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.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Pineapple House | Adding Curb Appeal

During the early days of quarantine when we were in the house for days on end, we often broke the monotony with a Sunday afternoon drive. 

On one of those drives, Ron said that he thought that there were things that we could do to our house exterior to give it more visual appeal. Boom! No sooner were those words uttered than ideas started flying around the car! 

Pineapple House: Before
Like most of the "befores" of Pineapple House, it certainly wasn't bad!
This house was loved and well cared for by the former owners.
But there were things we wanted to change to fit our own personal style and desires. 

As we were taking frequent drives, we had many opportunities to gather inspiration for our exterior changes. We took lots of photographs which I gathered into a photo file on my laptop. Here are a few . . . 

We settled on six elements in our plans to add curb appeal. 

  1. Full-view storm doors, front and back
  2. New roof
  3. Chippendale rails
  4. Louvered basement window covers
  5. Outdoor wall sconces 
  6. New lamp post and light

It seemed like a lot of changes, a daunting list. But we just started, took one step at a time, looked for bargains, and we Ron did most of the work ourselves himself. 

The original storm doors had two panels that could raise and lower, allowing for fresh air to come through the screen when the weather was nice. We liked that when we first moved in, but over time we realized that we really didn't use that feature very often. Aesthetically, we preferred a full-view door. Our front door is a lovely old paneled wood door and a full view would show it to better advantage. 

So Ron bought a Larson storm door and installed it himself in a half a day. 

We think it looks so much better without a bar across the middle. And there is a side benefit. The old storm door had
 a screen in the top half, but the new one is all glass which allows more unfiltered natural light inside. (We open the wooden door on all but the hottest and coldest days to enjoy that natural light.)

We were off and running with our plans to update the exterior!

Ron installed the new storm door on the front of the house in September 2020. 

The back door was installed in June 2021. 

We put a new roof on this project list, but this was something that needed to be done regardless of curb appeal. We knew when we bought the house that it would need a new roof in a few years, and this was the time. This is also the one project on the list that Ron did not do himself. 

What a job! 

Believe it or not, the roof had once been white, but had come to be a (dirty) gray. We chose a charcoal color for our new roof. Yes, this project needed to be done for practical reasons, but it sure did make an improvement in the appearance of our house.

While the roof was priority as far as practicality, new Chippendale rails was priority as far as my excitement level! We knew that replacing the wrought iron railing with colonial style rails would go a long way toward giving the house the feel we wanted. 

We took multiple photos, searched the internet, went to see houses that friends told us about, and finally settled on a style. (Before our research, I had no idea that there were so many variations!) 

~ Pinterest ~

Whew! It was a process!

Ron began by taking down the wrought iron rail in October 2020 . . . 

 . . . and then there was a lot of math and cutting and waiting for the pressure treated lumber to cure and waiting for days to work on it and priming and painting. 

Rails completed: October 2021 ! 

You probably can't see them in the "before" photo, but our basement window wells had plastic covers that had clouded with age. Ron made these louvered covers which I think are so much prettier! 

We took to the Internet to search for outdoor wall sconces. The existing wiring was placed a little high on the wall, so I looked for something that would hang below. I was looking for something with a colonial vibe that was also within budget. 

We made a selection, but then I had second thoughts and started searching again! We ended up with these sconces by Livex. They fit my criteria, and I'm not sure if you can see it, but they have beveled glass. (They are now discontinued so I can't share a link.)

We purchased a third sconce for the garage. 

When we ordered the outdoor wall sconces, we also ordered a post light  Ron had planned to adapt the existing post, but . . . oops . . . he discovered that it was beginning to rot at the base so he started from scratch. 
This is the project I referred to in this post

Although it sometimes seemed like the projects were moving at a snail's pace, I think we accomplished a lot in the space of 18 months! 

I said at the beginning of this post that Pineapple House had been well-loved. We feel like we have simply added our own brand of love to its history and we are happy with these exterior updates to Pineapple House!

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Thanksgiving | 2021

The table was set for twenty this year.

We were missing some. Kati, Andrew, and their babies were celebrating with Andrew's family. Mom and Daddy were home because Daddy was feeling under the weather. They were all greatly missed! But we believe that you celebrate big with the ones who are here! 

Two folding tables were joined to our dining room table and all were draped with white tablecloths. We set a variety of brown transferware, a variety of white cloth napkins, and a variety of silverware. Lots of variety . . . but it all flowed together. 

It can be challenging to decorate a looooong table. One centerpiece doesn't feel like enough, and if we did one, it would be on the middle table which is one of the narrower ones. So we usually go with long-and-narrow meandering centerpiece which means a lot of items needed to fill the space. This year, we started with small burgundy potted mums from Trader Joe's and interspersed them with pewter candlesticks with white candles. We added two different sizes of votives with white candles. Then we  gathered all of the pumpkins and gourds we had in the house (we actually pulled some from outside too) and spread them along the length of the table. (We used all but the bright orange ones.) We added pomegranates and Bosc pears for a sort of cornucopia look. Finally, we strewed faux acorns and preserved leaves for filler and for color.  

The tables were set. I had my Thanksgiving playlist streaming through the speaker. Our portion of the feast was prepared. We were ready for our loved ones! 

Are these not the cutest little turkeys? 

Some father/daughter teamwork: Kristin is making the gravy, and Ron is filling the bowl with his mashed potatoes. 

For the first time, Nora accompanied our pre-dinner Thanksgiving hymn. 🎜🎝

We all sang "For the Beauty of the Earth." 

Ron prayed the blessing, and then we sang Happy Birthday to Peter! Peter was born on Thanksgiving Day in 2011, and this year he had a Thanksgiving birthday. We had a big celebration for him! 😉

If you've been reading here long, you may remember that we have "servers" each year for our Thanksgiving meal. It eliminates a long buffet line or having all of the food on the table which is already pretty full. I neglected to get a photo of the servers this year, but they were Kristin, Bekah, and Maddie and they did a fine job! 

Brian helped us with our Thanksgiving selfie, which we texted to faraway Kati and family. They texted one to us too. 

This year, Ron went around the table and had everyone share something that they were thankful for. He followed that with asking us our favorite food on the Thanksgiving table. 

This was Baby Joanna's first Thanksgiving.  I got to sit beside her at the table! After she ate, we played peekaboo with our napkins. So much fun! 

Eve made a beautiful apple pie!

Bekah and I took plates of food over to Mom and Daddy. 

This picture is gold! What helpful guys with servant hearts! 

The cousins presented a new musical creation, Thanksgiving themed. "Going to a New Land . . . " 🎜🎝

Judah (3) checking out the dessert buffet! Lots of choices there, Judah!

I was happy with my choice! 

"It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High."
Psalm 92:1

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

An Oreo Birthday Celebration

Once again, a family group chat inspired a birthday idea! (In October, it was the candy corn cookies.)

We had been discussing all of the many flavors of Oreos that are sold these days. So when we realized that the best Sunday for the celebration was going to be the Sunday before Thanksgiving, I decided to keep it simple and have an Oreo-themed party. Instead of birthday cake, we'd all bring a package or two of some special flavor of Oreos and have a taste test. 

On Sunday, we gathered to celebrate Peter and Paul, brothers whose birthdays are one day apart. Paul will turn seven on the 24th and Peter will be eleven on the 25th. The birthday boys requested ham and cheese sliders for lunch. Sarah made potato salad and we had individual bags of chips.

We labeled our cups with different flavors of Oreos, from "original" to "dulce de leche." (Who knew there were so many?)

Papa sneaking a kiss from pretty Joanna (8 months)

Our game was a quiz to see how well we knew the birthday boys.

Judah could not resist touching Joanna's head. It was the cutest thing! 

We sang to the boys and they blew out their candles which were perched in scoops of vanilla ice cream . . . 

. . .  and then everyone was invited to sample as many flavors of Oreos as they wished! 🎉

We had Java Chip, Carrot Cake, Dark Chocolate, Chocolate Marshmallow, Mint, Chocolate Hazelnut, Fudge Covered, Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, Apple Cider Donut, and Birthday Cake Oreos. 

Then . . . discussion on favorites and losers. Very subjective! 

Before everyone left for home, I gave out baggies for everyone to take home some of their favorites, or some of ones they had not tried. 

It was a simple party, but lots of fun and we loved celebrating those special brothers! 
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