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.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Time is Love

Time is love. 

My friend Barbara said this to me recently after we shared an evening at a craft workshop: "I am thankful for you, Cheryl! Making great memories together is such a blessing! Time is love and that is what we did last night." 

And this is the phrase that keeps playing over in my head and heart. 

Time is love. 

It is a profound thought. Giving someone our time, often one of our most valuable commodities, is truly an act of love. We demonstrate who and what we love by the way that we spend our time. 

Taking time to listen is love. 
Spending an afternoon with a friend is love. 
Performing mundane tasks to meet your family's needs is love. 
Taking time to have a bedtime chat with a child is love. 
Putting down your computer to scratch your husband's back is love.  
Setting aside time and effort to invite someone into your home is love. 

Barbara's words have made me think about how I am spending my time. 

Do the people who I love know how much I love them by the way that I give them the gift of time?

Even more importantly, does my time reflect a lavish love for my Lord? 

A few of the things to which I have given my time this week . . . 

The November meeting of our homeschool book club. 
This month the girls all read diary- or journal-style books. 

A delicious Thanksgiving lunch at Barbara's house. 
I forgot to take any pictures of the butternut squash-apple soup and turkey paninis with cranberry-apple chutney (yes, you should be jealous!), but I did remember to photograph this scrumptious pumpkin cake!

While Bekah taught piano lessons to his sisters, Paul cleared some space on a book shelf in the library and "read" to the cats! 

Have you expressed love recently by giving time? Have you received a gift of time? 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Pumpkin Recipe Roundup

Pumpkin: the quintessential autumn flavor! At least, it seems to be a favorite here at Thinking About Home based on the number of pumpkin recipes I have shared over the years. 

If pumpkin is your cup of tea too. . . and in case you have not made all the things yet this fall . . . I'm providing you with a little pumpkin inspiration here today. 

Perfect with your afternoon tea (or a cup of coffee if you're me).

A show stopper of a dessert with a pumpkin filling!

For slathering on toast or biscuits. Easy peasy recipe!

Really easy, creamy dessert. You can whip this up in a flash!

The photo does not do it justice. My favorite pumpkin bread. I like it with chocolate chips. (Of course I do.)

Breakfast comfort food. 

When you want something tiny and cute. And yummy.

Autumn is not complete until we have pumpkin waffles for supper!

The second time I made this, I used the adaptations in my notes at the bottom of the recipe. I liked it lots better!

I couldn't leave this one out. It is actually Kati's recipe (and her photo), but it is a regular here at our house. Soooo good!

Happy pumpkining, everyone!!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Sunday Snapshots: November Birthdays

As we rifled through the bins of paper products at Christmas Tree Shops in early October, Kati held up napkins and plates with adorable woodland creatures. "These can be for the November birthday party!"

Perfect. For what could be a better when the birthday people are a 24-year-old woman, a 7-year-old boy, and a 3-year-old boy? 

A woodland theme it was! So easy to blend with bits of autumn decor. Leaves and acorns. (Oops. I meant to get out some pine cones too.) Trail mix for woodland paths. Cups labeled with things you might see in the woods. "Happy Harvest Bingo" (picked up at Target's Dollar Spot). 

Of course, there were some Wrapping Paper Antics!

I didn't get a photo of the birthday cake. It was an apple dump cake made in the crock pot by the birthday girl. Sooo easy and sooo yummy, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. . . . a great fall dessert. We will surely make it again. 

  Happy Birthday 



and KATI!

May your new year be grace-filled!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Saturday Chat About This and That

Do you think that "small" gifts can sometimes be the biggest? Like when you walk through your back door one afternoon and the sun is highlighting your bowl of apples? Such a gift of beauty! Or like the time you have had a bit of a rough week and you get to the drive-through window to pay for your coffee and it has been paid for? And you find out that your brother- and sister-in-law have seen you from inside and decided to treat you (not knowing about the week that you've had)? 

Yes, those kinds of gifts! 

Can you believe it is November?! 

November is one of my favorite months of the year. Cool, crisp air. Color. The aromas of leaves and fires and pumpkin candles and coffee. The anticipation of my favorite holiday. Brown transfer ware. Leaf-strewn pathways. 

Kati had a birthday this week! She was off for a half day, so Bekah and I also took off for the afternoon and we celebrated by taking a drive, doing a little antiquing, and drinking frozen coffees! (Aren't we wild and crazy? 😉) For dinner, we had "Aunt Linda Casserole" (a Mexican dish named for its creator) on the sun porch (the birthday girl got her wish for a warm day; it was a balmy 77 degrees!) and a store-bought pumpkin roll for dessert. We'll be having more fanfare tomorrow as we celebrate all the November birthdays, but it was a lovely day of simple pleasures. 

Side story: 

When Bekah saw me writing out Kati's card, she laughed. "Mom, I think you've given Kati that card before. Twice.

"Really? Are you sure? Well, at least she'll know that I mean what it says."

Sure enough. Kati looked amused when she opened the card and I knew that Bekah had been right.

I do amuse my family with my propensity to keep collecting the things I love. 

Like pumpkins and gourds. I seem to bring another one home every week when I run errands. This week's selection: 

And then there are candles . . . and napkins . . .

But how could I resist this amazing pumpkin spice soy candle that is white (not the more typical orange)? Or this huge package of red brick-ish red, not fire engine red) paper napkins? And my "hobbies" are cheap ones.

I rest my case. 

On the agenda today: 

Hang the Thankful Tree. We did not have a Thankful Tree last year for the first time since we began this tradition. I attributed it to "new house brain fog" which was my excuse for lots of things last year. But this year, the Thankful Tree is back and I can't wait to see what everyone writes on their leaves.

House cleaning and party prep for the November birthday celebration tomorrow.

But first . . . Saturday Morning Mochas in brown transfer ware mugs. 

Because, November

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