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, August 14, 2015

Meeting Karen Andreola {A Special Gathering}

When your friend asks you if you'd like to come for a gathering of ladies at the home of Karen Andreola...first, you pinch yourself to be sure that you're not dreaming, and then you rearrange your calendar and make travel plans because you know that you are not going to miss this golden opportunity!

A recent summer morning found us riding the rolling hills of beautiful Lancaster County, Pennsylvania,

past Amish buggies and vibrant farmland,

iced coffees in hand (of course),

each of us with our own plans for the day. Ron would be going antiquing, Bekah would be hanging out with Deanna's daughters, and I would be going with Deanna to this special gathering of like-minded ladies.

What a thrill it was for me to meet Karen! Her "purple book," A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning, has been such an inspiration to me on my homeschool journey. I have read it several times on my own, referred to it countless times, twice studied it with a group, and, most importantly, implemented many of the helpful thoughts and ideas in my own homeschool. I have also read Karen's Pocketful of Pinecones and Lessons at Blackberry Inn, as well as her delightful blog Moments With Mother Culture

Moments With Mother Culture
Click to visit Karen's blog.

What a delicious afternoon we spent together! Yes, the food was delicious (the tantalizing aroma of homemade bread greeted us as we walked it...and that was just the start!), but so was the fellowship. Karen's hospitality and our common ground made us at ease with one another, and we quickly moved into conversations about homeschooling, children, decorating, food, and books...some all together around Karen's farmhouse table or seated in her cheerful family room, some in smaller groups or one-on-one. I especially enjoyed getting to know Heather, a blog acquaintance whom I now consider a friend. 

L to R: Jennifer, Bonnie, Heather, me, Deanna, Karen

Of course, I adored the Andreolas' Pennsylvania farmhouse! Karen and I share a love for colonial decorating, and I oohed and aahed through every room. It is such a gorgeous home with carefully chosen furnishings, simple accents, and lots of homemade touches. (I also appreciated the fact that many of her "treasures" were bargains or clearance finds!) She graciously allowed me to take some photos, but I showed restraint and limited myself to only a few (when what I really wanted was to record every nook and cranny for later enjoyment ~smile~). 

The afternoon flew by! But we all left enriched...and with hopeful plans to spend time together again in the future. 

And now my "purple book" bears a message by its dear and gentle author.

Thank you, Karen, for a most lovely afternoon of fellowship! And thank you, Deanna, for bringing us all together!


  1. What a special time. Meeting someone who has had an influence on your life is always wonderful!

  2. How lovely for you, Cheryl! It's always special when like minds meet. What a beautiful home you enjoyed your meeting in. Lancaster is such a beautiful area, I know you enjoyed seeing all of its charm.
    How special to have your "purple book" signed by its author. ♥

  3. What a special day for you and the other ladies. You had so many things in common on different levels--I can just imagine the conversations!

  4. It was everything I had hoped for! I can't wait to get together again!


  5. What a special time to share together! Glad it was arranged and that you could join in...

  6. Oh goodness! What a wonderful opportunity! Her book was one of my very favorite homeschooling books! So happy for you that you got to go!

  7. How simply WONDERFUL!!! I, too, love Charlotte Mason and her writings and Karen Andreola!!!

  8. Dear Cheryl,

    It was a pleasure meeting you in person, the lady I usually pop in for a visit only in the blog neighborhood. The paper on the tea table holds my plans for painting the trim in the parlor, green. I meant to get your opinion.

    I was so relieved that my ww bread turned out because in my haste to make everything ready I forgot to time it - and had to make an educated guess. It was that kind of morning. I do get myself in a fluster sometimes.

    Yes, let's get together again.

  9. Well, that sounds like such a wonderful blessing for you! I love the simplicity I see in the photos you shared of her room. Visiting the Amish country of PA is on my bucket list too :) Have a great Monday!

  10. Cheryl, it was such a blessing to spend time with you all! I definitely feel like you are a friend now too! I told my daughter about your daughter and she would love to meet her!
    I sure hope that we can get together again soon!

  11. oh golly, i know deanna!!!
    she has a special place in the coziest
    part of my heart. :)


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