Joy Dare :: 3 Gifts Striped


We love these bright little cups which were a gift from a very dear friend, and which started us off on a quest to collect similar bright colors for the kitchen of our new house.

That kind of counts as striped, right?


A housewarming gift from another friend… these knives are incredibly awesome, and if you are looking for a set of good knives, I highly recommend them.

The early morning light made for some harsh shadows in the kitchen window, but you see the stripe effect, right?


I love my vintage lamps. I pressured mom into buying these and when she realized that they didn’t fit her decor she passed them on to me.

Oh, so devious.


Joy Dare :: 3 Gifts Berry Red


I really don’t have much red around the house, but at Christmas time, there are always little pops of cheerful red to be found when you look hard enough!


This is still one of my favorite pops of red around Christmas time. I have blogged about it before…

A gift from a dear friend [the same friend that sent me this!]. I think it was given to us on our first Christmas together, but it may have been our second. They’re all starting to blend now…

When I was due with Sophie around Christmas time two years ago, we kept her name to ourselves. We were actually going to name her Lucy Sophia, and had experienced a few negative reactions to the name Lucy, so we decided not to share the name until there was a tiny girl to go with it. My little sister, Hannah saw this ornament hanging on the tree, and was certain that she had learned the name of our baby girl!

As it turned out, Sophie’s name got changed while I was in labor to Sophie Lucia Marie, so all that secrecy was for naught.


The Christmas tree skirt has been in my family since my first Christmas, and maybe even longer. I used to kind of wish I could have some fancy Anthropology tree skirt, but I am really glad that this is the one we still have and use. It’s really quite cozy!


Another gift from a very good childhood friend who also moved way too far away. Geeze, what is it with these people?!


My thrifted ice bucket sports a cheerful red!


A lovely ornament, made by Hannah, and particularly loved and adored by Sophie, who simply can’t resist bling in any form.


Our handy dandy red rubber scraper.


My red hymnal, as mentioned by Mom.


Really, once the kids and I got started looking for red things that we were thankful for, it was hard to stop!

A Very Awesome Christmas Package…

…arrived in the mail from a friend who moved to some distant, cold and strange place this last fall.


It is completely adorable and has been one of the most sought after books in the house, of late.


Trux has pronounced all the recipes to be “Yummy!” and I have to agree with him.


Black coffee canes? Count me in!


The girls have been pulling out all their tea stuff, and pouring over all the vintage fashion tips, like:


Tying the vintage headscarf


and how to apply false eyelashes. Thankfully they haven’t tried that one, yet.


Baked grapefruit? What a great idea! I see a new Christmas morning tradition in the making!

Thank you Rowena… you’re awesome!

Must See!

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”.

You really must go see this play.  It was amazing!  The actors were all superb, the costumes were so elegant and the props were convincingly realistic.

One of my favorite characters was the disturbingly creepy, but oh so entertaining Mr Collins, who was played by the neither disturbing or creepy, though still entertaining Adam Nisbett.

Check out the Fine Linen Drama website, and the reviews on the fan page, but most importantly, go see the play!  From what I hear, the shows are selling out fast, so get your ticket ASAP!

Gentlewood Cottage is Moving!

The online Gentlewood Cottage, anyway.

I will no longer be posting here on WordPress. Instead – please come visit Gentlewood Cottage at my NEW location!

All the archives and links and all that fun stuff will be there, as well as a few new additions – and I’ll be working feverishly to polish up a few other new things, as well.

Please remember to update your RSS feed, if you use a blog reader!

Photo by – BrittneyBush



Things around here have been phenomenally crazy for the last few weeks. I can’t believe that it’s been nearly two whole weeks since I last posted.

We have so far:

Visited with my brother (Caleb) and his girlfriend, Alison who came home for a week.

Visited with my brother (Jared) who came home from college two times during the last couple of weeks.

Visited with my sister (Anna) and her family, who came home to participate in all the visiting (see above) and celebrate our mom’s and Bessie’s (my niece, Anna’s daughter) birthdays – (see below).

Started raising cockatiels with my brother (Zion).

Met my uncle from Chicago at a local(ish) campground.



Fished. (Okay, only a little, but as my uncle says… “Fishing requires patience, but fishing with children requires the patience of an angel).

Uploaded and edited roughly 1400 photographs.

Celebrated my mom’s 49th birthday.

Celebrated my sister-in-law’s 46th birthday.

Celebrated my niece’s 3rd birthday.

Celebrated Easter Sunday.

Changed 224 diapers.

Had/have a bad cold and a case of hives (mine!).

Attended a play.

Prepared roughly 42 meals.

Washed around 746 loads of laundry.

Washed 300 loads of dishes in the dishwasher.

Had a picnic.

Did major grocery shopping twice.

Took a mass family picture involving 20 individual and wiggly people.

Played at the park.

Juggled three fussy babies.

Figured taxes. Repeatedly.

Bought two cars.

Cleaned up approximately 29 spills.

Visited the Science Center.

Put out four oven fires.

Had two tires repaired.

Potty trained a two year old.

Mopped the floor. Once.

Learned of two separate and potentially serious car accidents involving my parents and my brother.

Photographed most of the above.

Grieving with Rachel


“It is hard to have patience with people who say ‘There is no death’ or ‘Death doesn’t matter.’ There is death. And whatever is matters. And whatever happens has consequences, and they are irrevocable and irreversible. You might as well say that birth doesn’t matter.”
– C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

Rachel and I have had so very much in common this fall, as we have both prepared to host our families for Thanksgiving, while at the same being concerned about our maternal Grandfathers, who both went in to the ICU around the same time, shortly before Thanksgiving. My Grandpa came home the day after Thanksgiving. Rachel’s grandpa joined our Heavenly Father this morning.

Today, Dan and I spent the day with my grandparents, driving Grandpa to the hospital because his open wounds from his bypass surgery haven’t been healing well. When we arrived back home, I learned that Rachel had spent the day grieving for the loss of her grandpa.

Being with Grandpa today, Dan and I were shocked to see how weak he is now. The Grandpa who spent the long summer days gardening and walking around our little town, now has to use a walker to get from the car to the door. His hands are like balloons, barely recognizable as human hands due to the weakness of his heart. We were struck with the fragility of life, and at the same time, the importance of it.

The universe will truly never be the same, on the day that my sweet, grumpy old grandpa leaves it.

The universe will never be the same without Rachel’s Grandpa Tice.

photo credit: coyotos

life goes on…


We’ve been taking advantage of Caleb’s impromptu visit while we wait for news about Grandpa’s recovery…



We’ve played several rounds of poker and bluff, and Caleb introduced up to Cranium…

Sleep has been a little hard to come by lately, so we all grab it when and where we can.





The upcoming week promises to be as busy and hectic as the proceeding ones.

Will be having a mini-Thanksgiving dinner with Caleb and my family on Tuesday evening before he leaves on Wednesday morning. I hope to visit Grandpa in the hospital again on Wednesday, depending on who is taking Caleb back to the airport.

We’re celebrating Thanksgiving with the my family, my sister and her family, Dan’s brother and his family and my aunt and her family at our house on Thursday.

On Friday, we are eagerly anticipating the arrival of Dan’s niece, Rachel, along with her husband and their roly-poly son, Teddy.

(isn’t he a handsome fella?)

We expect to celebrate Thanksgiving (and Life in general) with them on Saturday, along with another young couple from our church, and the Lonesome Hill gang.

Grandpa should be out of the hospital on Friday, and I’m anxious to have them back. It seems strange to know that they’re not just down the road…