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.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Run, Don't Walk

If you're a coffee lover, a chocolate lover, and a coconut lover all rolled into one, then RUN to your nearest Starbucks and get a Mocha Coconut Frappuccino before they discontinue this limited time lusciousness!  I know I sound like a commercial, but they are that good.  Really. 


Doesn't she look happy?  She is!  She has been telling me that I needed to get one before summer's end, so yesterday we made some girl time and indulged. 

Yep.  They're that good. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Questions About Our Homeschool

Just a few of the silly uninformed interesting questions that we have been asked over the years...

    • Do you give homework? It's all "home"work.

    • What do you do when they get detention?  
      Hmmmm...let's see.  Just how would I go about having my students stay after school? 

    • Do you do school in your pajamas?  And the popular variation,  Do you do school in your underwear? 
      (The variation was usually posed to my then-teenage son by other teenage males.  Tired of this question, Ryan would sometimes "forget" to tell people that he was homeschooled.)


    Although the temptation is there to stand with mouth agape, or even to fall on the floor in a heap of laughter, I usually just smile and answer the question as if it makes perfect sense.  Mostly because, before I was a homeschooler myself, I had a few silly uninformed interesting questions of my own. 

    Fellow home educators, have you ever been asked a silly uninformed interesting question?

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    Herb Garden

    If you don't have a green thumb, an herb garden is the garden for you!  Herbs are so friendly and forgiving.  And useful.  I love stepping out of my back door with a pair of kitchen shears, and clipping some rosemary for roasted potatoes or some chives for scrambled eggs or some basil for a Caprese salad. 
     


    I also love the pineapple that lives in my herb garden!  It called my name from a back shelf in Target's garden center...the same day that I found the furniture for our new patio...the same furniture that was under budget... which freed up funds so that I could answer the call of the pineapple. 
    
    




    You gotta love plants that don't mind fending for themselves! 

    Sunday, July 24, 2011

    Sunday Snapshots: The Checkup

    ...using the Fisher Price medical kit that was their mommy's. 




    Friday, July 22, 2011

    Meeting God In the Moment


    Still trying to keep up with the craziness, the ups and downs, the "to do" lists, the fit-it-all-in-ness...which is not how I like to live.  I crave normalcy, quiet, slowness, calm. 

    But instead of letting it all get to me, I am choosing to (as Elisabeth Elliot so often reminded us to do in her radio messages) just "do the next thing," knowing that He is directing my steps, knowing that His path does not always lead through my comfort zone, knowing that where He leads it is good. 


    I am choosing to meet God in the moment.  One moment at a time. 



    Lord, I need you now, in this moment. 

    Help me to please you, here in this moment. 

    Help me to be a blessing, here in this moment. 

    Teach me what I need to learn, here in this moment.
     

    Quiet my heart, here in this moment. 

    Speak to my heart, here in this moment.

    Cause my ears to hear Your voice, here in this moment. 

    Enable me to see You, here in this moment. 


    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    Respite

    In between the highs and lows of these past few weeks,
    we enjoyed some lovely restful moments. 













    Is there anything cuter than a baby in a bathing suit? 

    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    Find Us Faithful

    I have always loved this song.  It is a challenge to the living...to be faithful to Him, to be mindful of the things that we will leave behind, to walk in such a way that our footprints will lead to Christ. 

    We are but pilgrims passing through this weary land, but we can leave a heritage of faithfulness



    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Still Rejoicing and Weeping

    When I wrote this post yesterday, I had no idea that by nightfall my father-in-law would be with the Lord.  He is no longer bound by this temporary world and its suffering, but he has met His Maker face to face.   


    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    Rejoicing and Weeping


    Rejoice with them that do rejoice,
    and weep with them that weep. 
    Romans 12:15

    We have done a lot of rejoicing these past few days! 


    Our son Ryan flew "home" for a visit (although we acknowledge that his real home is with his wife and children).  We rejoiced that he could be with us, even though our time was brief.  We tried to pack in some memory making moments as he went to and fro with wedding-related activities. 



    We rejoiced at the marriage of Ryan's close friend Josh to his bride Sarah.  The marriage of two who belong to the Lord is such a blessed event, a life picture of the marriage of Christ to His church, His Bride.  The wedding was beautiful, and the reception was a delightful affair of gorgeous surroundings, chatting with friends old and not-as-old, yummy food, and lovely music.   







    We rejoiced at one more graduation celebration for Kati, who wanted to have her family party when her brother was home.  More yummies (including homemade ice cream again!), more hugs, a mini family reunion...and more memory making moments.  Of course, a mama is always thrilled to have all of her children in one place at one time! 







    So many blessings to celebrate...so many causes to be grateful...so many reasons to rejoice! 


    But even in the midst of our celebrating, even as we rejoice, and "rejoice with them that do rejoice"...

    ...my heart is also heavy, and I "weep with them that weep." 

    I weep with my dear friend whose husband has recently been diagnosed with metatastic malignant melanoma.  I weep for Joanie and Gene and their three adult children, as they contemplate the long- and short-term realities of this news, all the while making the conscious choice to be thankful!

    I weep with my father-in-law who just celebrated his eighty-seventh birthday, whose health is failing in so many areas.  I weep as I watch this man who raised eight children and was a strong leader, a strong personality, a physically strong worker, become a man who is suffering and is weak and is dependent. 

    I weep with other friends and family members who are dealing with emotional struggles, family issues, financial struggles, terminal illness, the weight of being a caregiver to someone who will not recover. 


    The rejoicing and the weeping...both a part of living in this temporary world.  
    "For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come."  (Hebrews 13:14)

    So as my heart is torn, in the midst of the celebrating and the mourning, I lean upon His mercy, and trust in His grace, and pray for those who are suffering.

    "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."  (Romans 8:26)
    Can it be that He will use the rejoicing and the weeping to conform us to His image?  (And isn't that what it's all about anyway?)

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011

    Visitors

    We have had lots of visitors lately. 

    First there was the hawk

    Yesterday there was this sweet little thing. 


    A lady brought this adorable runaway to our back door. She had found him across a well-traveled rural road, bearing a tag with his name and our neighbor's address and phone number. Apparently, our neighbors were not at home, and she wondered if we'd keep him here in the meantime. Of course, the girls said yes, and we supplied him with a bucket of water and a slice of ham (he didn't want cat food), and they totally babied him while I tried to get in touch with his mommy or daddy.

    To shorten the story, I reached Bear's mommy at work. She was relieved that her baby had been found, as he had run away a week before after being startled by a visitor to his backyard. (We think that "Bear" was misnamed, because he is neither the size of a bear, nor does he have the ferocity of a bear. In fact, he is on the opposite end of the spectrum in both departments!)  So Bear was returned, and seemed quite happy to be back at home safe and sound.

    Last night, Kati discovered another visitor on the back porch.  We had gotten out a doggie/kitty pillow for Bear's comfort during his short stay, but when Kati peered out the back door before going to bed, she was not prepared to see an opossum lying down on it!  Unfortunately, she did not think to photograph it before she opened the door to chase him away.  What was she thinking? 

    Tonight, we are waiting for a visitor of an entirely different sort.  This one is most welcome...and he is not feathery, not furry...but our much-loved son Ryan!  He will be here for a few days to join in the wedding festivities of a close friend, and, although he will be in and out a lot, we are so happy to serve as home base and sneak in some precious moments together.  So if you do not see me here, you'll know that I am enjoying some memory-making moments! 

    Monday, July 4, 2011

    Monday Snapshots

    Monday?

    Just when I had finally settled on a name for the Sunday Snapshots posts, I up and change it to "Monday Snapshots."  But just for this week.  (Reason #1: Instead of our usual Sunday activities, we went out for lunch and then to a birthday party yesterday, and I forgot my camera...so I have no Sunday snapshots.  Reason #2: Today I took plenty of snapshots.)
    
    
    
    


    My father-in-law and four of his seven siblings

    Bekah took this picture from our front porch
    as we viewed the fireworks display of a neighboring town!

    Sunday, July 3, 2011

    "Here in America"

    I love this song because of the musicality--the smooth melody of the accordian (and I don't usually like accordian music), the clashing cymbals as he sings of the crashing ocean waves, the rolling piano tones at the words about the water falling...

    I love this song because there are lines that grab me and speak to my heart. 
    "If I were a painter I do not know which I'd paint--the calling of the ancient stars or assembling of the saints."  Deep thought. 
    "For I know the thirsty listen and down to the waters come." 

    I love this song because it says that, although America is beautiful, what really matters is that I am a citizen of Heaven.  "The Holy King of Israel loves me here in America."  Let those words sink in!

    "The Holy King of Israel loves me here in America."



    Friday, July 1, 2011

    Party Lights

    We're still experimenting with landscaping and logistics (where to put food, where to put drinks, how many people can we fit?) for the new patio , but we love the hanging jar candles that we used at our recent party.  We saw this idea ~here~, gathered our supplies, and put these together mere hours before Kati's graduation party.  They were pretty easy to make (especially after Ron supplied us with needle-nosed pliers) and had that farmhouse-y kind of charm I was looking for. 





    At the edge of dark, our very own Keeper of the Flame lit the candles...


    and we enjoyed some flickering ambience.



    Note:  The apparent shortage of party guests is due to the fact that I didn't photograph the lights until after everyone had left! 

    Another note:  If you click the link ~here~, scroll down and the video  tutorial is on the right side of the web page.  Martha was using a variety of antique jars (of course), but we used Mason jars that we had on hand. 
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