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.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Heritage From the Lord

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord. 
The fruit of the womb is a reward. 
Psalm 127:3

On Sunday, the "baby" of our family, Rebekah Hope, became a teenager.

And on Sunday morning, my heart was full, absolutely full. Full of love. Full of rejoicing. Full of gratitude. Full of praise.  

Tears spilled as I greeted the birthday girl on her first morning of being thirteen.

Tears spilled as I stood at the stove and stirred caramel sauce for the ice cream sundaes she'd requested. 

Tears spilled as my girl sat at the piano and played "Hallelujah, What a Savior," and though I had been singing it along with her all week, I could hardly voice the glorious words. 

But I was also thinking about God's plan for Rebekah, "a future and a hope." I was thinking of what a blessing she is to us, and how God has made her a unique person with gifts that she is using for Him. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10)

Later, tears spilled again as brothers and sisters in Christ sang along as Bekah accompanied, and we all lifted a song of praise to our Redeemer. ♫ "...ruined sinners to reclaim. Hallelujah, what a Savior!" 

We returned home, ready to celebrate Bekah's birthday. It was a milestone. 

It was an Ebenezer. 

 "Thus far, the Lord has helped us." 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Note Card Party: Our Just Desserts

Again it is time for Vee's monthly Note Card Party,
and I'm serving up a little something sweet this month!

(Below each image, I'll provide a link to the recipe.)

~ Lemon Cheesecake Mousse ~

~ Strawberry Pie ~

~ Blackberry Pavlova ~

~ Blueberry Lemon Scones ~

Are you hungry yet? Want to grab a cuppa and join me?

Do you have a blog?
Then you can join this month's party over at Vee's Haven!
Come on's lots of fun!

(Click the button for details.)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sunday Snapshots: A Sneak Peek

More about this milestone later in the week...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Personal Photo Challenge {Close-up/Macro}

Again this month, I am joining Donna in her Personal Photo Challenge. I have been practicing all month, and although I feel like I'm barely scratching the surface with all that there is to learn about macro photography, I was able to come up with three photos that pleased me. 

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

This pansy pleased me, partly because I have enjoyed the delight of these early spring flowers in my kitchen. But I also enjoyed the play of sunlight as it shone through the kitchen window and highlighted the cheerful flower's yellow petals and its leaves. 

I am wondering if this photo is close enough to be considered "macro." I used my Canon Rebel T3 and the 18-55 mm lens, on the "close-up" setting. I cropped the image a bit, slightly sharpened it, and then used PicMonkey's "Focal Soften" tool to blur the background a little more.

This photo of our own forsythia pleased me because I loved it even without editing! 

All the informative articles about macro photography that Donna provided said to avoid taking pictures on a windy day, and yet, I was struggling with some wind the day that I took this shot. Even so, I liked the focus of the flower and the bud in the foreground, and the soft background. (And then, maybe I am just influenced by the long-awaited symbol of spring that these blooms represent!)

This last photo pleased me with the sunny yellow bloom and the tiny details that I did not notice with the naked eye. And it also pleases me to see the sweet smile of my granddaughter Maddie as my beautiful background. 

I cropped this image, but otherwise it is straight out of the camera. 

A Personal Photo Challenge was definitely a challenge this month! Lots of shots attempted, lots of shots "meh", and a few I really liked. But that's the good part, right? Keep trying, keep learning, keep improving! Thank you, Donna!

Next month's challenge...colorful. Hmmm...

A Personal Photo Challenge

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Making It New Monday {The Herb Garden}

I know it's not Monday (even though Ron is off from work this week and one can get the days mixed up when the routine is altered). But I am joining my dear friend Joanne with her link-up "Make It New Monday", and as her link is open all week, I am jumping in on a Wednesday!

Once upon a time, there was an herb garden just outside our back door...

with lovely herbs for cutting, for cooking.

Then came the Winter of 2014. Which left this...

It was time to make it new!

Ron and I headed off to Lowe's in search of some new plants to replace the ones that didn't survive The Winter of 2014. 

And now, we have this...

An herb garden filled with baby plants and potential. 

Do you like to make things new? Adapt a recipe to meet your family's preferences? Remake old clothing into something snazzy? Rework an idea to make it your own? Then maybe you'd like to pop over to Joanne's at My Not-So-Empty Nest on the first Monday of each get some inspiration or to link up your own project!

My Not-So-Empty Nest

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sunday Snapshots: Mixing It Up

Yesterday, we mixed it up a bit.

Because Kati is not up to sitting in a straight-backed, non-cushioned chair yet, she sat on the love seat in the kitchen and we adults ate dinner at the kitchen table. We sat DaVinci's-Last-Supper style (all on one side of the table) so that no one's back would be to Kati. The children, who usually eat at the kitchen table, enjoyed their Sunday meal in the dining room. (The table setters had to be on their toes, and more than one kid sat in an adult seat before they were rerouted to the dining room.)

Owen brought his famous sweet potato biscuits. But when Papa said "Is this the sweet potato boy?," he said, "No."
Instead, we called him "the sweet boy" which he didn't like any better. When you're a seven-year-old boy, you don't want to be sweet. (Papa says that he wouldn't mind if someone called him sweet.)

Then we mixed up dessert. After lunch, we adults decided that we would go ahead and eat dessert and let the kids eat later. They were all playing happily when I fetched the Klondike bars from the freezer. But -(can you guess?)- before we had even removed the wrappers, every single kid came inside for a drink! (You knew, didn't you?) Busted! 

Narnia was the theme yesterday. The children constructed a bow, arrows, and quiver, swords, a dagger, a shield, and a flag.
Pine branches served as torches. Red markers made "scratches." 

After dessert, we mixed up game time...sort of. Really, we just brought the game to Kati and played our usual Apples to Apples.  

This little cutie left the outdoor play. She came in crying, saying, "I asked them what I could be and they didn't!"
After some consoling from her daddy, she was content to draw picture after picture on the MagnaDoodle.
(And she can write the letter "A" now, too!)

 My favorite story of the afternoon...

At Dairy Queen on Friday night, Ben took the dessert coupon from his kids' meal up to the counter all by himself and placed his order, a cup of chocolate ice cream. Returning to his seat to wait for his treat, he realized that he hadn't asked for sprinkles. (Alaine, whose daddy had ordered for her, was waiting for an ice cream with sprinkles.)

When the waitress brought the kids their ice cream, Ben mustered his courage. Turning away from the waitress, he said, "I have a question. I forgot sprinkles."  

(End of the story: The waitress brought Ben a little cup of sprinkles and he covered his ice cream.)

Susan, Edmund, Lucy, and Peter

Our day of "mixing it up" was lots of laid back fun. With all the special days coming up, our next "normal" Sunday is weeks and weeks away. The children are planning costumes and talking about what they'll do next when again they meet in Narnia.

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