As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

{30 Days of Thankfulness} Days 11 and 12

Day 11:

Yesterday, we continued the tradition of our Annual Mother/Daughter Christmas Shopping Trip.  My sister Linda and I have had a special Christmas shopping day with Mom almost as long as I can remember.  Neither of us knows exactly how many, but it has been more than 40 years. 

When Linda and I were little girls, Mom took us to a big shopping center in the city with large department stores and escalators and spectacular decorations. I remember Mom selecting gifts for sisters and aunts and uncles and grandparents. One time, Mom was perusing a table of women's lingerie and she held up some underwear and said to me, "Do you think these would fit ______?" . . .  only to discover that she was speaking to a gentleman customer and not me. Oops!  I also remember the treat of going down to the  basement cafeteria and getting hot chocolate. 

Most years, we have gone to malls. A couple of times, we went to an outlet center. The year that Ron was sick, we shopped locally so that I could be home in time to administer IV meds. And as the years have gone on, our shopping days are shorter. There was a time when we'd leave before dawn and arrive home after midnight! These days, we're home in time for dinner.

We shop and we eat and we drink fancy coffee drinks and caramel apple cider.  We ooh and aah at Williams-Sonoma and at Pottery Barn.  We listen to Christmas music.  We walk our legs off.  (And that "walking our legs off" part does not take much time any more.)

Sometimes a baby has joined us, or a daughter who has reached the required age of eighteen*.  Sometimes a new daughter-in-law, or a new grandbaby. Sometimes a minivan full of mothers and daughters, sometimes just the three of us.  This year, we three and Bekah made four.

*We waived the minimum age requirement a few years ago when none of the "over 18s" could/wanted to go, but Bekah most certainly did want to go. 

We love this tradition and we are thankful for another year of being together! 

Mother/Daughter Christmas Shopping Trip 2019 

Day 12:  

As I look at the snow falling outside my window, I am thankful that our trip was yesterday and not today!

What are you thankful for today? 

Sunday, November 10, 2019

{30 Days of Thankfulness} Day 10

I am thankful for His grace. 





Saturday, November 9, 2019

{30 Days of Thankfulness} Day 9

Our weather has taken a cold turn. 

Autumn is here, but winter is making her way. It is time to prepare for the turning of the seasons. 

Today it was time to clear the gutters. Time to drain the hoses and the running water in the garage. Time to remove the potted begonia my parents had given us in early summer. The vivid pink blooms had brightened the door by the sun porch, but it was bitten by frost last night. 

Today, we sipped hot coffee in the afternoon. We took a short drive to look at lovely homes and autumn wreaths and lingering color and pumpkins on front stoops because we need to soak it up while we can. Back at home, we lit candles as we did our household chores. We ate pumpkin waffles and bacon for dinner.

I am thankful for the gentle rhythm of the seasons. The day-by-day changes in the air and the sunrises and sunsets. The slow changes in our views, in the smells, in the routines of our days and our nights. 

Friday, November 8, 2019

{30 Days of Thankfulness) Days 7 and 8

I have had some busy days this week, so I'll play catch up tonight . . . 

I have been thinking about a simple but profound truth a dear friend shared with me:
Time is love, she said. 

Time spent with people has made my heart grateful this week.

~ I am thankful for an outing with a precious longtime friend. A "treasure hunt" of sorts and some driving time which is perfect for chatting. It did my heart good to be with Frances.

~ I am thankful for a little road trip with Bekah. A history CD, a piano lesson (we sound like homeschoolers, don't we?), shopping, and one last PSL to savor before the holidays. (We were afraid we had missed our opportunity to have one, so we really were thankful for that little pleasure.) We always love taking a ride together! 

~ I am thankful for a wee grandgirl sleeping in our guest room tonight. Three-year-old Macie is joyful and enthusiastic and adores her Aunt Bekah (the feeling is mutual!) and she had lots of fun here tonight . . . playing game after game, eating Chick-fil-A, watching The Grinch, eating Nerds. As soon as her head hit the pillow, she was asleep! Hers is the last of the first round of Grand Sleepovers in the new guest room.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

{30 Days of Thankfulness} Day 6

I am thankful for my kitchen!

About a month ago, I have you a progress update. Ron was off that week and we (mostly he) were working hard on the kitchen checklist. Our goal was completion by Thanksgiving. But guess what?

We finished last week! 

I plan to do a separate blog post sometime soon (need to get some good photos). But in the meantime, here's a sneak peek. 

Yes, I am thankful for my kitchen . . . and for my handyman!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

{30 Days of Thankfulness} Day 5

As I sit here in front of my laptop, struggling to stay awake long enough to post . . .

I am thankful for shelter, for a warm home, for a cozy bed, for rest.

This gift is not something to take for granted, for even our Lord said, "Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."

Good night, friends.

Monday, November 4, 2019

{30 Days of Thankfulness} Day 4

I am full of thanksgiving tonight! 

I am thankful for the gift of music. 

This evening, Bekah's piano students presented their fall recital, a mix of classical and sacred music. It was a delight to hear the students, to see how much they have improved since the last recital, to be inspired by the works that they played.

Here are four of her five students (one was unable to attend), ready for the program to begin!

I am thankful for all of the family and friends who came. 

Richard's family (who are also our neighbors and friends) . . . longtime friends Gary and Frances who come to support Eve, Nora, and Peter . . . and tonight, some extra special guests. Friends of Ryan and Sarah (John and his wife Susan who was Eve's and Nora's first piano teacher!), traveled from out of state so that they could visit and come to the recital! It was such a delight to meet them!

With both teachers!

I am thankful for rich discussion. 

As we enjoyed refreshments after the program, we (folks over eighteen) talked about the rapid passage of time. Two of the couples in the room will be observing their 50th wedding anniversary next year and were remarking about how quickly the years flew by. We talked about Psalm 90 (lots there about the passage of time).  Ryan told about 92-year-old man in their church who was asked if his years had gone by quickly. He whispered, "Like a vapor." Our guest, John, told us that the word "vanity" in Ecclesiastes (as in chapter 1, verse 2 which reads "vanity of vanities; all is vanity") can be translated "vapor." So when Solomon was referring to something as a "vanity," he was referring to its transient nature, its brevity.

Isn't that an encouragement to "number our days"? To invest in the things that are not transient, but the things that are eternal?

Good discussion. 

I am thankful for a new-to-me (or at least, I thought it was) song. 

In the comments on yesterday's blog post, Melissa mentioned the song "Ancient Words" by Michael W. Smith. I loved the lyrics she shared and did a search for a recording.

Well, come to find out, my daughter says that we have sung this at church! Bekah says that she remembers singing it, Ron says that he doesn't, and I am thinking that that must be why it sounded vaguely familiar but I never would have said that I knew it.

Regardless, I know it now and love the message.
Ancient words, ever true
Changing me, changing you
We have come with open hearts
Oh let the ancient words impart.

For the handful of people who are not familiar with the song (most of my Facebook friends were!), I'll share the video here:

I suppose this was one of those nights when I chattered on about my blessings! Feel free to leave some of your "gratefuls" in the comments. I love to read them! 

Sunday, November 3, 2019

(30 Days of Thankfulness) Day 3

I am thankful for the Word of God. 

The lamp for my feet, the light on my path. 

The revelation of who God is.

Absolute truth.

The plumb line. 

The Words of life.

I am thankful for 

its instruction, 

its message, 

its comfort, 

its power, 

its conviction, 

its balm to the soul. 

How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:103

Saturday, November 2, 2019

{30 Days of Thankfulness} Day 2

Today (and every day), I am thankful for my birthday girl.

When we celebrated Kati's 25th birthday last year . . . on her special day, and then with her big sUrpRiSe party . . . I wondered if it would be the last one we'd celebrate with her in our home. 

And it was.

I have missed her today. Missed saying "Happy Birthday, Kates!" first thing in the morning. Missed seeing her open her presents. Missed our celebration dinner at her favorite Mexican restaurant. Missed sharing a pumpkin roll and taking a few too many pictures. It was the first birthday she's ever had that I did not even see her!

But when we all talked on the phone this evening and I heard about her wonderful day and how Andrew treated her and celebrated her . . . and when I heard the joy in both of their voices, my mama-heart was completely happy.

Happiest of birthdays to our dear Kati! We are happy that you are happy! And we thank our God for His plan! 

So many reasons to be thankful . . . 

Friday, November 1, 2019

{30 Days of Thankfulness} Day 1

I always think October, with her cooling temperatures and stunning color, is my favorite month . . . that is, until November arrives. Then I'm not so sure.

I love November! It begins (almost) with my girl's birthday and it (nearly) ends with my favorite holiday. November is color (as the month begins) and comfort food. It is candlelight and cozy. It is counting our blessings.

And that's what I'm going to do here on the blog this month: I am going to pop in daily, probably in the evening, and gather a blessing or two. No rules here. I may chatter on about it, or I may just name a blessing and move on, depending on the day. And I would love if you would share a blessing in the comments now and then! 

Day 1:

I am thankful for a cozy evening with my sweetheart.

Bekah was babysitting tonight and Ron and I had planned to go out for dinner. But Ron came down with the cold I had earlier in the week, so instead we shared a meatball sub at our own table. After we ate, we made some coffee, poured it into our favorite fall mugs, and I lit a maple pumpkin candle.

Not much excitement around this old house tonight. But it was enough and I am grateful.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

This Week . . .

This week I had to buy a new laptop. 

And being without a laptop all week confirmed the fact that I really do need to upgrade my (very) old phone. 

And having to read anything online on the tiny screen of my (very) old phone confirmed the fact that I also need to break down and get new glasses.

So . . . our cash flow may be taking a hit, but at least I'll be connected and current and I'll be able to see! 💻 📱 👓

Friday, October 18, 2019

Five on Friday

Gathering some big and small joys of the past few weeks . . . 


We celebrated the October birthdays on Sunday with a tailgate party theme! 


There is new construction next door. Having lived in a rural area for thirty-eight years where are closest neighbors were not very close, we have mixed feelings about it. But such is life in a neighborhood and we have enjoyed watching this cute house come up!


Progress continues on the kitchen remodel! This photo was taken last weekend and Ron has done some painting since then. Next up: finish the painting, make a drawer for the base cabinet, install counter top. We will likely be finished several weeks before our target date (Thanksgiving)!


 He's learning to be a house cat. (Do you think he knows that he matches the coverlet? 😉)


The leaves are turning, the weather has turned (hallelujah!), and I am drinking up October! Last year, I went with white and green pumpkins and gourds for my fall decorating. This year I was feeling orange!

It's been a busy month. I could easily do "Ten on Friday" but then I'd lose the alliteration and some things may not be interesting or pretty . . . and maybe not even my story to tell.

This I know: God is faithful and His grace surrounds our days!

May your weekend be grace-filled!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Progress Update in the Kitchen

If you haven't seen my Happy News yet, be sure to check out my last post! In the meantime . . .

Ron is off this week and things are happening in the kitchen! And I am not talking about cooking, although there has been some of that too. After all, autumn has finally arrived and I am itching to cook fall foods. This week I have made White Chicken Chili from the Love, Welcome, Serve cookbook, a Bolognese  sauce served over spaghetti squash, and a Harvest Apple Cake. I'm also planning to make a batch of pumpkin muffins to share. 

But back to the kitchen. 

After three-and-a-half years in the Pineapple House . . .

** drum roll please **

. . . the washing machine is out of my kitchen and has been moved to the basement! Yay!! 

Now work is underway on the south wall of the kitchen. If you recall, we are Ron is moving the refrigerator over, reconfiguring the cabinets, building a new base cabinet unit, and installing new countertop. Then we'll need to paint this wall of cabinets. 

Before . . . 

Work in progress . . . 

Gotta love it when your refrigerator is in the middle of the floor! 🤣 (Actually, I DO love it because it means that progress is being made!)

Side note: I hate that the cabinet/trim color reads pink in photos. You may recall that parts of the kitchen trim have been painted three times already and I promised Ron that I would settle on this third color (Benjamin Moore's Kangaroo) and be content. I am content sometimes. When the lighting is just right, it is the color that I like. But artificial light brings out the slightest tint of pink and photos make it worse. Sigh.

Ron is making great strides this week, and we both hope to have all the work done by Thanksgiving! 

Monday, October 7, 2019

Happy News!!

If you read my most recent post you might be wondering . . 

Who are the happy parents of Blessing # 12 ?

It is Kati and Andrew who are being blessed with the privilege of parenthood!

Sweet new adventures await!

I am so grateful. I have lived long enough to learn that parenthood is not a guarantee. It is a gift directly from the Lord. No, I do not pretend to know why some are chosen to be parents and some are not. I only know that the gift of parenthood is an amazing privilege and a sobering responsibility given by a sovereign Lord.

We are rejoicing . . . and we are also praying for this new little person (arriving in early May) and for his/her wonderful parents!

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Twelve Blessings!!

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