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.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Tulips


Since early February 


tulips have adorned my kitchen island.


Sometimes they stand tall . . . 



. . . sometimes they flop carelessly.


Tulips are my favorite!

Biology at the island.

It seems that my love for tulips goes way back. :)

Me, 1963


During late winter and early spring, I crave the color and cheer that fresh flowers bring.

A granddaughter plopped Bongo by the tulips to wait for her.

As I grocery shop each week, I hear another bunch call my name from the table of cut flowers.
(I wonder why it's always the tulips that call the loudest?)


I think that five dollars is a small price to pay for spring beauty on the island.


Don't you?


Do cut flowers ever call your name when you're shopping for groceries?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Unexplained


For your weekend . . . food for thought . . . 


I have been thinking of how many unexplained things there are in life. Our Lord Jesus, who could have explained everything, explained nothing. He said there would be tribulation, but He never said why. Sometimes He spoke of suffering being to the glory of God, but He never said how. All through the Scriptures it is the same. I cannot recall a single explanation of trial. Can you? We are trusted with the unexplained.  

- Amy Carmichael, Edges of His Ways 




Saturday, March 11, 2017

Homeschooling: A Little Splurge




Sometimes, you need a little splurge!

A friend was telling me recently about a puzzle game that she had bought for her son. As soon as he saw it in the store, he was taken with it, but it was not a planned expenditure. She mulled it over . . . reasoning within her thoughts that they spend no money on video games because that doesn't fit with their lifestyle, but education does fit . . . 

She decided to splurge.

She went on to tell me how much pleasure Andrew had gotten from this puzzle. He has spent hours playing with it and has taken every opportunity to share it with others. It was money well spent!




Hearing Barbara's story got me thinking about how a little splurge can generate enthusiasm in your homeschool.

While I was preparing our school order last summer. Bekah became fascinated with some 4-D anatomy models that she saw in homeschool catalogs. She was going to be studying biology this year, so Ron and I decided to choose a model and order it for her as a surprise.

It is always a thrill when new school things arrive in the mail, but this time it was especially fun to see Bekah's surprise as she discovered her chicken model!



She put it together that day . . .



. . . and many times since then,



learning all the while,



having fun,



increasing her speed


and her knowledge of bird anatomy.



Money well spent.

Because sometimes a little splurge is all it takes to ignite a spark!




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Monday, March 6, 2017

Monday Miscellany



It's been a while since we've had a little chat. Today seems like a good day for it. Is it okay if this is kind of random? 😊

After five weeks off for surgery and recovery, Ron has returned to work. We praise the Lord for a smooth recovery with this surgery! It seemed a little quiet here this morning. Not that Ron is noisy, but he is chatty and he's a morning person (which I am not), so the morning was definitely off to a slower start. 

Back to routine. 

But we've had a wee peek at what retirement could look like and it's all good. 




We had a GRAND sleepover this weekend, the first in Pineapple House! Seven of our grands came for dinner on Friday night and went home on Saturday afternoon. Such a lot of fun! Wall-to-wall kiddos, make-your-own pizzas, Finding Dory, games, art, more games, Papa's pancakes for breakfast. 

One of my favorite activities is a dinner game that one set of grands introduced to us. One person asks a question (What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Are you a morning or a night person? What is your favorite season? What is your favorite bird?), we go around the table giving each person a chance to answer that question, and then the next person asks a question. It can take a while when there are eleven people at your table, but it's a great way to learn about each other and get the conversation flowing. 








A parting shot . . . 


. . . and they all agreed that they'd like to have a summer sleepover. Good times! 




These two did not sleepover on Friday night . . . 


 . . . but I soaked up their cuteness yesterday.
Don't you just love the knees on those tights? I wish I had gotten a shot of the whole outfit.

Our oldest grandson also did not sleep over, but I didn't get any pics of him yesterday. Next week, Gavin. 





I have finally moved into the 21st century with my purchase of a smart phone. Truth be told, I purchased it from my daughter when she upgraded. More truth: I am far from using all of its capabilities. Far. I can make and receive calls (duh), send and receive texts (which I could with my old "stupid phone" but it's much faster with a keyboard instead of a number pad . . . hello!), AND I have learned to take selfies.

I showed my sister my first selfie and she said, "You do know that you can delete, don't you?"

Yes, it was that bad. 

This one that I took on a recent drive is a little better. 






And speaking of my sister . . . and the 21st century . . . and selfies . . . 

For her birthday (which was back in December . . . I told you this was a random post!), I got her a selfie stick. Now Linda is really not a "selfie" kind of person, but on our mother/daughter Christmas shopping trip, we had (kind of) joked that a selfie stick would come in handy for group shots.

Here we are . . . having way too much fun with it! This picture cracks me up. 



So we tried a family shot, and it is my favorite selfie of all time. I am still amazed that we got that many people all looking natural and pleasant! 



Thus ends my rambling post. Happy Monday, everyone! 


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Planning the Library

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When we began to look for a house last year, we weren't looking for a home with four bedrooms, but Pineapple House had four and so we hatched a plan. We would make that extra room into our homeschool room. 

Now that we have lived here for ten months, we have a better feel for how life flows here in this house. Bekah does her written work at the dining room table, and reading/studying can be done all over the place . . . in her bedroom, in the living room, in the car (sometimes!), or on the sun porch when the weather is nice. So, while we still plan to keep our school supplies in the bonus bedroom and school work will be done there from time to time, homeschooling will not be its only function.


This is the room before we moved in.


We are excited about making over this room this spring! This is what we are planning:

1) Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves on one wall.

Hooray! Although we have put some of our books on the built-ins in the living room, we have many that are still in boxes. I. cannot. wait. to start unpacking those boxes. Biographies, history books, geography, fiction, our large collection of children's books, as well as some of our homeschool books, have been hidden away for nearly a year now and it's time for them to see the light of day.

2) A desk/office area.

We have already moved the filing cabinet up from the basement to the closet for easier access. The desk will be a place for bill paying and correspondence. It will also be the designated place for dropping and sorting mail which will eliminate clutter in the kitchen and/or bedroom night stand and/or anywhere else.

3) A reading area.

The love seat that was in The Farmhouse kitchen is in this room. It is a comfortable and inviting piece of furniture. It will eventually need to be reupholstered, but it will be a great place to cozy up and read, whether alone or for school reading.

4) An overflow conversation area.

Although our large gathering area is one of my favorite features in Pineapple House, there are times when a quiet nook is needed . . . for a private conversation, for a couple of grandchildren to play away from the group, to have somewhere to go when others are watching TV, for Sarah and I to chat while Bekah is teaching piano to her nieces. The love seat will serve this function too, and I am also checking Craigslist daily for a small wing chair for the room.


What do you call a room with so many purposes? A homeschool room? A study? An office? A library?

We discussed it and we all agreed. It's a library! 

(Doesn't that sound dreamy?!)



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So for a library, I am picturing a cozy space and have planned my color palette accordingly. It will be something like this . . .

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The walls, like all of the walls we have painted in Pineapple House, will be antique white. It is an old Valspar paint which I don't think Lowe's carries any more. It is a pleasant white, not a bright, pure white, but it has no yellow undertone which is important to me. For the trim, we are going darker for that warm, cozy feel. I have chosen an Olde Century Colors shade called Quaker Green. You can see it here. (I don't think the trim in the above photo is green, but it has the feel we are going for.)


I have created a Pinterest board (Library) and I am gathering ideas.

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Even though our fourth bedroom is about to become a library, it could quickly be converted back into a bedroom again should the need arise. Of course, the wall of bookshelves will be permanent, but the love seat and desk could be taken out and a bed and dresser could be put in. Some of the bookshelves could be fitted with baskets or some other container for added storage. We want to retain that flexibility.

So that is our project for this spring. I'll keep you posted on our progress. Do you have any suggestions for us?

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