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.




Friday, September 17, 2021

Little Things

I have found my blog languishing again . . . 

When I look back through my old blogposts in search of a date or a photo, I see enthusiasm and amazing frequency of posting. How in the world did I post so much when I was in the throes of homeschooling? How did I have so much to share and so much to say? When did I find time to do it? 

Well, I am very busy in my "retirement." My family is larger. I do my best to stay connected and involved in all of their lives. I am more involved in my church. I make time for friends (although I feel like I fail at that much of the time). We are juggling two vehicles among three drivers which complicates the schedule. 

Also, I am slow. Always have been. Even more so as I get older. 

And . . . maybe it's this as much as anything else . . . I sometimes feel like I need to have something Grand and Important to say to jump back in after a blog lag. Anyone else? 


But the reality is that the little things are God's graces and those are always Grand and Important! So I am going to make an effort to take a few minutes more frequently to post a little thing or two. 


* * * 


Here is a little thing that brings a smile: 


I love to  s l o w l y  decorate for autumn, collecting little bits here and there and scattering them inside and out throughout the season. (Sometimes, the whole collection finds a home on my Thanksgiving table.) I picked up these Baby Boo pumpkins at a farm stand the day after Labor Day. Then this week, I decided that I needed a mum on the Shaker table, so I rose before dawn to take Ron to work so that I could have the van, and was at Walmart before 7 am (who am I even?) and picked out this lovely little burgundy one. 


Yes, these little things make me smile. 



Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Celebrating TEN Summer Birthdays with a Citrusy Flair



I'm sure I have told you about our family's SUMMER BIRTHDAY TRAIN. It slowly pulls away from the station in June with Andrew's birthday (and this year we have added Ellie's). In the middle of July, the train picks up speed with Eve's and Maddie's birthdays. And by the time August arrives . . . it feel like a runaway train that is whizzing down the track and sometimes I have a hard time hanging on! Yes, folks, we have seven birthdays (and three anniversaries) in our family in August. Then, lest you think the train is pulling into the station as August ends, on the very next day there's another birthday!

Recently, we celebrated all TEN of the July, August, and September birthdays with ONE citrusy fun party. 


I had picked up these fruit slice napkins at HomeGoods and the end of last summer and had squirreled them away for this year's party. Mom had found the candy fruits after Passover and offered to bring them on Father's Day, but when I (re)discovered the napkins in my summer box, we decided to save them for the summer birthday bash. 

Some citrusy pepper jelly over cream cheese served with crackers was a quick appetizer. I pulled the colorful straws out of my party drawer. (I buy such things when I see them, and then wait for the right opportunity/party!) Owen made Key lime bars, I made lemon bars, and Mom brought some festive cupcakes.









Here we are . . . the ten birthday people!


We had a slide show of baby pictures of each of the birthday people and everyone tried to guess who was who. It was pretty easy for those of us who were (ahem) older, but it was more of a challenge for the younger folks.






JULY birthday girls: Maddie and Eve

AUGUST birthday peeps being a little silly 😉:
Ron, me, Mom, Owen, Kristin, Judah, and Ryan

The SEPTEMBER girl: Alaine


And now the summer birthday train is nearing the station! 🚉 We have had a busy summer and it has flown by! How has your summer been? 



Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Praying One For Another

 

As we hear such devastating news from around the world, our hearts are moved for our brothers and sisters in Christ. They are our family, although we have never met face to face.




These passages were in yesterday's reading in The Daily Light . . . 


  • Pray one for another, that ye may be healed. 

  • Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

  • Pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. 

  • I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.

  • Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

  • The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  


And so I pray with my brothers and sisters who are suffering, who are afraid, who are risking their very lives for the sake of the Gospel . . . that they would be strong and courageous and faithful. It is the least that I can do.


Friday, August 13, 2021

Days With Kati's Family

 


When I introduced you to our sweet Ellie, I told you that I spent three-and-a-half weeks with Kati and family in June and July. I was thrilled for the opportunity to visit, to be with Caleb while his baby sister was born, and to share those first days of Ellie's life. What a privilege! 

To be honest, I must confess that my homebody-heart was a little nervous about being away from home for so long. But the days were busy and joy-filled, I was with my people, and Ron and Bekah came for the final week I was there. The time passed so quickly!  


Warning: The following post is long and photo-heavy!! 




PART I
In Which We Wait For Ellie


I was glad to have arrived a few days before Ellie was born.
That allowed me some time to learn 14-month-old Caleb's routine and for him to feel comfortable with me. 

He is such a sweet, happy baby!


~ watching videos with Mama ~

~ a little before Mama and Daddy leave for the hospital ~





PART II
In Which Ellie Is Born and Gran and Caleb Are Home Together


My days with Caleb were delightful!
(Tiring, yes. But absolutely delightful.)
He seemed quite content with Gran, and for that I was very thankful.

We watched lots of videos on my phone (he especially enjoys seeing himself), played, read, ate, watched men mowing the lawn, wrestled with Pepper (until Gran intervened), and ran!





Caleb almost always wakes up happy.
And his little wave melts my heart.


We took a mirror selfie again this year,
and I've decided to take one each time I visit Caleb 
. . . that is, until he's too big for me to hold him.





PART III 
In Which Ellie Is Home


As I have already said, it was a joy to be a part of Ellie's first days, 
and Caleb's first days as a Big Brother.

So. Much. Sweetness.


Although my main duty was caring for Caleb, I took every opportunity to hold Ellie!
Is anything sweeter than cuddling a sleeping newborn?

My days were filled with getting babies up, dressing and diapering babies, feeding babies, snuggling babies, reading to babies, bathing babies, playing with babies, watching videos on my phone with babies, putting babies to bed . . . 
and I loved it!

All three adults in the house took nighttime shifts with Ellie so that everyone was guaranteed a bit of uninterrupted sleep. My shift (because I am a night owl) was from 10 pm until 1 or 1:30 am and I looked forward to that special time, just Ellie and me, every night.

Of course, during these days, I also got to hang out with my dear Kati while we were tag-teaming all of those things! We talked much about births and babies and toddlers and raising children and God's grace in all of it.


The "twins" born 14 months apart! Caleb on the left, Ellie on the right. Uncanny?










Andrew also spent plenty of time with the babies, and was always nearby if we needed him. He has a home office and had some meetings and deadlines, but he was summonsed more than once! He also took charge of lunch and dinner, and he is a wonderful cook, so the troops were well fed.

He's being summonsed here, I think.
😉

Andrew bought a little cake to celebrate Ellie's one-week birthday.

When you celebrate your sister's one-week birthday and you end up with cake in your ear . . . 




The first outing with both babies.
Any guesses?


Did you guess a coffee run?
Yep.




🐙 wearing their sea creature outfits 🐙










PART IV
In Which Papa and Aunt Bekah Arrive



So much excitement!
I had missed them. They had missed me.
They were eager to meet Ellie and be with the rest of the family.

And so began one last week with Kati and family.

There was so much to do!
Visit, talk, hold babies, love on babies, help with babies.
A couple of projects were planned.



Did I say that I ran during my time at Kati's?
Probably more than I have run in years!

I had kind of gotten into a routine in my care of Caleb. But the first morning after Ron and Bekah arrived, the routine went caput! I was in the kitchen getting Caleb's bottle. Ron went in to get Caleb out of his crib, but didn't close the baby gate in the nursery. I hadn't closed the gate into the kitchen because it wasn't part of my morning routine. (I had not been getting Caleb out of his crib until after I had prepared his bottle.)

So Caleb, very bright and busy boy that he is, bolted from his room and straight to the kitchen and straight to the bowls of dog food and water. Even though I ran as fast as I could, I was a nanosecond behind him as he dumped the bowl of water onto the floor. 

Ron ran into the bathroom to get some towels to mop up the water, laying his coffee cup on the console in the living room.

While I was mopping up the water from the floor, Caleb discovered Ron's coffee cup, which was just barely in reach, and pulled it off the console, spilling the coffee on himself and the floor.

Ron ran back to the bathroom to get more towels and while I was cleaning up water in the kitchen and he was cleaning up coffee in the living room, Caleb saw the bathroom door open and darted in there.

And all of this happened in just a couple of minutes!

After we put everything back to rights and restarted the morning routine, we started laughing at how funny that whole scene must have been! When Kati and Andrew came out of their room with Ellie just a little while later, they had been unaware of the whole fiasco and we all laughed again. 

Yes, there was plenty of running during my days with the babies!




Caleb: *picks up Aunt Bekah's phone she has laid on the sofa*
Aunt Bekah: Caleb, what do you have?
Caleb: 🤷🏻‍♂️

This scene: Kati is showing some isopods and springtails 😮 that she and Andrew have found in one of their habitats while Bekah is holding a sofa pillow as a shield (in case one of them springs from the box? 😂).



Ron and Andrew unloading the kitchen island from our van . . .

. . . to bring it to its new place in their kitchen!
(More about that ~here~.)

One day, we took Caleb to their neighborhood pool.
We felt like "typical" grandparents as there were three of us fawning over Caleb and smiling at his every move. 
(We haven't always felt like "typical" grandparents as there was only 20 months between our youngest child and our first grandchild and the children have always grown up together. But here we were, being very grandparentish.)

~ waving at Gran who was taking photos before getting into the pool ~


When we went out for ice cream, I got no photos of ice cream, but some sweet photos of grandbabies.


See that sweet baby waving at me as his daddy takes him the long way around the steps?



One of the projects was painting their front door.
Caleb really wanted to "help" Papa and tried his best to squeeze his little self past the coffee table that was temporarily serving as a blockade.

Aunt Bekah and Ellie in their LBDs.




On our last night, we all lingered in the nursery before Caleb went to bed,
soaking up the moments with the babies.







Well, it took me a long time to tell this story, but I wanted to document these days before the summer gets away from me entirely. I always regret when I don't record a major event on the blog, because I love to look back on this online "journal" and relive the memories. 

And if you, dear reader, got to the end of this photo-laden post with me, then bless your heart! Thank you for coming along with me as I have gathered the moments of my days with Kati's family! 


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