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.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

EXTREME Thrifting

You kind of have to know my Bekah to understand the idea of extreme thrifting. This is the child who NEVER (I did say NEVER) wants to throw anything away or use something up. This is the child who once kept a beautiful lollipop for months...because if you eat it, it's gone. This is also the child kept the chocolate bunny from her spring basket for an entire year, only eating it (with tears) because she was not going to get one in this year's basket if she still had the old one. Bekah wants to keep sewing scraps, outgrown clothing, every worthless little toy that has come in a fast food kids' meal...and the list goes on. (In hindsight, our first "heads up" was probably the day that we threw away an old mop head, and one-year-old Bekah cried upon seeing it dropped into the trash can. Yes.)

I have been saving some of Bekah's old clothes to use in quilting. I knew that, once she could get past the idea of them being cut, that she would enjoy the idea of seeing her much-loved dresses reworked into a keepsake quilt. Inspired by Anna's scrap quilts , I broke the news to Bekah that I was cutting up her old clothing, and began cutting squares. (She took it fairly well.)



But that's not "extreme" thrifting. I'm getting to that.

As we started choosing our fabrics, Bekah discovered an old dress that had not yet been touched by the scissors.
Bekah: This looks like it could be a shirt.
Me: Yes, it does, Bekah. But it would never fit you. After all it is a size 2T! (Bekah wears a size 10 now.)
Bekah: I'm going to try it on.
Me: Well you can, but it's not going to fit.

Guess who was wrong.


So now Bekah has a new shirt in her wardrobe. I guess we really didn't need hot pink gingham in the quilt anyway. :-)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Blueberry (sometimes) Crisp

This is one of my "go to" dessert recipes. I love it because it is somewhat nutritious, quite versatile, comes via two dear friends*...and also tastes good!

This version is the one I make most often in the summer:

In a greased 2-quart casserole dish, stir together
  • 5 cups blueberries

  • 1 cup sugar

  • generous shake or two of cinnamon

  • not as generous shake of nutmeg
On top, sprinkle a mixture of
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of oats

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup flour

  • 1 stick butter
Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

There you have it. All you need to do is top it off with a scoop of Breyers® vanilla ice cream and pour yourself a cup of coffee.


You can make this into an autumn spectacular by using 2 cups of cranberries and 3 cups of unpeeled apples (love that "unpeeled" part!) instead of the blueberries, eliminating the nutmeg, and maybe adding some pecans or walnuts in the topping.

It becomes a Valentine treat if you substitute cherries for the blueberries...or take a real shortcut and put the topping over a couple of cans of prepared cherry pie filling. (Leave out spices this time.)

I've also made it with peaches. You basically can't go wrong.

And did I mention that you can eat this for breakfast? (Just omit the ice cream.) Don't give me that look! It has fruit and oats, doesn't it? Doesn't that qualify as breakfast? I think so. :-)

*Thanks, Tamara and Jill!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

My Philosophy of Education

My primary goal in educating my children is to obey the mandate in God’s Word to diligently teach our children His Words. (“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.” Deuteronomy 6:6-8)

  • I want to teach my children the ways of God, and disciple them, and train them to serve Him.
  • I want them to learn to treat others with love, starting with the people in their own family.
  • I want my children to know what they believe and why they believe it. I want them to be “Bereans.”
  • I want my children to love learning...and to continue to love learning long after “formal” education has ceased.
  • I want them to have a rich environment. I want them to enjoy great literature, beautiful music, meaningful conversations, to appreciate art.
  • I want them to learn whatever information and skills are necessary for them to fulfill the purpose that God has for their lives.
  • I want to instill within them that God does indeed have a purpose and a calling for them.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

You know you're a homeschooler when...




...it is a Happy Day when the mail lady delivers a box of new school books and you all gather around and oooh and aaah over newfound treasures.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Papa-and-Gran Days

Summer is a good time to have a Special Day when you (just you—no brothers or sisters) are invited to Papa and Gran’s house to do something that you love.

Maybe you love corn-on-the-cob and Papa says you can come and eat as much as you want...

...and swim in the kiddie pool...


...and relax in the hammock with Bekah.


Or maybe you want to do a project with Papa in his shop...


...and swing in the hammock with Bekah (no relaxing this time around!)...

...and shoot your rubber band gun (at a tree).

Or maybe you like to play games and you bring some of your own favorites and play some of Gran’s too...



...for hours...


...and then dine at the “Deery Queen.”

And then Papa and Gran can take you home so you can tell your family all about it.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Summer Pleasures

I must say that summer is not my favorite season for two very simple reasons: heat and humidity. I really don’t. like. to. be. hot. At all. And hot and sticky is worse.

Even so, there are things that I love about summer. Here are some (in random order):
  1. Iced coffee

  2. The rotation of blooming things...day lilies, yarrow, 4 o'clocks

  3. Respite from the school schedule

  4. Planning for the next school year...I love to plan!

  5. Berries...strawberries, blueberries, raspberries...pies, muffins, cobbler...

  6. Organizing...closets, drawers, cabinets, even the laundry room

  7. The beach...I am awed by the ocean; it speaks of the Creator.

  8. Slow, quiet mornings

  9. Fresh vegetables...especially in this dish

  10. Lots of daylight hours

  11. Buying bargain school supplies in July

  12. A 1000-piece puzzle on the dining room table

  13. Reading Little Women with the girls

  14. Birthdays

  15. Birthdays
What are your summer pleasures?

P.S. The fact that #14 and #15 both say birthdays is not a typo. There are LOTS of summer birthdays in our family...my husband, one daughter, my son, two granddaughters, one grandson, my mother, my father-in-law, my niece, me...not to mention numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends...and three anniversaries!





Monday, July 6, 2009

Thoughts I'm Pondering Today...

"If you have men who will only come if they know there is a good road, I don't want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all."David Livingstone, 1813-1873, Scottish explorer and missionary

"And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life."
Matthew 19:29

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Thrill of the Harvest

I have never had a green thumb—not leafy green or grass green or even the palest shade of celadon. I am the "kiss of death" to houseplants. I forget to water the geraniums in my window boxes. And gardening? Well, let's just say I'm a s-l-o-w learner...it took me about thirty years of homemaking to become interested in vegetable gardening.

(As an aside...my father has a very green thumb. For years when I was growing up, he had a wonderfully diverse arrangement of plants in front of our dining room window—everything from several varieties of cacti to a miniature orange tree! And our yard...well, let's just say that it was one of the beautiful spots in our neighborhood.)

I am delighted that eight-year-old Bekah is interested in growing things. For the past couple of years, she has had her own container garden on the deck planted with cherry tomatoes. And earlier this spring, she asked her dad if she could plant carrots in one of the raised beds.

Here are a couple of pictures of Bekah with this year's firstfruits. What you can't see in the pictures is her sharp intake of breath when she discovered that several of her tomatoes had turned a very lovely shade of red.



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