was about service and not being served. However, when I came across the books below, I begin to see the word "princess" in a new light. A princess could also be a daughter of the King... the King of Kings! This is the message worth teaching and below you will find some ideas to conduct a Godly Princess Unit Study fit for a Daughter of the King…


Subjects covered are purity, service, hospitality, marriage, manners, etc… all through books about the princess.



Read Aloud Chapter Book Suggestion: Dear Princess: A Book for Girls by Mary M. Landis (Though this book is geared towards girls in their teen years, with it's easy to understand writing and practical illustrations of life, I think girls of all ages will glean some gold from this book. It is written by an Amish/Mennonite woman and is very conservative which I appreciate in this day and age. With that being said, the author does include some teachings on head coverings/adornment which you may or may not share the same conviction in. Consider it a good time to discuss those interpretations with your daughter.) About the book:
"Jesus is calling our dear, young girls to heaven's purity. He wants every one of them to be a princess--a child of the King. Does your heart sing? Do your lips smile? Are you happy, joyous, and lovable? These are characteristics of the King's daughter, our dear Princess.  Dear Princess addresses every young Christian girl as a princess of her King.  Dear Princess is a "how to" book that is written to lead Christian girls step by step into victorious Christian living--that happiest, most satisfying and joyous life that the heavenly Father has planned that His children shall have. It will be one of the more worthwhile books in the library of the princess." - Dear Princess: A Book for Girls 
Picture Book Suggestions for Younger Girls (though older girls will enjoy as well) : The True Princess by Angela Elwell HuntThe Princess and the Kiss: A Story of God's Gift of Purity by Jennie Bishop, The Princess and the Three Knights by Karen Kingsbury, A Little Princess in the Making: A Royal Guide to Becoming a Girl of Grace, by Emilie Barnes, Princess Tea Parties: Royal Gatherings for Little Ladies by Michael Sparks



Suggested Activities:

I would suggest reading together for a half-hour a day from the above chapter book and having your daughters do some of the listed activities below each day according to their abilities.  Include all work from this study separately in a notebook/binder or composition book for each young lady. Don't forget to let them decorate their own covers with pictures of royal items, stickers or clip art! Encourage them to be creative.  By the end of a few weeks you will have a nice collection of "Godly Princess Scrapbooks" to cherish as an educational keepsake which will be full of verses, ideas and inspiration.

Spelling/Vocabulary for Younger Princesses:
  1. princess
  2. hospitality
  3. royal
  4. obedience
  5. kingdom
  6. castle
  7. coronet
  8. crown
  9. responsibility
  10. daughter
Bible/Penmanship: Copy Psalms 45:13-17 into your scrapbook in your best writing making sure to use all the proper punctuation.

Pharaoh's Daughter Receives the Mother of Moses by James Tissot

Bible History/Research: Try and list as many princesses as you can from the Bible. This might be a challenge because you may have to think outside of the box (for example, Pharaoh's daughter is a princess because pharaoh basically means king, Michal is King Saul's daughter, Tamar is King David's daughter, Athalia is King Ahab's daughter, etc... ).

The Daughter of Herodias Dancing by James Tissot
(Another princess in the Bible though NOT so godly)

Bible History/Research/Character/Thinking Skills: When you are finished with the list above, divide it between godly and ungodly women and alphabetize them. 

Bible History/Language Arts/Character Building: After making the lists above, write a short essay on your favorite princess in the Bible and explain why you chose her. What are the qualities that attracted you to her?
Sarah by James Tissot

Bible History: We read in the Scriptures that Sarai is given a new name:
"And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her." ~ Genesis 17:15-16 KJV
Her new name means, "princess". Write a short essay explaining why you think she received this new name?
"Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement." ~ 1 Peter 3:3-6
Discuss with your daughter that you are a daughter of that same "princess" when you trust in God.

History: Choose a godly princess of the past to research and write a short report on her life and why you think she was a special woman.

Geography: Print out a blank world map and label where each of these princesses of the past were from below (and any others you know of or are using in any of these activities) using a map key and color coding. For instance, label Russia, color it pink, make a map key with a pink square and write next to it, "Princess Anastasia ~ Russia" (Use a different color per country.) ~
  • Princess Anastasia ~ Russia
  • Princess Kaulani ~ Hawaii
  • Princess Victoria ~ England
  • Princess Pocahontas ~ Modern Day United States (Native American Princess)
  • Pharaoh's Daughter (Princess who found Moses) ~ Egypt

Literature/Language Arts/Silent Reading Titles:
  • For girls 9 - 14 years of age, read "A Little Princess" by Frances Hodgson Burnett. When you are finished, write a short essay which explains the type of princess you found in Sara Crewe.
Language Arts: Read the poem, The Royal Princess by Christina Rossetti. Discuss with your mother what you think this poem is about. Write your own poem about a princess.

Michael Despises David by James Tissot

Bible/Character Study/Research: Michal, the daughter of Saul was a princess and was given to David as a wife. Read about Michal in the Old Testament. Write a short report on Princess Michal. Why do you think she reacted the way she did to King David when he was giving glory to God? Do you think she truly loved David? Or do you think it was God that she lacked love for? Did she behave like a "true" daughter of the King of Kings?

In Church by James Tissot

Art History/Picture Study: Study the "princess" paintings on this post by the french artist, James Tissot, and write an "art review" on your favorite one.  Make sure to print out a small version of the painting you choose and paste onto your art review. Don't forget to include it in your scrapbook. James Tissot was a Victorian painter famous for attempting to make a series of paintings based on the Old and New Testament in his later years (His early work was of fashionable, Victorian women as shown above). He actually toured the Holy Land three times in order to get a better idea of the settings in the Scriptures. All the princess paintings on this post were painted by him.



Art: Younger girls may want to color this free, vintage princess coloring page (see above) with this linkWhat I like about this picture is that the princess is reading cookbooks!

Art: Older girls can sketch out some of their favorite princesses in the Scriptures. They can also add a short biography underneath each one if you choose.


Science: Learn about the princess flower of Brazil. Sketch a copy of it to place in your scrapbook and diagram its parts. Also include on the sketch, the latin name, what it needs to survive, and thrive. For an easy science project, plant one in your back yard and record in a journal it's progress along with sketches of its growth.


Character Building for Younger Maidens (4-8 years): Read a chapter a day of A Little Princess in the Making: A Royal Guide to Becoming a Girl of Grace, by Emilie Barnes to your daughter and discuss the virtues together after each chapter with your daughter. Remind them to implement these graces in their daily lives.



Bible/Character Building for Younger Maidens (4-8 years): Read together The True Princessby Angela Elwell Hunt and discuss together this message of "service" to your daughters and how they can implement ways to serve in their life right now. Write a list and include it with the verse below. Make sure to title this paper, "The True Princess".
"But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered untobut to ministerand to give his life a ransom for many." ~ Matthew 20:26-28
Biblical Purity: Read together the book, The Princess and the Kiss: A Story of God's Gift of Purity by Jennie Bishop. I would recommend this picture book for ages 6 to 10 years. This book gently presents the concept of purity to your daughters and a discussion is sure to follow.

Desolation of Tamar by James Tissot

Bible/Purity: Older daughters can follow this discussion of purity up by reading about Tamar here. This princess was wronged and we can learn a lot from this sad story.

Biblical Marriage: Read together the picture book (ages 6 to 10 years), The Princess and the Three Knights by Karen Kingsbury and have your daughters write a list of qualities they would want in a husband. Discuss them with your daughters along with the importance of choosing a godly spouse. Have your daughter copy out 2 Corinthians 6:14 and add that to your scrapbook page as well.




Home Economics/Hospitality: Using the book, Princess Tea Parties: Royal Gatherings for Little Ladiesby Michael Sparks, have your daughter host a tea party for your family. Make sure to try some of the recipes. Take pictures and create a scrapbook page of this event to add into your scrapbook. Copy and include the following verse from 1 Peter 4:9 to this section:  "Use hospitality one to another without grudging."

Arts/Crafts: Choose a few of the crafts from Princess Tea Parties: Royal Gatherings for Little Ladiesto do with your daughters. Take pictures of them and include in your scrapbook.

Foreign Language: Learn how to say "princess", "king", and "queen" in the foreign language that you are studying.

Finishing Up: For extra fun, when you are done with this study, perhaps you would like to print out this  merit card (pictured below and courtesy of The Graphics Fairy) to include in your scrapbook showing that your daughter has completed her course in being a Godly Princess, The Daughter of the King.


"The king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.  With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought : they shall enter into the king's palace. Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.  I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever."

 ~ Psalm 45:13-17



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