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.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Morning Time: Late Winter

Holiday breaks and an unusual winter vacation to visit with family have made Morning Time rather hit-and-miss.  But we're ready to get back into a more consistent pattern as we settle into our winter on we go, collecting those little grains of sand

Morning Time currently looks something like this...

We are continuing our journey through the Epistles, which has taken us to Galations. 

We are still memorizing Psalm 91, the psalm that was meaningful to the girls' great-grandfather.  (The girls are about there; me, not so much.)


We are singing “Be Thou My Vision”. 

Kati: “The Lake Isle of Inisfree” by William Butler Yeats 
Yes, I memorized this one last year, but Kati wanted to make this "her own" too.

Bekah: “Rum-Tum Tugger” by T. S. Eliot 
Those of you with keen memories may recall that I was memorizing "Rum-Tum Tugger" this past autumn.  But I floundered, and Bekah, cat lover, claimed it as hers the moment I gave it up. ~smile~

Mom: “The Age-Long Minute" by Amy Carmichael 
I have found that my --ahem-- older brain can memorize more easily if the poem speaks to me, thus my choice for this term.


We have been reading the works of Tennyson, but we're about to get to know another poet (Wordsworth?) soon.

This term we are listening to the beautiful compositions of Claude Debussy.

We are enjoying the art of the American Impressionist and portraitist John Singer Sargent.  In conjunction with our study. we are reading a delightful story of the painting of his famous work, Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose, as told from the perspective of a little girl who was almost the subject of this painting.

Sargent's Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose, 1885-86
 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

For more reading about "Morning Time":

An introduction to our own "Morning Time"
What Is Morning Time? by Cindy Rollins
Cindy's Inspiration for Morning Time
Kathy's "Morning Stack"

Friday, January 28, 2011

Pictures Worth a Thousand Words

Since I could not find the words to tell you about our visit, I created a slide show of some special memories. 

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Words From Amy Carmichael

I am very slowly reading through If by Amy Carmichael.  Slowly is the key, for there is much substance, much to ponder, much to convict, much to consider.  It is all about "Calvary Love" and what that love looks like and what it does not look like. 

Here is just one "if"...

if interupptions annoy me, and private cares make me impatient;
if I shadow the souls about me because I myself am shadowed,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Words Are Not Enough

I have been a bit quiet here lately. 

Sometimes, words are not enough. 

Words are not enough to describe the tingling anticipation we felt when expecting the visit from our faraway family. 

Words are not enough to convey the joy we experienced during the week of reunion and making new memories.

And words are not enough to express the aching that comes when the last teary good-byes are said and we don't know when we will have another reunion.

All is well. 

We are grateful.  We are reflecting.  We are returning to our daily rhythm.  

But, for now, there is a need for quiet. 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Click here to read Kristin's reflections. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Family Photo

Here we are...all under one roof! 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happy Birthday, Brian!

They both worked at the library...and he won her heart. 

Later, he won our hearts too.  And now, nine-plus years and five children later, we can't imagine our family without Brian.

Brian has a servant's heart.

He is a wonderul father...always attentive to his children's needs...serving his wife and his children with strength. 

A typical Sunday will find Brian tidying up toys multiple times, and clearing the table after dinner.

And whenever there's an extended family gathering, here is Brian's post:

No one ever asked him to be The Official Drink Server, but there he is, every time, quietly serving each person.

Even at his birthday celebration, he shared his moment in the spotlight with Benjamin (who was feeling a little needy).


Today we wish a
Happy Birthday
to Brian,
our much-admired, much-loved son-in-law!

*** *** ***

"And he [Jesus] sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all." Mark 9:35

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Good Reason

Laundry room reorganized.

Calendar cleared.
New blankets purchased. 
Camera batteries charged.
Pantry stocked. 
Sheets washed. 


We will soon be welcoming the most precious house guests ever...including this new little guy whom we have never met.

To say that we are excited would be the understatement of the year!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Organization (By a Non-Guru):: Tip 1

Store Things Where You Use Them.

(I told you that these tips would be simple.)

This idea is simple, but revolutionary!  Perhaps "revolutionary" is a strong word...but it made a big difference in the organization of my home.

Here's an example:

I store the supplies for cleaning the the bathroom.   

Sounds simple, huh?  Yes, but for years I kept a bin with my cleaning supplies in a closet.  But what if it was not the day to clean the bathroom, but the bathroom mirror needed a quick cleaning?  Was I likely to go into another room and get the Windex and paper towels?  (Answer:  Probably not unless I was expecting guests.)  But if the Windex was right there, I would take a few seconds after brushing my teeth to wipe down that mirror and even swipe over the fixtures or other surfaces. 

But when I moved the cleaning supplies into the bathroom, then they were not convenient to the kitchen.  Solution?  Keep another bottle of Windex, and any other cleaning supplies that are used there, in the kitchen

Why not?! 

Another example:

I purchased multiple pairs of scissors to be kept in each room/area in which they are used.  Duh?  Yeah, I know.  But we used to have a pair of general-use scissors (don't count my sewing scissors which everyone knows not. to. use. for anything other than fabric under penalty of law).  One pair.  But now there is a pair in the kitchen drawer, one with the scrapbook supplies, a pair in each girl's room (don't do that before the haircutting experimental phase is over...ask me how I know...), and one with the gift wrapping supplies. 

One more example:
I reorganized my kitchen cupboards and counter top areas to keep things where they are to be used.  We have a coffee center.  The coffee maker is on the counter that is closest to the refrigerator (because the essential half-and-half is in the fridge).  A basket of beverage napkins sits beside the coffee maker.  In the cabinet directly above are the (too) many mugs, coffee, coffee filters, and an assortment of teas and hot chocolate mixes for the non-coffee moments.  At the other end of the work area, near a sunny window, is the baking center.  Here is where we keep the sugar, flour, spices, wooden spoons, spatulas, and the Kitchen Aid mixer. 

:: :: :: :: :: ::

There are so many ways that I have implemented this idea...good silver in the dining room where we have "company" meals, everyday flatware in the everyday books in a pie safe in the kitchen where we "do" school...pencils in a kitchen drawer beside the fridge and the grocery list...

And, I am always on the lookout for ways to relocate things to a place that makes more sense. 

Do you use this concept in your home? 

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~ 

You may also want to read...
Organization (By a Non-Guru)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Organization (By A Non-Guru)

My highly organized friends might consider me a wreck. And, amazingly enough, I have friends who consider me one of their highly organized friends. It's all a matter of perspective, I think.

Twenty or so years ago, I was quite unorganized.

And then I had an epiphany at Mary's house.

Someone asked Mary for a magic marker, and instead of rummaging through drawers and closets (as I might have done), she walked down the hall and immediately returned with a crock filled with markers
whose colored caps were all standing up. I also learned that Mary had a menu plan (What? No panic mode every day at 4 pm? No speed thawing?) that included a chicken dish on Tuesdays and grilling on Saturdays and ethnic food on Wednesdays.

Now if you are an organizational guru, then those simple ideas probably don't impress you. But at that time in my life, I was impressed! Mary had a well-managed home, and I didn't. I was considering homeschooling my children, and I knew that I would have to get my home and my life more organized. I needed order and structure...not my fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants system that meant doing what needed doing when it needed doing (or a little bit after it needed doing).

Fast forward twenty years...

I am still not an organizational guru. (Just peek into my laundry room.) (No, don't.) But I am way beyond what I was before someone asked for a magic marker at Mary's house.

As I begin this new year, I am thinking about organization. I am feeling the need to re-organize some areas of my home. And I am thinking about sharing some tips that have worked for me here in this bloggy space. Although most of my ideas are simple, I have found that simple ideas can make a big difference.

Stay tuned...

Monday, January 3, 2011

High Speed or Slow and Steady?

We are usually not the first ones to jump on a bandwagon. In fact, we're often the last. Years ago, our when our 4-H leader asked who didn't have a computer, ours were the only hands in the room. We were probably the last to get cell phones too.

So last week, we upgraded from our antiquated dial-up internet service to high speed! At long last...after a lot of hints that dial-up was so yesterday, after a little begging, after a lot of patience and a little impatience (or was it the other way around?)...Ron decided to let us move into the modern world to treat us to high speed service. Woo-hoo!

There is some irony in that. You know, the "high speed" idea. For me. Me...born three weeks late...dubbed "The Pokey Puppy" by my first grade of the trio whom Ron has named Slow, Slower, and Slowest...

Could it be that with the advent of instant internet I will suddenly become speedy? Highly unlikely. In fact, we are very slowly getting back into our routine after our holiday break.

Slow and steady seems to be our style.
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