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, April 29, 2017

What Do You Go By?

Sometimes a little social anxiety gets in the way of your brain. 

A few years ago, I was chatting with one of Ron's cousins at a family reunion. Attempting to bring Bekah into the conversation, Karla turned to her and said, "Hi, Rebekah." And then, "What do you go by?" 

I looked at Bekah, waiting for what seemed like a very long time for her to answer such a simple question. She looked a little panicky and finally stumbled out, "I don't know."


I supplied the answer for Karla. "She goes by Bekah." 

Later, I asked Bekah why in the world she had said she didn't know what her name was! She explained to me that what she had heard was, "What do you go buy?" and she didn't know how to answer that! We both laughed, imagining what Karla would have thought if she had answered, "Dresses." Or "Books." 


I think that one of the reasons I like to write is that I can ponder what I am going to say. I can get my thoughts together, consider, weigh my words, change wording, clarify...even start all over if it's not right. 

Not so with speaking. 

On more than one occasion, my mouth brain has failed me and I have blurted out the wrong thing. (I shared one such story in this postCan you even believe it?)

Then there was the time that I was in 10th grade and was going on a field trip. I was sitting on the bus as more students piled on and found seats. I looked up and getting on the bus was the cutest guy in my school! And the seat beside me was empty. It was my lucky day! 

So there I sat, knowing that Mr. Cutest-Guy-in-My-School could very well choose that seat because it was the first free seat he would come to on the nearly full bus. I saw him glance over at the empty seat. (Yay!) As he got closer, I imagined him saying, "Is anyone sitting here?" and I was so very prepared to say "No!" in my perkiest voice. 

Just as he had in my imagination, he stopped there at the empty seat. (Woo hoo!) He looked at me (swoon) and said, "Can I sit here?" 

And I (in the perky voice that I had rehearsed in my head) said, "No!" 

No. I didn't just say that! He hadn't read the script! He was supposed to say, "Is anyone sitting here?" 

Wait a minute, Mr. Cute! I meant, "No one is sitting here!" Please come back! 

But he had already moved on toward the back of the bus.

Yep. Bekah gets it honest.

Sometimes a little social anxiety gets in the way of your brain. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Home Happenings and a House-iversary

I could totally repeat the words I said a couple of weeks ago at the beginning of my post on Catching Up.

I won't, but I could. 

Today was the first day in over a week that I did not have an outside appointment (or two or three!), nor was I hosting anything. Rest was the first order of business! I rose at my regular time, but it was a slow, meandering, sipping-coffee-in-my-nightgown kind of morning. Just before lunchtime, I decided that I needed to vacuum after yesterday's gathering and then I mopped the kitchen floor. I told Bekah to go ahead and eat lunch while I took a leisurely bath. This afternoon, I did some school work with Bekah, and made spaghetti sauce because comfort food was also a part of this day of rest. And I was back in my nightgown before I ate my plate of spaghetti. Luxury! 

Between lessons and classes and grocery shopping and laundry, here are some of the happenings in our world this past week . . . 

Bekah celebrated her sixteenth birthday one last time. We had a family party earlier in the month, and we went out to dinner on the actual day. But on Friday evening, friends gathered to play games and celebrate with her. 

Family gathered at a local restaurant to celebrate another birthday . . . that of Ron's youngest siblings, twins who turned 50 on Sunday. 

Fourteen homeschooled students and moms gathered at our home to read aloud The Taming of the Shrew. We have hosted several of these Shakespeare Reading Days over the years, inspired by the ideas of Karen Andreola as shared in A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning

We begin by reading a "retelling" of the tale from Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare for Children.  to familiarize ourselves with the story and the characters. After we assigned roles, we read the induction and all five acts of the play, stopping only to eat our brown bag lunches or to answer questions. Our students met the challenge! They did a fine job of reading and they were engaged in the story. We all laughed at Katherine's wit and her sharp tongue and we cheered on Petruchio as he "tamed" her. 

We have lived at Pineapple House for one year . . . our "house-iversary" as my friend Joanne called it. Although we loved The Farmhouse, our home for thirty-five years and the place for so many memories, and we could hardly imagine living anywhere else, I can honestly say that this house feels like home. 

We have made so many new memories over the past year! We have now celebrated every holiday and every birthday here. We have completed a school year and begun another. We have enjoyed the happy sounds of children playing. We have given out Grandy at the back door as they were leaving for home. We have had parties and guests and homemade ice cream. We have all had the flu. We've decorated for every season. We have made countless pots of coffee. We have done house projects. We have lived.

And it is home. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sweet Sixteen!

Moving back in time a bit . . . to the weekend before last when we gathered to celebrate our Bekah's sixteenth birthday . . .

Again, this party was hers. She chose the colors, the decorations, the menu, and even made her own cake. She loves to plan parties and helps me all year long, but she knows that she is the Executive Planner on her own birthday and she revels in it! 

I think she did a good job! It was such a pretty party, perfect for sweet sixteen!

We took some photos of the birthday girl with each branch of the family . . .

with her oldest sister Kristin's family

with her brother Ryan's family

with her Gammy (my mom)

with her MomMom (Ron's mom)

I had to snap this shot of Peter with his spectacles. Isn't he darling?! He has been pretending to be "John" of the Peter Pan story. He was disappointed that he had to remove his "glasses" for the family photo. :) 

I loved Kristin and Macie's coordinating mother/daughter dresses!

Macie, playing with the Fisher Price cash register her mama once played with

Bekah wore her lovely hope necklace, made for her by our dear friend Terri. Hope is her middle name, and it is also her story.

What a gift this girl is . . . sweet sixteen, lovely, musical, artsy, bright, sensitive, tenderhearted, funny, unhurried, a lover of beauty, and wise beyond her years. On her birthday, I always reflect on the amazing journey that brought her here and my heart is filled with gratitude. 

Birthday blessings to our youngest, our Rebekah Hope! We love you with all our hearts and we pray that you continue to walk in His goodness and grace.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Resurrection Celebration ~2017~

I will sing of my Redeemer
He who took the nails for me
I've been purchased, I've been pardoned
Bound to Him I'm truly free

I will sing of my Redeemer
How He sought me while a slave
Loosed me from the curse of sin and
From the power of the grave

I will sing of my Redeemer

Lift my voice to praise my Lord
Ransomed by His blood and mercy
I am His forevermore

I will sing of my Redeemer
He who bore my cross, my curse
Came a servant, chose to suffer
Lifted up and cast from earth

I will sing of my Redeemer

Lift my voice to praise my Lord
Ransomed by His blood and mercy
I am His forevermore

I will sing of my Redeemer
Tell about the grace I've known
Here on earth with those forgiven
And one day around His throne

I will sing of my Redeemer

Lift my voice to praise my Lord
Ransomed by His blood and mercy
I am His forevermore

Friday, April 14, 2017

God Will Provide a Lamb

As we remember His immeasurable sacrifice . . . 

Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
John 1:29

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Catching Up

Big hugs to so many of you who responded to my last blog post with kindness and love! 

I am still trying to respond to you individually, but, as always, I am having a hard time catching up.

Life is so full at this stage of the game. When I was a young mom, I thought that life would get simpler as my babies and toddlers grew up, and in some ways it has. But each season of life has its own kind of busyness and its own limitations. So here I am, homeschooling a high schooler, grandmother of ten, coordinator of house projects, hostess, blogger, daughter, wife. Yes, life is full. 

A bit of what we've been up to lately . . . 

Some of our family had the opportunity to tour the house that once belonged to my great-grandparents. 

It was an amazing opportunity . . . and an amazing house! Craftsman style, built in the early 1900's. Beautiful mill work, inlaid wood floors, gorgeous chandeliers, built-in china closet, window seats, a back staircase that led to a maid's room, little doors and so many nooks and crannies, sweeping wide staircase with a solarium on the landing.

We all loved seeing this piece of our family's history, but I am especially grateful that my mom was able to visit it. It meant so much to her!

On Sunday, our family celebrated Bekah's 16th birthday. 

How can my baby be sweet sixteen?! Her actual birthday is tomorrow, and she has invited some friends to celebrate with her later in the month. No need to confine the celebration to one measly day, right? But we kicked off the festivities with a sweet family gathering. (I'll share more pics in another post.)

Progress continues in the library

The bookshelves are finished! The next step is painting, which will begin tonight. Then we'll allow the paint to cure for a week or so. And then we can unpack those boxes and shelve those books. Can. Not. Wait.

After the books are shelved and the piles of boxes are cleared away, we'll paint the rest of the room. We still have a ways to go, but the end is in sight!

Tenth grade is rolling along.

We have tweaked some things along the way this year, dropping some things that did not bring "shining eyes" and replacing them with things that do. There is new life in our little home school! I may write some more about that in a future post. (I seem to be planning a lot of new posts as I write this one!)

I so love homeschooling and I am sad to think that I have only two years remaining after this one . . . but I am not sad that this is the last time that I will be teaching Algebra II. I will say no more about that. 

Those are some of the things that are keeping me busy. We're also preparing for our celebration of Resurrection Sunday this weekend. What a glorious thing to celebrate!!

What is keeping you busy these days? (Do you ever have a hard time keeping up . . . or trying to catch up?)

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