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 home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—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.




Thursday, August 13, 2020

Watermelon Birthday Bash


Sunday was the day of our annual SUMMER BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION, the we celebrate 10 birthdays!  


For years and years, my mom has bought me a Wattamelon Roll (watermelon sherbet with chocolate chip "seeds" and a lemon sherbet "rind" . . . yum!) for my birthday. This year, she bought two so that we could have them at the summer birthday party and I had them tucked into my freezer. 

As party day drew nearer, I had not had opportunity to shop for party goods. But as Bekah and I ambled over to look at paper plates and napkins in Target, it dawned on me: We were going to have the watermelon sherbet, and I had a bunch of watermelon plates and napkins in my stash! So a theme was born right there in the Target aisle and I didn't spend a thing!  


At the hors d'oeuvre station . . . 
Watermelon plates (from who-knows-where because I've had them so long)
Fire and Ice Salsa (made with watermelon, recipe~here~)


I got no photos of our birthday lunch of ham and cheese sliders, chips, and a melon fruit salad.

Zinnias and a watermelon made a simple and summery centerpiece.


Mom brought goody bags for all of the birthday people.
Can you believe she had watermelon print tissue tucked into the gift bags, 
tissue that my sister had purchased for her weeks before the watermelon theme was chosen? 


Four-year-old Macie was the cutest little Birthday Fairy passing out the gifts!







My daughter Kristin had made a chocolate-oatmeal cake, 
and my granddaughter Eve had made a lemon layer cake, 

but we decided to put the birthday candles on a Wattamelon Roll!



We sang Happy Birthday three times!

First up were the July birthday girls, grandaughters Eve (13) and Maddie (16).


Next were the August birthday peeps . . . first being a little silly . . . 

. . . and then ready for the cacophony that is our August birthday song!
Left to right: our son Ryan, Ron, me, Mom (Gammy), our grandson Owen (14), our daughter Kristin, and our grandson Judah (2).

🎵 "Happy birthday, 
dear Ryan-Daddy-Ronnie-Dad-Cheryl-Mom-Gammy-Mom-Owen-Kristin-Mom-Judah . . ." 🎵
(And not in any designated order . . .  🤣)


Last (but not least!) was our granddaughter Alaine (10) who missed an August birthday by a single day! 
September 1st is still summer though, so she's part of the Summer Birthday Celebration.

Maybe I should not have done the math, but we celebrated 10 birthdays and 338 years! 

And every one of those years is a gift from God.


Monday, August 3, 2020

Guest Room Updates


Shout out to Bekah who spotted this little table buried in a corner of a favorite antique shop! 

Bekah has a great eye and she knew it would be perfect as a night table in our guest room. (It was also a bargain! Can you believe $40, and then 10% off that?)








A few weeks ago, I uncovered this little rattan stool while antiquing with my friend Barbara. When the room was Kati's, she had an ottoman in this tiny space between the closet and the doorway, a perfect little landing area for purse or packages. But this little stool better fits the aesthetic of the new room. 


Oops. Didn't intend to photograph the cat toy. 😉


The guest room is coming together! 


Still to do: 

  • Ron will be making paneled shutters for the windows, and I will be making fishtail swags.
  • We're still hunting for a small-ish wingback chair. (I purchased a chair on Facebook Marketplace, but I didn't like it in the room and moved it to the library. We play a lot of "Musical Furniture" around here.)  



Perhaps it would be nice to decorate in one fell swoop, but it really is fun to slowly curate a room a little at a time. What do you think? 

Monday, July 27, 2020

Recovery


After Caleb's illness . . .

I longed to get my eyes on him 

to see for myself that he was well

to see that Kati and Andrew were well

to hear the ups-and-downs and behind-the-scenes of their ordeal with Caleb's health

to love and spend time together

to help Kati recharge after such long and lonely days.




I am so grateful for the week that I was able to spend with this dear family! 

Seven wonderful days of baby holding/kissing/snuggling. Plenty of time to talk. A few coffee runs. Learning a new game while holding a sleeping baby. Good food. 


I'm really not scowling; I am just a poor selfie-taker!
But I wanted to record a typical moment from our week together. 💗






I was delighted to see that Kati and Andrew are doing well, enjoying their time together as a family, settling back into a routine (or as much of a routine that one can have with a baby . . . during a pandemic!).





And Caleb? 

Amazing! He is gaining weight every day. He is happy . . . smiles easily, baby-talks, sleeps well at night. In the one week that I was there, he grew out of his swaddles into the next size, he started to reach for things with his little hands, he began to notice their dog Pepper, he noticed the fish tank as it bubbled, and the incisions on his little belly were remarkably improved. 






I thank the Lord for answering our prayers for Caleb, for His strength for this young family, and for allowing me the opportunity to visit them and put my mama-heart at ease. 





Monday, July 13, 2020

Caleb's Bumpy Road


I took another unplanned blogging break these past couple of weeks when our family suddenly found ourselves dealing with a medical crisis involving grandbaby Caleb. 

At his two month checkup, Caleb was diagnosed with pyloric stenosis. He spent ten days in the hospital, requiring not one, but two surgeries to correct this condition. It was a long haul for that precious little boy. It was also hard on his mommy and his daddy who not only had to see their baby suffering, but, because of current covid-related restrictions, could not be together for those ten days. And it was hard on the extended family of grandparents, great-grandparents, aunt, uncles, and cousins who waited for frequent updates on Caleb's health from afar. 




But . . . Praise the Lord! . . . the second surgery was successful, Caleb rapidly began to improve, and he came home this past weekend! The little family is happily reunited! 


Doesn't Caleb looked happy to learn he is finally going home?



And here he is this morning, alert, handsome, and healthy!


"The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy!"
Psalm 126:3


Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Blueberry Streusel Muffins


When my daughter-in-law Sarah came with the children for their piano lesson last week, they brought us a quart of freshly picked blueberries. Yum! We nibbled a few, and added a few to our yogurt and our morning cereal. But I wanted to make one special blueberry-something before they disappeared.

I suggested a few possibilities like Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake or Blueberry Crisp, or Blueberry Cheese Pie, but Ron requested muffins. 



So I have a blueberry muffin recipe that I have been using for many (38!) years. I have shared it before here on the blog before. I absolutely love the photos that accompanied that post, photos of the grands picking wild blueberries when they lived in Maine. Here are some . . . 

Throwback to 2013

(Oops. Got a little sidetracked with those cute grands.)

Back to this post and these muffins . . . 



As much as we enjoy those muffins, I wanted these to be something special, so I pulled this clipping out of my recipe collection.  It was a feature in an old issue (June 2002) of Martha Stewart Living called "Muffins 101." The article included several basic muffin recipes, suggestions for add-ins, recipes for a variety of toppings, and basic how-to's. 



Using this article as a guide, I created some blueberry muffins with a scrumptious streusel topping. 

These muffins are moist and delicious. One person in my house said that they could just eat the streusel topping with a spoon! Martha's recipe for streusel uses confectioner's sugar which gives it a perfect consistency. Of course, there is also plenty of butter in the topping, so that doesn't hurt!  




These muffins met my requirement for something "special" to make with our blueberries! If you want something special for your summer breakfast table or for guests, give these a try!




P.S. You can substitute another fruit like raspberries or chopped peaches. They will be just as good!




BLUEBERRY STREUSEL MUFFINS
(Makes 12 standard muffins)


Muffin Ingredients:
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup milk, room temperature 
1 large egg, room temperature
1 1/4 cups blueberries
streusel topping (recipe below)


Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter or grease a standard muffin tin.

Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl; whisk to combine.

In a medium bowl,combine butter, vanilla, sugar, milk, and egg; whisk to combine.
Fold butter mixture and fruit into flour mixture just until mixed. (Don't overmix!)

Spoon 1/4 cup batter into each cup. Press 2 tablespoons of streusel on top of each.
Bake until tops are golden, 15 to 18 minutes.
Remove from oven; let cool in pan 15 to 20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Serve warm or at room temperature.
(I think these muffins are just as good - or even better-  the next day!)   


Streusel Topping:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
Mix with your fingers until mixture is moist and crumbly.


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