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, May 31, 2013


May was Maine and many miles and meals and meetings and memories.

May was strawberries and sweeties and spring blooms and simple pleasures.

May was spending time with every one of our 8 grandchildren.

And that's why May was a very special month.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Peter and the Lobster

On one evening of our visit, Ryan and Sarah treated us to a mouth watering Maine feast...the most delicious clam chowder, steamed lobsters, rolls, and corn-on-the-cob, with blueberry shortcake for dessert!  Oh my!

When the guys brought the bag of lobsters home, each was in its own bag and individually wrapped in newspaper.  Kati's curiosity got the best of her, and she decided to unwrap one and take a peek.  As soon as she started, all of the children gathered around.

(All of the children's expressions are priceless, but you must be sure to note Peter as you look through this series of pictures!) 

Peter is going...



But wait...

...he's back for another peek!  :)

You eat that?

Need I tell you that Peter did NOT eat lobster?

Also overheard...
Nora (4):  I licked lobster one time, but I didn't care for it.

Good times in Maine!  

(Want to have a look at Kati's "Vacation Scrapbook"?)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Hidden Art of Homemaking {Chapter 6: Gardens and Gardening}

What?  Chapter 6 already?

I have to confess that vacation waylaid me.  Not only the getting ready to go and the nine days away, but also coming home to a busy week.  And then trying to post all about our adventures. 

So...I am a post behind in the Hidden Art of Homemaking book club.  Although I have not yet written about Chapter 5 (I may do it later; I may not get back...), I am going to forge on ahead into Chapter 6.

 Chapter 6: Gardens and Gardening

I have never had a green thumb—not leafy green or grass green or even the palest shade of celadon. I am the "kiss of death" to houseplants. I forget to water the geraniums in my window boxes. And gardening? Well, consider my loathe of heat and snakes, and you might guess that I am a very reluctant gardener.  (And a wimp, you say?  Okay, that too.)

(As an father has a very green thumb. For years when I was growing up, he had a wonderfully diverse arrangement of plants in front of our dining room window—everything from several varieties of cacti to a miniature orange tree! And our yard...well, let's just say that it was one of the beautiful spots in our neighborhood.) 

But The Hidden Art of Homemaking is about inspiring creative ideas in the realm of the home.  In the first chapter, Mrs. Schaeffer acknowledges that we must make choices regarding our expression of creativity, as we humans are bound by limits of both talent and time.  So I was prepared to say that gardening is "not my thing."

Then I began to read Chapter 6, and I read this... does not need to have a degree, nor even a tremendous talent, to enjoy and bring enjoyment to others through the medium of gardening.

Again, I am off the hook!  I don't have to have talent (or a green thumb?) to do some small thing to "enjoy" or "bring enjoyment to others" through gardening. 

And then I thought of the few realms of gardening in which I have found delight.

One is my herb garden.  

I love that herbs make such few demands.  They are friendly and forgiving...and quite useful!  I will often step outside my back door with a pair of shears and snip something green and fragrant to add to what I'm cooking...chives for the scrambled eggs, basil for tomato sauce or Caprese salad, rosemary for roasted potatoes or chicken, parsley for the soup, cilantro for the salsa.

The small area of gardening that I enjoy is the planting of annuals.

I say "small" because we have scaled down to a more manageable level in recent years.  With my not-green thumb and my scatterbrained ways, I need a limited number of things to water during the summer heat.  But in the spring...oh my...I can get excited about lovely pops of color on the patio or on the porches!  I also enjoy that it is a family affair.

It was a little chilly on planting day!  :)

This gorgeous pot is a gift from my green-thumbed parents.  Thank you, Daddy and Mom!

At that, I am off to pick the strawberries from the garden before the day gets any hotter...

If you're interested in this book discussion, you may read along as I usually do 
(click ~here~ for all the posts in the discussion), 

or join in the discussion yourself!
(Click ~here~ for details on how to participate.)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Snapshots: Strawberries and Pictures


The theme this Sunday: STRAWBERRIES!

The girls and I picked oodles of strawberries from our garden this week, and I suppose we had strawberries on the brain.  

I put out the strawberry hand soap on the bathroom sink.

I made a spinach/strawberry salad to accompany our grilled burgers and hot dogs.  (Here it is sans the blue cheese, pecans, and raspberry vinaigrette.)

Kristin brought some chunks of fresh pineapple, and we added some strawberries, of course.

Kati made two strawberry pies yesterday.  One was for dessert this afternoon.  The other was to take to Ron's mom's house when we visited this evening.  Yum!

The other theme of the day: Pictures!

Kristin and Brian were subjected to all 1033 of our vacation pictures.  We spent so much time looking at pictures and telling our stories, that I didn't even take any pictures of the dear people in our house today.  I will have to record the moments in my mind instead...from the moment they all came in the back door for the first time in three weeks, to Alaine's sweet smile and enthusiastic wave as their van left our driveway.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Our Vacation {The Bonus}

Before we left the beautiful state of Maine, there was a delightful "extra"... 

I was able to meet my dear blogging friend, Vee!  

I met Vee at her blog A Haven for Vee about a year and a half ago, and we quickly became friends.  Of course, I am not alone in that circle.  If you visit Vee's Haven on a regular basis, you know how warm and welcoming her corner of Blogland is.  It's like sharing a cup of tea and a good chat with a friend, a friend who loves the Lord.  

Over a year ago, when it looked as if Ryan might be moving to Maine, I emailed Vee, and we immediately began a rudimentary plan to meet...if Ryan moved, if we came for a visit, if we could work out the details.  

He did, we did, and we did!  

On a bright and sunny and cool Maine morning, we got off the interstate and met Vee and (another bonus!) her husband John for brunch at a farmhouse restaurant!  Have I already said "delightful"?  Well, it was!  

Vee is exactly who she is on her blog...warm and welcoming.  She is also adorable.  (I know her well enough to know that she'll challenge me on this one, but it's true.)  She posts so few pictures of herself on her blog, and many of those are artsy "partial" shots, that I was happy to see the real gal in the flesh.  

And, yes, we chatted.  In fact, the longer we sat there, the more we all chatted!  

Vee and I hit it off.  And so did these two!  Did they talk as much as we did?  Maybe so.  (Yes.)

While the hubbies talked about everything from soup to nuts, we girls exchanged gifts.  Another thing or two about Vee?  She is artsy.  And so very thoughtful.  Using what she knew about us via our blogs, she had carefully chosen such perfect things for each of us.

1) At home, I tried to recreate my gift's artful presentation. 
2) For me: a fabulous Maine-y blueberry candle (oh, the scent!) and some lovely tea towels.
3) Perfect in its new home.
4) Although all of the towels are pretty, I think that this one is my favorite.  It has sprigs of blueberries and will remind me of our wonderful trip.  It will hang here on my oven door this summer.
5) For Ron:  oh-so-delicious Maine whoopie pies!  (I may have sampled one.)
6) More thoughtfulness...a puzzle for Bekah and Maddie to do together, and a Rachel Field book that we had discussed.  Can you believe that it is on our reading list for the next school year?  (I hadn't told that to Vee.)
7) More artfully wrapped gifts, these for the girls.  On each package was a crocheted doily made by Vee's grandmother!  Precious.
(Edited to add: The doilies were not made by Vee's grandmother.  Oops.  But they did make a beautiful package!)
8) For Bekah: a sweet menagerie of Red Rose Tea animal figurines.  Here, Bekah has them arranged on her doily.
9) For Kati: a gorgeous linen table square with cross-stitching in one of Kati's favorite colors.

Vee and I have decided that if we go to Maine again, we must have another get-together.  After all, now we are forever friends.  

To read Vee's post about our meeting, click ~here~.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Our Vacation {The Where}

You're good guessers!

Yes, we visited Ryan and his family in the beautiful state of Maine.  

I have long wanted to see Maine.  Lighthouses, cool summers, rugged coastline. Cedar shake cottages. Sarah, Plain and Tall.  One Morning in Maine.  Blueberries For Sal.  Miss Rumphius. (Perhaps my love for Maine is fueled by children's literature?)

So when Ryan moved to Maine last summer, I looked forward to having an opportunity to visit.  

As we drove through the states of New England, mostly via the interstates, I kept telling my family that I wasn't seeing any Charles Wysocki puzzles.  Just cars and road and trees. (Of course, it didn't help that we were driving through pouring rain.  Even if the "puzzles" could be seen from the interstate, we'd have missed them.)

This is what I wanted to see!

As we got into Maine, even the views from the freeway were a bit more interesting.  You could see water here and there. I saw some cedar cottages when we took a Starbucks exit. I think I could feel the sea.

Over the six days we spent in Maine, we saw some glorious sights!  We visited the town of Bar Harbor (very Charles Wysocki-ish) and Acadia National Park. We did a little hiking. We took some beautiful coastal drives. I saw a lighthouse and the rocky coastline.  Cedar cottages galore. And all in the company of our dear ones!

Here is the part where I show you a gazillion pictures...
and this is only a smattering of the ones we took!  
(Many of these are Kati's shots. Thanks, Kati!)

Oh, the memories that will live in our hearts!

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