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 nearly six-acre tract of land, this farmhouse, this domain—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.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Ready or Not, Here it Comes!

Our school year was wild and woolly, maybe the craziest ever! Between Ron's health crisis and our move, life has been a roller coaster! 

(Have I told you that I am not a roller coaster kind of gal? At amusement parks, I can usually be found at the kiddie rides. I'll stick with the carousel, thank-you-very-much. Of course, I no longer have small children to provide a reason for the kiddie rides. Hmmm. Maybe: I'll "sacrifice" and hold your purse/bag/camera while you ride that insane exciting ride, okay?)

So...on this first day of summer (even though Bekah is not quite finished with school) we are making our summer plans. Plans that are not of the wild-and-woolly sort. Plans that include relaxing and sleeping in and a few beach days. Plans for a read-aloud. Plans for having ONE big party for ALL of the August birthdays (and there are many). Plans for Ron to take a week of vacation (and he never takes vacation in the summer) so that we can do some painting. Plans for making memories. We are trying to simplify summer this year, taking time for our people without jamming the days with activity. Do you think it can be done? 

Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills we will do this or that." 
James 4:15


Yesterday, "taking time for our peeps" meant honoring our fathers. And we do have some amazing (and handsome) fathers in our family!

Are you making summer plans? What does an ideal summer look like to you? 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Dear Buyers...

Our dear friends Frances and Gary gave us a wonderful gift -- one more family photo shoot before we moved from The Farmhouse. Precious memories hung in the air as we gathered on an April afternoon. 

Two months later, life has changed. The Farmhouse memories linger. They always will, for The Farmhouse was where life happened for most of our years. But we are content and we're making new memories in another place. 

And The is the setting for a new family to live and grow and make memories. To this family we say...

Dear Buyers,

We pray that your life in The Farmhouse is good. 

That it is filled with love

and beauty,

good books

and rich learning,

good food, enough to share, 

and an open door.

May the walls echo laughter 

and words of encouragement

and music

and singing

and worship.

May you enjoy quiet moments

and moments of celebration.

We pray you find strength for life's trials

and that your family's bonds will be made stronger because of them.

May you know peace

and contentment

and forgiveness

and always, always grace. 

Because of Jesus.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Five on Friday | Summering

If you've been here with me for very long, you already know that summer is not my favorite as I don't like the heat and humidity that typify a Mid-Atlantic summer. Nevertheless, I find plenty of things to love about summer and this week I have been trying to summer my house up a bit.

Find of the week: this summer-themed Warren Kimble mug found in a local antique store for a dollar!
(Love Warren Kimble!!)

On the same stroll through the antique store, I found Susan Branch's The Summer Book
I fell in love with her Autumn book years ago (because autumn IS my favorite!), so I happily added this one to my library.

Geraniums on my front stoop say summer.

A starfish on the sun room table says summer too!

Who doesn't enjoy the flavors of summer? Mmmmm...

Are you summering yet?

I am linking to Five on Friday again this week.
Thanks, Amy, for hosting!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Gathering the Moments | May

May was the first full month in our new house. 

We began the month with scenes like this (note the boxes, bags, rolled up rugs, and lots of "stuff without a place)...

But as May drew to a close, we had unpacked many of the boxes and bags, unrolled our rugs, and begun to settle in a bit. Oh, we still have a ways to go, but it's beginning to feel like home.

One of the first little spaces I claimed was the coffee nook. (You know how serious we are about our coffee!) And the day we unpacked the Blue Willow and tucked it into a kitchen cupboard, it was a happy day. No more paper plates. (And opening the door and seeing those cups hanging makes me smile. It's the little things.) 

I called Kati my "homing pigeon," so named for her uncanny ability to recall what is in what box. "Where are the blue towels?" "Do you know where my pewter candlesticks are?" "How about the candles?" "Where is my school notebook?" "Batteries?" All located by Kati in short order! Her services were invaluable!

Yes, it's beginning to feel like home. 

On the first Sunday in May, we had our first "normal" Sunday afternoon at The Pineapple House. We put a 6-foot folding table at the end of our dining room table and we and our children and grandchildren gathered around a simple meal.

The next Sunday, Mother's Day, we had our first holiday gathering. And we have continued to have family and friends over...from dear friends who have come to share a cup of coffee and see our new home (my friend Joanne calls it the 25-cent tour ~smile~) Kati's first game party with her a gathering of our church fellowship for a potluck meal. 

We love to gather...and we love our new gathering place!

May also brought some special outings. 

My mom hosted a birthday celebration for her sister Robin (my aunt who seems too young to be my aunt). We went out for lunch, then back to Mom's for tea and treats!

My daughter-in-law Sarah invited us over for a lunch to celebrate the end of a successful school year. (No, we're not finished yet, but everyone else is and we celebrated too!) It was a beautiful day and the children had a grand time exploring the pond and watching tadpoles and bullfrogs. The afternoon ended with sweaty kids enjoying sherbet cones and sharing their highlights of the school year. Good times! 

Our homeschool book club ended the year with an international luncheon and discussion of the books the girls had read from countries around the world.

Bekah performed beautifully (a little mom-bragging!) at her spring piano recital. Her beautiful and talented teacher is her cousin (and my niece) Amy. It was a lovely night!

Also in May, we met buyers of our old home, The Farmhouse! You may recall that The Farmhouse adjoins the property of Ron's brother, which adjoins the property of Ron's sister, which adjoins the property of Ron's mother. (Did you get all that?) So, my sister-in-law invited the neighborhood, including the new owners of The Farmhouse, for strawberry shortcake...and invited us too! We were thrilled to meet them and to talk with them and to learn that they love the Lord which thrills our hearts! Again, we thank the Lord for His plan in all of the events of the past year, even the ones that were painful and uncomfortable. His plan is good and His mercies are unending!

We never know what a month (or a day!) will hold. My dear blog friend, Vee, could not have known that at the end of this month she would say good-bye to her beloved and that he would be "safely home," as she so tenderly wrote in an email to me. 

We were privileged to meet Vee and John when we visited Ryan and Sarah in Maine a few years ago. I already loved Vee through our online friendship, but we also fell in love with John immediately. He and Ron hit it off and they talked every bit as much as Vee and I did! He was warm and engaging. From Vee's words about him through the years, I know that he was a generous, loving, and hard-working man. He was certainly a gift to Vee (as she was to him) and his loss will be keenly felt in their home, their family, their church, and, yes, in the blogging community too. I continue to pray for God's grace for Vee. 

As I have "gathered the moments" of May, the lyrics of this old hymn play through my mind...
I don't know about tomorrow
I just live from day to day
I don't borrow from its sunshine
For the skies may turn to gray. 
I don't worry o'er the future
For I know what Jesus said
And today I'll walk beside Him
For He knows what is ahead. 
Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand.
But I know Who holds tomorrow,
And I know Who holds my hand.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Cup of Sunshine

Enjoying my cup of sunshine this morning! 

It is a cup of sunshine according to the cheerful graphic.

It is a cup of sunshine because it is holding my "liquid life" (phrase borrowed from my blog friend Sherry...thanks, Sherry, for hitting the nail on the head! ~smile~).

It is a cup of sunshine because it is a housewarming, heart-warming gift from my dear friend Frances. (Thanks, Frances!)

The Lord has sent us several sunny days in a row and that feels good! 

Wishing you some sunshine in your heart today!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Weekend Snapshots

Mother's Day weekend...

We were blessed with a beautiful day and a houseful of mothers for the first holiday gathering in our new home! 

Yes, we're still working around boxes, but we are not the kind to wait for everything to be perfect before opening our home. (Who has time for that?!) 

We are learning how this house works for entertaining. This time, we set up a buffet line for food and drinks in the kitchen. We had three tables and no assigned seating: the dining room table, the table in the sun porch (it was our kitchen table in The Farmhouse), and a folding table at one end of the living room. Tablecloths are still packed, and all but a few dishes, so it was an informal affair, but I don't think anyone minded.

We are making new memories and loving it!

Last weekend...

On Saturday evening, we had a coffee/tea party on the sun porch. Some of the guests came in their jammies. Again, I was struck with the realization that Ryan and his family are only 4 miles away. Not 1500 miles or 3000 miles or 700 miles or even 200. Just 4. It is so good to be neighbors!

Then it was a more informal Sunday with plenty of time to chat and baby watch. 

(And play, if you were under twelve.)

(And move a piece of furniture down to the basement if you were adult and male. Thanks, guys!) 

We are thankful for time shared with our loved ones. It is a gift.

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