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.




Saturday, March 2, 2019

House Project Goals 2019


Two whole months (and a couple of days) into 2019. Is anyone besides me still talking about goals for the "new year"? Most likely, not! But a promise is a promise, and so I am back to finish this little series that I began in January . . . before Kati got engaged and before a spring wedding was planned! 



These are the House Projects that we're planning for 2019:


BATHROOM REFRESH  This is not a complete remodel, but we're tackling a few things in our main bathroom, the one that the girls share and that most of our guests use.


We have two and a half bathrooms in this house and they all have pastel tile. Hello, 1950's! The sage tile in the main bathroom, however, is pleasing to my eye and it blends with our color palette in the rest of the house, so we're going save ourselves a big remodeling project and leave it alone.

This is what we are going to do.

  • Paint the walls and all the trim. We are using the antique white that we use on all the walls in the house, only this time we'll use that color on the trim as well. With all the green tile, it would be too "busy" to introduce another accent color, so white it is. 
  • Hang a new ceiling light. You cannot see the old fixture in the above photo (bad blogger), but we have chosen a four light saddle light something like this
  • Remove the fluorescent light above the vanity. We haven't found vanity lights that we love, so we're not going to put any for now. If there is not enough light, we'll come back and add some later. (Bekah never turns on the fluorescent light that is there now, so she probably won't miss a vanity light.) 
  • Make shutters for the window.

That's it. The project is already underway, but we have not made a great deal of progress so far. (So many other irons in the fire.)





SOUTH WALL of the KITCHEN  You've heard me talk about this before! It's been in the plan ever since we've lived here. We have made a lot of progress in the kitchen, but this south wall still needs some work.

  • Move the washing machine down to the basement. 
  • Move the refrigerator over to where the washing machine sits now. This will involve some re-configuring of the upper cabinets, but it will allow space for a longer section of countertop instead of two short sections on either side of the fridge. 
  • Build a drawer and cabinet unit to fill in the empty space. 






LANDSCAPING  We are planning to tidy and replant some of the beds around the house. We'll start with the front this spring and move clockwise as time/budget allows.

We're also considering putting a fence across the back of the property. For thirty-eight years, we lived in the country where our views were farmland and woods with houses in the distance. Here at Pineapple House, the spring and summer views are fine with our large forsythia hedge and a big oak tree on the lot in back of ours. But during the winter, we look out of our big picture window in the living room and see the next street and cars coming and going and, well, we're hoping to create a little backyard oasis. Maybe some evergreens or shrubbery. I am picturing hydrangeas and boxwoods. (We're open to suggestions!)






GUEST BEDROOM  This is a surprise project for this year, but it's one that I am quite excited about!

I am calling this bedroom my "consolation prize." It is actually Kati's bedroom now, but as you know, very soon she will not be living here. (Cue the lump in my throat.) I will miss her terribly. But you all know how much I love house-y things, so I am consoling myself with plans to decorate her room a new guest room!

This is the photo from the ad.

I have already purchased an antique pineapple post bed. I am planning to use a matelasse coverlet, either one that I picked up at a booth at an antique market a few years ago or a newer Martha Stewart one that my mom offered me. I am looking for a dresser. I have an old Windsor rocking chair that I will bring down from the attic. (I may replace it with a wing chair in the future.) I am considering repainting the bamboo table that is on my  sun porch (it belonged to my paternal grandparents) to use as a night stand or I may just keep my eye out for something else. I am also thinking about a rug.

I've never had a dedicated guest room before. Because all our bedrooms were needed, having guests simply meant that someone gave up their bed or their room for a time. But it will be fun to have such a room (we anticipate Kati and Andrew using it the most!) and it is super fun to plan and decorate it.






PAINT MASTER BEDROOM  This is the project that I am the least excited about. Let me explain.

I am so excited about decorating the guest room. I was planning to start as soon as the wedding was over. But then I realized that all of Kati's things will still be here. Other than what she has packed in her honeymoon suitcases, everything will remain here until she and Andrew visit for Bekah's graduation. Then her earthly goods will be loaded up and make the move to their new home. (Actually, it will be Kati's "new" home; it is Andrew's home now.)

I decided that I would have to begin to decorate the new guest room in June.

But then . . . Ron tells me that while Kati's room is empty, it would be the perfect time for us to temporarily move into it while we paint the master bedroom. Ugh.

He's right. (I hate that.) Our bedroom walls are paneled and a couple coats of white paint will brighten it considerably! It also needs a new ceiling and we'd love to take up the carpet. But those are bigger projects for another time. Paint will make a big difference.



(It's only that I am chomping at the bit to get at that guest room. But I'm a big girl. I can wait.)

(I guess.)




Those are our house-y goals for 2019. 

Since the year began, we have had changes in our time and in our budget. #wedding

So we will just do what we can do, chipping away at our goals. Making concessions. Making adjustments. Taking it one step at a time. Moving forward.

I am reminded of these words of truth . . .


"Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.'" 
(James 4:15)



And I say "amen."

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Some Other Good





"It seems to me that we often, almost sulkily, reject the good that God offers us because, at that moment, we expected some other good." 
~ C. S. Lewis



The "good" that God provided for us last week (after ~this post~ in which I told you how busy we were and what we had coming up on the weekend) was some kind of yucky respiratory virus. And instead of plodding ahead with school and wedding invitations and the parties we had planned and all of the things on my to-do list . . . I stayed in bed and cancelled plans and prayed and slept. A lot.

It was not the kind of "good" that I had planned. It was not the kind of "good" that I would have asked for. Maybe not even the kind of "good" that I thought was best.

But it was good.


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Whiplash


This post began last week as a  Five on Friday and then it changed to A Saturday Chat and then that fell apart too! So why don't I just try to catch up a little bit, drop in a few photos . . . and choose a title at the end?





Need I say that this is a busy time at our house?!

Boy-oh-boy, this year is turning out to be even busier than I imagined. Bekah is finishing her senior year of homeschool and Kati is getting married in May, both major life events, both worthy of rejoicing and celebration!

We are in the midst of lots of planning, ordering, executing, school work (two of us), working (two of us), visiting (Kati and Andrew are frequent flyers these days), and trying to squeeze in all of the things that we want to do before Kati gets married and moves away.

It is a joyful season here at Pineapple House! But we don't have time to let any grass grow under our feet.




When Andrew was in Maryland last, our dear friends (the same friends who took our last photos at The Farmhouse) took engagement photos of the happy couple. Kati shared many of the photos on her blog, along with their story thus far. I will sprinkle a few in this post.








Some moments from last week: 

Re-order wedding invitations that came with a typo. Spend time on the phone to get that corrected.

Borrow cash from Bekah. Purchase an antique bed.

Take my measurements to be fitted for my wedding outfit that I ordered online. Bekah helped me measure. Oy! (She could hold that information over my head and basically she would get whatever she wants.)

Ron and Bekah drive five hours per week so that she can log enough hours to get her driver's license. They pick up the bed that I purchased. They also buy two antique coverlets.

Go to the bank to withdraw money to repay Bekah.

Order Bekah's maid of honor gown. Bekah pays me for the dress with the money that I just returned to her. (Ah, the world of high finance.)

Order vases.

Try to keep up with school assignments and Morning Time. Take Bekah to voice lessons and choir.

Host our new home keeping group.

Run a Valentine errand. Have my debit card declined. Postpone the rest of my errands so that I can come home and call the bank about why my debit card was declined. (Answer: Vase order was "flagged" as suspicious activity.) Finish my errands.

Plan several activities that we want to do before Kati gets married three months from now. Forget to send out e-vites.

Clean. Nope.

Keep up with laundry. Nope.

Cook delicious and nutritious meals. Nope.

(Priorities, right?)

A follow up to the exchange-of-money story: Bekah also purchased a copy of Gone With the Wind off of eBay. By the time she paid me for that online order, she only netted fourteen dollars from the money that she loaned me at the beginning of the week! 🤣

New (old) coverlets atop the media cabinet








Pinky is oblivious to the hubbub of activity. "Just give me a sun patch or a lap."

Non-homemade Valentine treats




Some plans for this week . . . 

Write out wedding invitations. Yes, the corrected edition came at the end of last week so we're good to go! Whew! Cue the calligraphy pen and hours at the dining room table . . .

Traditional Christmas luncheon at Gammy's. There was sickness around on the originally scheduled date in December, so rather than miss it entirely, the girls went to Gammy's today. It ended up being more of a post-Valentine luncheon and that was totally fine!

Two game nights! This falls under the category of "things we want to do before Kati moves away."

The first one is a Grand Game Night. One night last summer, we invited the grands to play Phase 10 and we had such a good time that we're going to do it again with a different game.

The second game night is a class reunion of sorts. The mothers and daughters from the homeschool co-op we were a part of when Kati was a high schooler are coming for games and refreshments. We anticipate lots of conversation and laughter.


Christmas Winter Luncheon with Gammy






Winter decor this year included a new plaid wool pillow and lots of candles. I also scattered pine cones here, there, and everywhere. Inside the lantern on the mantle. On the coffee counter. In the dough bowl on the dining room table. A ginormous one on the drop leaf table in the living room.

But suddenly, I am tired of pine cones. I am not totally tired of winter even. Just those pine cones. So off they will go, along with the pine wreath that is still on my front door.






Buh-bye, pine cones!

I think I'll get a pot of tulips to put on the dining room table for game night(s) . . . 






I have not forgotten that I promised (way back ~here~) to share our house project goals for 2019. I am still planning to do that, although a couple of those goals have changed since the beginning of the year. Life changes mean house changes! Stay tuned. 







Do you have whiplash from reading this post . . . as my conversation turned one way and then another and as my photos did the same thing? 

Such is life here at Pineapple House right now!

I'll probably continue to be in and out of Blogland this spring. Blog updates, visits, and comments will likely be sporadic. I wish that I was the kind of person who could zip in and out and write a post in a few minutes and make quick comments. But I am not that kind of person. At all.





I'll leave you with one more engagement photo.



Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Orange Scones


I often make a batch of scones when I invite a friend over for coffee. Scones just seem "special" (don't you think?) and they go well with either coffee or tea.

I used to think that scones were difficult to make, an idea supported by my first attempt! I was having a group of homeschool mothers and daughters over for a Valentine tea and I thought that scones and freshly whipped cream would be just the thing. Oops. Dense scones were not "just the thing."

I have since learned that scones require a light hand. The bane of scones is over mixing! After you mix the dry ingredients, cut in the cold butter until it is the size of small peas, then stop. You want the little pieces of butter in the mixture. You may want to use a pastry blender to do this. I actually use my Kitchen Aid mixer, but I am very attentive as I mix, taking care to stop before the butter is incorporated. Then when you add your cream/egg mixture, only mix until moistened. Too much mixing will result in a dense, chewy scone. 

On a recent morning, I made some simple orange scones. 



ORANGE SCONES

Ingredients:
2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of one orange, divided
12 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
2 eggs
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice


Directions:
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and half of the orange zest.

Cut the cold butter into 1/2-inch pieces. Add the butter to the dry ingredients; cut in until mixture is the size of small peas.

Mix together the heavy cream and eggs.
Stir into flour/butter mixture, just until moistened. (Remember, over-mixing is the bane of scones.)

Turn dough out onto a generously floured surface.
Divide into two mounds. Add some flour to the top of the mounds of dough, then pat them into a round disk about 4 to 5 inches in diameter.
Cut each disk into 6 wedge-shaped pieces.

Separate the pieces and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees of 12-15 minutes.

Transfer scones to a wire rack. 
(I transfer parchment and all to the cooling rack immediately after removing them from the oven to stop the bottoms from further browning.)

Make a glaze by stirring orange juice and remaining zest into confectioner's sugar.
Drizzle onto warm (but not hot) scones.






P.S. When you and your friend each eat a scone with your coffee, that means there are ten scones remaining. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? 


Friday, February 1, 2019

Five on Friday


Gathering some big and small joys from the past week with another Five on Friday post! (Again, I am slipping in just under the wire. It's my modus operandi.)


{one}

We had a big birthday bash on Sunday! Since we were unable to find a Sunday for our December celebration, we simply honored the December and the January birthday people in a Winter Birthday Celebration.

Except for Macie, none of these people love being the center of attention, so they were happy to share the spotlight.
L to R: my sister Linda, granddaughter Macie (3), son-in-law Brian, grandson Gavin (16 . . . what?!), daughter-in-law Sarah, and granddaughter Nora (10)



{two}

Is winter a "joy"?

I am guessing that many of you don't think so right now, especially those who have felt winter's ravages and its dangerous temperatures this week. But here it is regardless, and we are enjoying long evenings, cozy sweaters and scarves, candlelight, hot soup, and lots of coffee.
Some winter decor inside . . . several inches of fresh snow outside!

Wearing a lovely handmade cowl, a gift from my sweet friend Deanna.



 {three}

Having a new(ish) friend for coffee was another joy this week. Learning another's story, sharing fellowship, deep words, a few laughs, and orange scones . . . time well spent! 

My thoughtful guest brought me a pineapple tucked into a Colonial Williamsburg gift box!



{four}

Wedding planning is in full swing! With less than four months (yikes!) before the wedding, there is lots to do! 



{five}

I shared one version of this song in a Five on Friday post back in October. This week I discovered another that I like every bit as much (or more?). I love choral music and I love a cappella singing and I love this song.




May your weekend be mercy-filled! 

Monday, January 28, 2019

ENGAGED!!




At the Biltmore Estate . . . on a rainy day . . . on the terrace . . . under a newly purchased umbrella . . .
(so romantic)

Andrew proposed!

And Kati (of course) said yes

A late spring wedding is being planned and we are over-the-moon excited about it! 






We surprised Kati at the airport with balloons and a banner and a hoard of family members with congratulatory hugs and happy squeals!



A ginormous engagement ring (Christmas tree ornament) was attached to the balloons.

Judah was fascinated by the balloons!

Dad admiring the ring

Sisters sharing happiness!


We are so happy for Kati and Andrew, and we're excited to see God's plan for their lives unfolding! 



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