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The Contentment Cottage blog (formerly Nana Ellen’s Stories ‘n’ Stuff) has been online in one form or another since autumn of 1996. Over the years there have been hundreds of changes, tweaks and remodels. I’ve grown from designing web pages with straight HTML coding to using WordPress. Over the years there were Commercial Web Pages, free graphics, handmade toys, digital and traditional greeting cards, and so forth and so on. I truly love graphic design and building web pages, so there are no plans to stop doing what I love anytime soon. But I have retired.

Ellen Lebsock Design Portfolio 1998-2005

In 2005, after forty plus years of classroom teaching, Mr. Lebsock retired and I closed the doors of Ellen Lebsock Design. Today, the Contentment Cottage Blog is my only online project (social media does not count).

People have asked, “Okay, what are you doing now that you’re both retired?”

The answer… “Whatever we want to do.”

We spend our time working in our garden, cooking, painting, writing and all the stuff we always said we’d do *someday.* Most of that stuff is listed in the menus. Mostly we’re just enjoying life in general.

Love shapes our life.

Mr. Lebsock & Kai

It has been said, “Our lives are shaped by those who love us – and those who refuse to love us.”  How true!

Life with my soul mate and husband of more than forty years revolves around our faith in Jesus Christ, our love for each other and  our home.  Before our life together darkness and pain, strife and disappointment were constant companions. After we met in 1977 life was reshaped, restored and healed. For both of us!

My blog, an online record of each day’s special happenings in our life, is meant to help me remember how truly blessed we are. And if, in the reading, someone else is blessed… to God be the glory! Here I consider myself an artist and a writer.  Others may disagree but by the grace of God, I am what He has made me!  I write because…to quote Cyril Connolly…“it is better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”

We live down the lane,

in a little old cottage the color of rain. It’s cozy inside, and often smells of cookies or warm apple pie. You are invited in to look around. Use your imagination. That’s what we’re all about. Things here may be simple, quaint and more than a little old-fashioned, but it’s a peaceful, relaxing place to be.

Auntie & Uncle Carl

My art and writing often pay homage to my Auntie, who loved me, and showed me how to love the Lord and walk in the way of peace.  Children, young and old, almost always find special treasures or mysterious odds and ends to take back home when they visit our cottage.  After all, everyone’s the same age inside! Right? The stuff we share is meant to bring back warm memories of the hodgepodge of hugs, cookies and wonders from Auntie’s house. But, in case you had no such place to visit, well… we think it’s about time you have one. Drop in any day. Stay as long as you like.

To really have the most fun here you have to poke through every corner, touching everything, exploring like a child. You never know what you might find! So… pick a subject and come on in. We want the time you spend with us to comfort your soul and bring a smile of nostalgia to your heart.

Oh, and come back whenever you need a hug, or a cookie, won’t you? Alright… we know… lots of you have your browser set to “accept no cookies”, but these are the old-fashioned chocolate chip kind and we guarantee that while they may expand your waistline, they will have absolutely no effect on your ‘puter

As with any trip to a grandma’s house, looking at the place through ‘rose-colored’ glasses is usually a sure bet. We’ve been told our stuff is painfully drab compared with today’s modern world. I guess it’s like a good many other things in life… it’s all in how you look at it! Personally, I love the softly faded and slightly frayed comfort of real stuff. I hate the cheap plastic stuff our society has adopted as normal and calls beautiful. Nowadays everybody’s in a rush and it seems that “ugly is in,” but I guarantee you’ll find nothing here at the Cottage that isn’t comforting, pleasing to the eye and safe for the kiddos.

“Family ties are forged by heirlooms, steeped in sentiment, reminders of constancy amid the passage of time. Here we share some of our favorite things.. legacies of the heart, forever untarnished by time – keepsakes that embody not just beauty but memories of those we love.”

_Victoria Magazine, May 1990.

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