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.




Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Bongo's Birthday


At our January birthday celebration, I mentioned that there were no more birthday celebrations at Pineapple House until April. "No one has a birthday in February or March, so the next birthday is Bekah's."

And then I heard a little girl say, "Bongo's birthday is in February."



Now Bongo is not just any monkey. Oh no. Bongo is much-loved by Nora and he is a regular part of our family gatherings!


He went on the kayaking adventure last fall.

He comes to sleepovers.

He visits us every time Nora visits. 

He is a part of all of the children's play. 

Sometimes he "hides," but he is always found.




Since there were no birthday peeps in February,

and since we don't need really much of an excuse for a party,

and since we discovered that almost everyone loves banana pudding,

well . . . why not celebrate Bongo's birthday?!

So we did! 😁


Decorations had a tropical flair! 
Here is the birthday boy with his new baby brother, Bingo (one of Nora's own birthday gifts).

Kati made little banana picks to top her homemade coconut cupcakes. (She made a few mini cupcakes for Bongo's party table.)

Gammy and I both made banana pudding for the party.

We played Birthday Bingo Bongo. (Call out "Bongo" when you get five in a row!)

Bongo was on Nora's team.



There was a pair of pineapple sunglasses for photo props. (When I picked those up off the clearance rack in Target, I knew they'd come in handy some day. They were just waiting for the right occasion.)



Bongo took a turn. 

Here, Nora is showing Bongo the cards and present that the cousins had made for him.



We all sang to Bongo and then he blew out his candles!




We loved watching Nora, who was shy at her own birthday celebration, having such fun at Bongo's. I suppose the pressure's off when you are not the center of attention!

I think Bongo enjoyed his moment in the spotlight!


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

My Valentine


It was our very first Valentine's Day as husband and wife, and I was sorely disappointed! 

I had had high expectations. Surely my new hubby had some sort of romantic plan for this special day. After all, when we were dating, he had given me sweet cards, a locket, perfume, and candy. He would certainly do no less now that we were married!

Oh, but he did.

Nothing. 

I was working that year as a teaching assistant. As I sat in the teachers' lounge on my break, all the ladies were talking about their flowers and candy and cards and plans for dinner . . . and I, the newlywed, had nothing to share. I was not a happy woman.




Over the years, we have both learned a bit about expectations, and about what makes the other one happy. And it's not all about romance or jewelry or flowers. It's more about caring and sacrifice and faithfulness. Those are the gifts that last. Those are the gifts that count.


So this Valentine's Day, thirty-nine years later, Ron brought me flowers and a mushy card. I gave him a mushy card too, along with a coffee gift card. I prepared some "man food": beef stew, one of his favorite dishes. All four of us sat down to dinner (right after Ron rotated the tires on his truck, because #reallife), enjoying lit candles and pretty flowers and "man food" and chocolate for the girls. A simple celebration, but special because our love is a real life love.


The best gifts are not those which can be purchased.

The best gifts are things like building book shelves and painting closets. Running to the store on a Sunday morning because I forgot something that I need for dinner. Being a good provider. Treating my parents like they are his parents. Giving sacrificially. Serving the Lord faithfully.

That is my Valentine.



Thursday, February 8, 2018

Library Closet Makeover


Our first project of the year was re-configuring the closet in the library. 

{Read ~here~ about how we transformed our fourth bedroom into a library.}

Since this room is no longer a bedroom, we needed the closet to serve the room as we are now using it: a combination of library, school room, and office. 



First, we removed the clothing rod, then Ron added another shelf all the way across, doubling the storage. (If we ever need the library to be a bedroom again, we will simply remove the new shelf and put the clothing rod back in.)

He also added an outlet so that we would be able to put the printer and the shredder in this closet, behind closed doors. (I am all about "hiding ugly stuff.") Finally, we painted the whole thing antique white. 



On the left side of the closet, adjacent to the desk, we put the filing cabinet and a metal basket with copy paper. On the new shelf is the wireless printer, shredder, and electric pencil sharpener. The top shelf holds decorative paper, card stock, and construction paper, as well as a few scrapbooking supplies.

 



On the right side of the closet, a plastic drawer unit holds craft and office supplies. Puzzles for tiny tots are on top of it. The new shelf holds lots of "grand" supplies, like coloring books, colored pencils, crayons, other art supplies, and more puzzles. The top shelf has some of our school supplies.



The closet makeover was a pretty quick project, but it made a big difference in how this room functions! You'd never guess how much "ugly stuff" is hiding behind those closed doors! 



And now the kitchen project continues . . . 


Saturday, February 3, 2018

January Birthdays and Other Things



What a busy week it has been!

There has been something (or things!) every day . . . from piano lessons to book club to visits from sweet grandbabies and piano families and coffee friends. Projects, from taxes to oven-removing (really) to preparing 90th birthday party invitations for mailing. Taking a little detour on the way home from Bekah's out-of-town piano lesson and getting lost. A doctor's appointment. Seeing a movie with the girls. Never a dull moment. 

Sometimes I wonder what life will be like in another seventeen months or so, which is when my youngest child will be graduating from homeschool. Will I miss the busyness of teaching and lessons and taxiing? Will I be relieved to slow down a bit? Will I simply find myself busy with different things?

I do wonder, but not with trepidation, instead determining to live one "today" at a time, trusting Him to guide my steps. 


Checking out Aunt Kati's bed.

Serious about taxes!
Serious hole in the kitchen!




And before the busyness of the week, we celebrated the January birthdays! 

Honestly, I have been fiddling around with this post all week. Last Sunday was a dreary, rainy day, and while it didn't dampen our party spirits, the gray day did affect my photos. I ended up with a bunch of washed out, out-of-focus shots. (It makes me even more excited about the new camera that I have ordered. Maybe I'll finally learn how to shoot in manual mode!)

But these are what I have, and they're still a record of the celebration for our January birthday people: 

our youngest grandchild, Macie, 2 
our son-in-law Brian
and our granddaughter Nora, 9.

(I didn't tell you Brian's age, but I will tell you that he is now the age that I was when I first met him!)


I was so glad that we had chosen to go bright and colorful for this January party!

The yarn pompom garland and the birthday candle napkins were Target finds. The colorful linen napkins were from my own stash as well as Kati's. Mom brought the festive cupcakes and Kati made the chocolate peanut butter trifle. What more do you need for a party?!


















And now, after having a birthday celebration every month since July, Pineapple House is on birthday hiatus until April! 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Making a Space Work for You


Ron wanted a quick project to do before Christmas (have I told you that my man loves a project?), and so he decided that our tiny entrance to the master suite would be the thing to tackle. It was a pretty straightforward project, consisting of painting the walls and trim and hanging a new light.

This refresh was actually the final phase of making this space into what it needed to be. This is a tiny little entry, only 5 feet by 4 feet! But, although vestibule is small, I think it is genius design. There is a door from the kitchen into the alcove. Inside, there is a door straight ahead into the bathroom, and a door to the left into the bedroom. So many doors may limit the space, but they allow so many options for privacy and quiet. Great planning!

I am going to tell you exactly how we went about making this space work for us.




First, we needed to identify the purpose of the space and what we needed from it. 

As I told you, is a tiny 5' x 4' entry and there are three doors! Not a lot of usable space. But we needed it to work hard for us as there is not a lot of storage in the adjoining bathroom which is also tiny (5' by 7'). We also wanted the space to look cozy and fit our decorating style. We wanted it to feel like a part of the suite, not just a pass-through.


view from the kitchen


After deciding what we wanted from the space, we needed to (inexpensively) find ways to achieve that purpose and make it work! 

First the storage . . . 

To gain the needed storage in the space, we went with a slim, vertical piece. The jelly cupboard that used to be in our bathroom at The Farmhouse serves the purpose quite well. And it "hides ugly stuff"! (Love that!) Inside are toiletries, make up, hair dryer, flat iron, etc.

(That part had been done since right after we moved in. Now it was time for the next step.)

view from the bedroom


. . . and then make it cozy and personal and reflective of our style . . . 

Time for some fresh paint! We painted the walls the same antique white we have used in all of the other rooms in Pineapple House. The trim color is Quaker Green by Olde Century Colors (which we also used in the library).

Aside: Quaker Green is one of my favorite decor colors! It's such a rich colonial color and it goes with almost anything. I am so tempted use it in every room in my house, but we all agree that a dark color on the kitchen cabinets in our galley kitchen would close it in, and Quaker Green on the fireplace wall in the living room would make the room feel dark. So I must use restraint and use it where I can. :) 

view from the kitchen; peek into the bedroom at left, bathroom door straight ahead

We cozied up the floor with a small Oriental rug that had been in our bedroom at The Farmhouse. This simple touch goes a long way towards making this little space feel like a room.

Ron hung the "new" light that was given to us by friends before we knew we were moving. We brought it along to Pineapple House, knowing that it would go somewhere. It did! (Thanks for thinking of us, Chris and Kim!)



We also personalized the space with a few accessories.

The checkerboard is one that Ron made in industrial arts class in high school. The whimsical sheep is a gift from a friend.




And then there's the oak strip mounted on the wall to the right of the doorway into the kitchen. Let me tell you the story behind that.

view from the bathroom, looking into kitchen


You may remember that in The Farmhouse we had charted all four of our children's growth on the inside of a closet door. We hated to think about leaving that door, that beloved piece of family history. One of us (I won't mention any names) wondered if we couldn't take that door with us and replace it with another! But oddly sized paneled doors are not easily found and we did not have lots of time to search.

Shortly before moving day, Kati, Bekah, and I went to Home Depot and purchased a piece of oak molding. We brought it home, took it up to Kati's room, and painstakingly measured and copied every single mark that had been made from the time that Kristin was 6 and Ryan was 4!

Now it lives here in our little alcove. It's not the same as the closet door, but history has been preserved in a sense, and it delights me when the grands measure themselves and compare their heights with that of their parents' (or their aunt's or uncle's) at their age.



So that was our process of making a limited space work for us with function and personality!

Do you have a space in your house that needs some out-of-the-box thinking to make it work for you?  






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