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.


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April





I am ever amazed at how quickly the calendar turns from one page to another, and the sun has risen and set another thirty days or so, and the seasons are changing, and my children and grandchildren are changing and growing.  I look back over each month and try to record in my memory the milestones, the big and small pieces of our lives, the blessings and the challenges.  And I am grateful for His faithfulness.  

What is time, unless it is an opportunity to serve Him? Am I using my time--these days, these moments--for good?  Am I helping, encouraging, relating, seeking beauty, making beauty? 

Do the small things really count?  


For who has despised the day of small things?
Zechariah 4:10

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Snapshots: Fellowship


Our usual eleven became twelve this afternoon, as we were joined by Kati's good friend, Kate.  (Actually, Kate is a friend of the whole family. We've known her since she was 3!)   


Highlights of the day: 
the season's first burgers cooked on the grill
 outside meal, outside play
little girls playing "Nancy Drew"
three dessert options 
talking up a storm
laughing
games


Life's simple pleasures...shared with a friend.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sweet Glimpses of Spring


Does it ever seem to you that spring comes all of a sudden?  One day it is cold and the trees are bare and the grass is brown.  And then, almost imperceptibly, spring slips in and all is green and bright and bits of color are all around.  

When Ron brought home our Friday night carry-out, he said, "We really need to eat out on the patio tonight."  So I hastily gathered drinks, napkins, ketchup, put it all on a wooden tray, and out we went to enjoy meatball subs al fresco.  

Oh, it was a perfect evening...not cold, not hot, not humid.  The evening sun shone brightly.  

Spring has sprung.

And we enjoyed spring in our little corner of the world.  














The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of singing has come,
And the voice of the turtledove
Is heard in our land.

Song of Solomon 2:12

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Hidden Art of Homemaking {A Book Club}



Cindy of  Ordo Amoris is hosting a book club discussing The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer.  Cindy has hosted other book clubs from time to time, and, although I read along, I have never been inclined to join in the discussion.  The participants are cerebral and articulate, and I consider myself neither.  This book, however, has drawn me in, for homemaking is a subject that is near to my heart.  
Since my earliest memory, I have wanted to be a homemaker.  

I toyed with the idea of being a teacher, a writer, a psychiatrist (!).  But I always knew that when I was married and had children, I would be a full time homemaker.  

For me, creating a rich, beautiful, and welcoming home environment is the best job there is.  And I believe that it is a job that has investments in the eternal realm.  Serving as a helpmeet, discipling my children, opening my home for ministry and fellowship...all are ways to use my home to serve my Lord.  Giving attention to detail, purposefully designing its environment, setting the tone...all support that service.  The Hidden Art of Homemaking validates the idea that homemaking is important, and that it requires creativity to do it well.

One must only take a perfunctory glance at nature to realize that there is a Designer, a Master Creator.  In Chapter 1 of The Hidden Art of Homemaking, Edith Schaeffer describes our Creator as "The First Artist."  And God has created human beings, made in His image, with the capacity and desire for creativity. We draw. We sew. We sing. We invent. We plan a menu. We set a pretty table. We build a table. We write. We solve problems. And we use creativity in all of those endeavors, and in countless others. Our creations are paltry compared to our own Creator's, but in creating, we are reflecting just a bit of His nature.

Eric Liddell, missionary and Olympic runner, was said to have stated, "When I run, I feel His pleasure."

I adapt his words to express my own sentiment, "When I make a home, I feel His pleasure."





If you're interested in this book discussion, you may read along as I usually do 
(click ~here~ for all the posts in the discussion), 

or join in the discussion yourself!
(Click ~here~ for details on how to participate.)


Monday, April 22, 2013

The Road to a Friend's House is Never Long


When I got up this morning, I thought it would be an ordinary sort of day.  Tidying the house from the weekend, homeschooling, laundry, meals. The usual.  

This afternoon, my phone rang.  I thought it was Kati who was running errands after work.  It was not.  

SURPRISE!  

It was my friend Deanna!  She and her crew were on a field trip to Assateague and wanted to know if it would be okay to come and see us before they drove back to Pennsylvania.  Okay?  Of course...we'd be delighted!!   I warned her that I had a cold.  She warned me that her hair was windblown.  She told me not to worry about the house.

Again, we picked up where we left off last time.  I love that!  


Friends!


Deanna (center); her daughters Sarah, Rachel,and Lindsay;
her son Kyle; and their friend Sarah (back left)

We are already planning another visit to their home in the fall.  (Unless another surprise visit happens before then.)  


Because the road to a friend's house is never long.  

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Snapshots: Two Kinds of Fun


Which is more fun?  

Playing on a big pile of stones...climbing up, running over, rolling down, sliding down...


...or taking a break for a Klondike Bar picnic in the kitchen?





Saturday, April 20, 2013

Around the House This Week


Ron was around the house this week!



Which meant that our around-the-house activities looked a little different.  

Ron put up a dinner bell near the back door. He has wanted one for years. Recently he found a good deal on one, and used some gift money he had squirreled away. We also planted some liriope along the edge of the patio, loved on Moses (our most recent "stray"), and drank iced mochas.





But the biggest around-the-house activity this week was painting the kitchen!  

Does it seem like we just did that?  Well, we did paint the kitchen cabinets in our remodel a year ago.  But the eating/living area of the kitchen had not been painted in years.  (We're not sure how many, but our son Ryan helped paint it...and he has been married for 8 years!)  It was time.  

Only the astute observer would see evidence of this project, because we kept the antique white walls/barn red wainscoting color scheme. 

Oh, but we know!  Four trips (four!) to get paint. A couple of days living with mauve primer on all of the trim. I felt like I was back in the '80's!  (Do you remember mauve?) 



Tonight, everything is put back together.  The painting is done.  Pictures are rehung.  Everything has been scrubbed and swept and polished.  I am taking ibuprofen every four hours.  

Next week, it will be back to routine around the house. I'll miss having Ron here. But homeschooling and cooking and cleaning sounds like a piece of cake.  

Vacation is hard work!



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Note Card Party: Yellow


I love to see pops of yellow in the springtime! The natural world displays lots of yellow during the spring--daffodils, forsythia, tulips.  Do you suppose that our Creator planned it for our pleasure?   



This is my Fathers world 
And to my listening ears, 
All nature sings and round me rings 
The music of the spheres. 






This is my Fathers world, 
I rest me in the thought 
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas, 
His hand, the wonders wrought. 



This is my Fathers world, 
The birds, their carols raise, 
The morning light, the lily white 
Declare their makers praise.  





This is my Fathers world, 
He shines in all that's fair. 
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass, 
He speaks to me everywhere.





This is my Fathers world, 
Oh let me ne'er forget 
That though the wrong seems oft so strong
God is the ruler yet. 


This is my Fathers world, 
The battle is not done. 
Jesus, who died, shall be satisfied 
And earth and heaven be one.


(Lyrics by Maltbie D. Babcock)



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Then you can join this month's party
over at Vee's Haven!

(Click the button for details.)
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Monday, April 15, 2013

Collections {A Link-Up}


My daughter Kati has done a 6-week series on collections, highlighting her own collections (mugs, stamps, thimbles, etc.) as well as including tidbits about collecting and some fun giveaways!  This week, she offers her readers a chance to share their own collections by linking up to this post.   






When my mother, my sister Linda, and I go shopping, we're pretty predictable.  I am not talking about Christmas shopping, when we're shopping for other people.  I am talking about social shopping, when we go to Marshalls or HomeGoods or somewhere with the main purpose of spending time (not money) together.  

Original purpose notwithstanding, each of us often gravitates to the same type of items.   

Mom has a weakness for pedestals.  "I'm not going to buy a pedestal today," she was heard saying as we entered HomeGoods a few weeks ago.  But when we walked out of the door, she was carrying this...


...to add to her collection.  ~smile~

Linda often ends up with furniture.  Lest you are thinking sofas or dining tables, let me assure you that the pieces usually tend toward small occasional tables.  (More than once we have stuffed a table in the back of a van.)  Let me also assure you that Linda is a bargain magnet.  She finds things with unbelievable price tags.  I need to shop with her more often.

My obsession is bowls.  (Okay, I also have an obsession with napkins.) I don't go looking for bowls (as Mom does not search for pedestals and Linda does not hunt for bargain furniture).  They find me.

I think that is how it is with a collection.  Most of the time, you don't set out to collect a particular thing.  You just end up with a collection because you are gathering things that you love.

Here are a few of my bowls...

Antique Brown Bowl

One of my favorites, this old brown bowl once belonged to my great-grandmother.



Yellow Ware Bowls

This old one holds potatoes on the kitchen counter.


This is one of a set of reproduction yellow ware bowls.  
There are three different sizes and I use them all the time!



Another old one, this one rests in the iron bowl tree.


I often use my bowls for things other than serving food!



The Blues

The large bright blue bowl is one of my HomeGoods "surprises."
Two reproduction spongeware bowls, one with a house motif.
I have a pair of these white-with-blue-polka-dots bowls, purchased for a dollar at Target.



Seeing Red

Also seeing a bargain!  Clearance at (can you guess?)...Target.



Basic White

This white ironstone bowl is Pfaltgraff's Heritage pattern, as are my basic white dishes.


This vintage milk glass bowl was a gift from my mother-in-law, along with a matching platter.




Click the button below to link up your collections...
or to catch up on Kati's series!



Sunday, April 14, 2013

Weekend Snapshots: BekahBoo is 12!


The baby of the family just turned 12...
and we took the whole weekend to mark this milestone!  
(If you don't know Bekah's story, you can read it ~here~.)




On Saturday:

a picnic lunch 
the zoo
the playground
dinner at a Mexican restaurant




...back home for birthday presents 
and chocolate chip cheesecake!



Then on Sunday:

An extended family birthday party!



In the bottom photo, everyone was trying to eat a very sour lemon candy without making a face!





Also this weekend...
stories about Bekah's birth and her name
Sense and Sensibility


We thank the Lord for the blessing of Bekah!


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