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, May 30, 2011

Bathroom Show and Tell

Are house projects ever really complete?  Maybe not.  At my house, there is always some tweaking going on!  So, although there are a few things yet to do, I have decided to go ahead and show you our newly remodeled bathroom. 



BEFORE


If you remember, the need for a new floor kind of started the ball rolling on this project.

The old floor was worn and had mysterious staining under the surface, so no amount of cleaning and scrubbing could make it look good.

BEFORE: old floor

Voila! 
Ron installed our new floor using SnapStone® tiles from Lowe's.


AFTER: new floor
 



With all of the fixtures removed in order to lay the floor, this was the time to replace the toilet with a water-saving model that Ron wanted...as well as add the tongue-and-groove style wainscoting.   




You have no  idea how long we stood in Lowe's debating whether we should go with the wainscoting.  Pros: we love the look of this wainscoting in our farmhouse...and it was within our project budget...and the easiest time to install is when the room is basically empty.  Cons: it would add time (installation and painting) to what we needed to be a quick project!  (Have I mentioned that Ye Olde Farmhouse has only ONE bathroom?)  In the end, we decided to add the wainscot...and we are so glad that we did!  Woo hoo!




Those were the major things that we (mostly Ron!) did. 



We also repainted the bathtub...




repainted the medicine cabinet...




and stitched up a new vanity skirt and lid cover. 





Have a look around!
 




 





Unfinished business:  making a curtain, ordering the toilet paper holder, and hanging something on that empty wall.  But that's all fun stuff.  :-)


Thanks for sharing our project with us! 



Whew!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Snapshot

Right now, we are all about preparing for graduation.  Ordering a cap and gown, designing announcements, planning food, looking through almost eighteen years of photographs, looking (and looking...and looking...and looking) for a lost cd that had the music that Kati wanted.  So it is no surprise that the theme this Sunday was...graduation!  

In this Sunday's snapshot, Kristin and Kati are working on the dvd slideshow that will be shown at the graduation service.  (After a few nail-biting moments, success was achieved!) 



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"High School Is Over"

Today, Kati completed her last homeschool assignment.  She posted on her Facebook page, "High school is over!" 

Tonight, everything is the same, and everything is different.   

 
There is a space on everyone's bookshelves for books one has outgrown but cannot give away. They hold one's youth between their leaves, like flowers pressed on a half-forgotten summer's day.  ~ Marion C. Garretty  


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Snapshot(s)

This Sunday was spent at the new home of our oldest daughter, Kristin, and her family.  You can read the inspiring story of God's provision for them ~here~ at Kristin's blog Bits and Pieces From My Life

A beautiful sunny day...a delicious dinner...a back door opened dozens of times (or more?)...a visit from Gammy who came bearing outdoor toys for all the littles...treasure hunting in the spacious backyard...coffee and cake...family fellowship...and smiles galore from this precious baby...

Can you see two tiny new teeth?

We watched the children wave until we were out of sight.
 
"Children are an heritage from the Lord."  Psalm 127:3


Memory-making moments...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Details

I will not offer up a blue million excuses reasons for why I do not have bathroom "after" pics to share yet, but the week has been full of non-remodeling activities.  And for goodness' sake...I still have the old toilet in my driveway, so we can't say the project is done until that disappears, now can we?   

Today I plan to spend the day with my sewing machine.  Then we can have show-and-tell.  

In the meantime, I will share an Elisabeth Elliot quote that has been going through my mind this week. It puts into perspective all of the busy-ness and the coming-and-going and the planning and doing and the important and the trivial.
He who choreographs the stars in their courses is also in charge of the tiniest details of our lives.

Don't you find that a comforting thought? Do you know the choreographer?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Scenes From the Bathroom Remodel




Oh yeah. 

Thankfully, these were scenes from last week.  This week, Ron is back at work (ha! like last week wasn't work!), and we're putting finishing touches in place.  Hope to have "after" pictures by the weekend. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Snapshot

Only one Sunday Snapshot this week.  I didn't even have to make a decision, because I forgot to get my camera out until the dear family was getting ready to leave.  (Edit:  Why, oh why, did I not take any pics of the kids playing in the toilet box?  Grandmothers love that sort of thing, you know.)  Bummer.

I'm not sure how it started, but the new routine is for each grandchild to ride piggyback out to their van for the trip home.  Shortly before departure time, the children claim their "ride" for the evening. 

Tonight's teams :-)

After all are buckled into their seats, the children begin the countdown until the next time we'll see one another.  (Three days?  Five days?  Please don't say next Sunday!  That's soooooooooooooo long!)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Good News and Bad News

The good news is that the bathroom remodel starts today.

The bad news is that the bathroom remodel starts today.



It is also good news (very good news) that this remodel is mostly cosmetic. Thirty years ago our remodels usually involved rewiring and knocking out walls and replacing windows and hanging wallboard and weeks or months of disarray.  I cannnot get excited about such projects these days.  This time, we hope to make the needed improvements in one staycation week. 

The totally worn out and mysteriously stained (under the surface) bathroom floor predicated this project. 

Yuck!

So here goes...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sunday Snapshot(s)

MOTHER'S DAY 2011

Me and my girls


Me and five of my grandchildren


All of the moms and daughters!
L to R (back row):  Yvonne (Brian's mom),
Kristin with Alaine, me, Kati, Miriam (my mom)
L to R (front row):  Maddie, Bekah


Candid taken by Gavin :-)


And one of my favorite pictures of the day...
Alaine, 8 months

A day of sweet memories and dear loved ones and happy voices and inspiring music and good food and a perfect-weather-day to enjoy the new patio...wrapped up with a Mother's Day phone call from my faraway family, completed by sweet voices saying "I love you!"

I am a blessed woman!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Blast From the (Fairly Recent) Past

Mother's Day 2009
Four generations of mothers and daughters!

L to R back row:  Mom, me, my daughters Kati and Kristin, my sister Linda, my niece Amy
L to R front row:  my granddaughter Maddie and my daughter Bekah
(Absent: daughter-in-law Sarah, granddaughters Eve and Nora)

One generation shall praise thy works to another,
and shall declare thy mighty acts.
Psalm 145:4

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Thorn

Yesterday our homeschool co-op met at a local park for our end of the year finale.  It was a beautiful day, and a beautiful setting...

plenty of space,


green lawns for picnicking,


lots of nature trails,


meandering creeks,


a small island in the creek which can be reached by a wooden bridge,
Random fishermen...not our co-op students ~grin~


and even gentle hills for rolling!


However, the lovely day was marred for one little boy.  Andrew took a tumble, and came up with a tiny thorn embedded in his palm.  It was big enough to see, but not protruding enough to pull it out.  Tweezers didn't work, an ice pack didn't numb the pain, tape wouldn't grip it, and the idea of sterilized needle surgery when they arrived at home was not a comfort to little Andrew.  He was miserable. 

One mom went on a mercy mission to the nearest pharmacy and returned with Neosporin Plus which contains a topical analgesic along with antibacterial ointment.  (Moms, don't leave home without it!)  That did the trick!  Not only did it quickly numb the pain (enough that Andrew scampered off to rejoin the running, climbing children), but it apparently allowed the thorn to slide right out of the skin, because Andrew dashed over to the picnic area a bit later to triumphantly announce that the thorn was gone! 

Thank you, Lord.  Now Andrew (and his mom) can enjoy the rest of the day. 


Last night as I was reflecting on our day, I thought of the words from Twila Paris's song... "Thank you for this thorn." 

What?  Thank you? For the thorn? 
As little Andrew's flesh was pierced with the thorn, it did not seem a cause for thanks.  We were thankful when it was gone, but were we thankful when it made him suffer? 

Ah, but in the spiritual realm, are we to be thankful for thorns?  The irritation, the suffering, the pain? 

In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul said,
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
Our Lord's answer was this...
My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
Was Paul thankful for his thorn?
Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Am I able to say that I take pleasure in infirmities? In necessities? In persecution or distress?


Am I able to say this to Him?
Thank you, loving Father, for this thorn, the thorn that causes pain and suffering. Thank you for what it is accomplishing in my life. I find your grace sufficient.


:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

THIS THORN
Twila Paris

Thank you for this torn embedded in my flesh
I can feel the mystery, my spirit is made fresh
You are sovereign still and forever wise
I can see the miracle opening my eyes

To a proud heart so quick to judge
Laying down crosses and carrying grudges
The veil has been torn
And I thank you for this thorn

Thank you for this thorn, fellowship of pain
Teaching me to know you more, never to complain
Thank You for this love planted in my side
Faithful patient miracle opening my eyes

I never thought I'd say it without reservation
But I am truly grateful for this piercing revelation
Of a proud heart so quick to judge
Laying down crosses and carrying grudges
The veil has been torn
And I thank you for this thorn

And if You chose to take it, I will praise You
And thank You for the healing in Your name
But if it must remain, I thank You for Your rod
Evidence of Father-love for a child of God

I join You in sorrow
So much less than You have borne
And I thank you, really I thank You
Lord I thank You, I thank You for this thorn


*** Click ~ here ~ to listen to Twila Paris sing this beautiful song.        


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Adorning the Home

I have such fun with my house. Now, that is.

We bought our house over 28 years ago [edited: now 30 years!] due to the foresight and vision of my husband. I saw a house in very rough shape and lots of work ahead of us. He saw an affordable house adjacent to family property with lots of potential. Actually, we were both right.

But that was many years ago, many dollars ago, many hours of work ago. Many gutted rooms, refinished floors, installed windows, reinvented rooms, moved doorways and driveways. Rewiring, replaced plumbing, revamped heating.

Now, I have fun with my house. Home is the best place to be. I enjoy rearranging furniture, making curtains, deciding what to hang on the walls, choosing paint colors. I love finding those little finishing touches that add heart. I like to light scented candles, decorate for each season, set a pretty table. I even like to clean. (I was once called a "sick puppy" when I confessed to my sister that I'd rather clean the toilet than go grocery shopping...but we all have our preferences. :-))


But no matter how I adorn my house, it is not a beautiful place unless there is this all-important sound:

The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly. Psalm 118:15
If there is not the voice of salvation, the sound of joy, the kind words and pleasant atmosphere that accompany His salvation, then true beauty is not here.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Reposted from October 2009
Why?  Because the Lord brought this verse to my mind this morning...
and I need a reminder myself!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Today

Today
Thomas Carlyle

So here hath been dawning
Another blue day:
Think, wilt thou let it
Slip useless away?

Out of Eternity
This new day is born:
In to Eternity
At night will return.

Behold it aforetime
No eye ever did:
So soon it forever
From all eyes is hid.

Here hath been dawning
Another blue day:
Think, wilt thou let it
Slip useless away?

 ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

What are you doing today?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sunday Snapshot...

...will have to be a snapshot of words this week. 

It was quite a different weekend, not our usual Saturday-projects-and-Sunday-worship-and-family-gathering type of weekend, but one full of work and busy-ness and moving.  No, we didn't move...but, after a two-year saga of looking and waiting and praying and twists and turns and waiting some more, Kristin and her family moved into their new home!  We are SO thrilled for them and rejoice in what the Lord has provided!  (You can read Kristin's house hunting story ~here~.)


I love this quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer...
"A home is a kingdom of its own in the midst of the world, a stronghold amid life's storms and stresses, a refuge, even a sanctuary."
We pray that this new home, God's provision for this family, at this time, will be a refuge and a sanctuary, even as it reflects the Heavenly home that He is preparing for His own.   
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