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, May 27, 2017

The Final Chapter in the Saga of the Purple Dress

When the purple dress did not arrive in time for the homeschool choir's spring concert, Bekah decided that she would instead wear it to her spring piano recital a few weeks later.

The day after the concert (the last day of the delivery window), the estimated arrival date had unobtrusively changed. Hmmm. Then on the new estimated delivery date, I got an email saying that the package had arrived. (It had not.) I reported the missing package to Amazon and requested a refund. The three-month saga had ended. Good grief.

 But I do love the black dress that Bekah wore to her recital!

For your listening pleasure . . .

Also this week . . . 

We celebrated my aunt's birthday. (This is my parents' home.)

We had our final book club meeting for this school year.

I have also had computer issues. And I waited in line for 45 minutes to pay for my groceries at Walmart. But that's all I'll say about those things. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Taking a Ride

When we drive out of town for Bekah's piano lessons, we have a plan. We listen to a history CD on our way. (This year we have listened to this set: What in the World? Volume 2 by Diana Waring. Fabulous!) After Bekah has her lesson, we grab lunch and, depending on our time limitations, we go shopping or antiquing. On our drive home, we talk. 

So on Friday morning when her teacher rescheduled due to sickness, I thought we'd be home for the day. But after we talked about it, we decided that we didn't want to miss our little road trip . . . and off we went as usual. We just omitted the piano lesson part.

I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish on Saturday: the usual weekly house cleaning, yes, but also some extra scrubbing, sewing a swag for the library window, and trying a new recipe.

But Kati needed to find some new shoes for work. Long story, short: She has a stress fracture and is being fitted for custom orthotics, but the doc recommends a certain kind of shoe for her foot problems. She had explored all of the stores in our town that carry that brand and did not find the right shoes. The other possibility was a shoe store over an hour away.

So on Saturday afternoon, Kati and I went on a little road trip . . . in search of those shoes and a few hours together. There may or may not have been a Starbucks stop.

As we drove home, Kati remarked about how nice the afternoon had been. Neither of us was thrilled about shopping for work shoes, but Kati said, "The best part is the ride and having time to talk." I agreed!

There is just something about spending time together in a car. Oh my goodness . . . the things we talk about! Work. School. Relationships. Nieces and nephews (my grands). Qualities to look for in a mate. Future plans. Wedding gowns. Funny stories. Favorite this and that. Failings. Music. Movies. Houses. Decorating. Parties to plan. Parenting. God's Word. His perspective.

Sometimes we take long-ish trips like the two I just told you about.

Sometimes we just meander around town, sipping coffee and looking at houses.

But we can even make the most of a short jaunt. If I am just running to the post office or driving to the library to return a book or picking up a few things at Target or making a coffee run, I'll ask if anyone wants to go with me. Often, someone does!

And, by the way, the trip isn't always over when we get back home. We have been known to sit in the driveway and talk for 20 or 30 minutes more! (I wonder what our neighbors are thinking.)


Forging strong bonds of relationship with my children is something that is very important to me. Of course, being your child's friend does not supersede the proper place of authority, but I do want them on my team. And I want to be on theirs. I value their friendship!

"Taking a ride" is just one of the ways that we grow in relationship together.

And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk [ride?] by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

"Come, Ye Disconsolate"

Our dear friend Frances recently introduced us to this moving song, a beautiful invitation to bring our wounds and our neediness to the Lord. Are you disconsolate? Lonely? Comfortless? Discouraged? Wounded? Needy? Let the words of this song bring a balm to your weary heart. 

  1. Come, ye disconsolate, where’er ye languish,
    Come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel.
    Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish;
    Earth has no sorrow that heav’n cannot heal.
  2. Joy of the desolate, light of the straying,
    Hope of the penitent, fadeless and pure!
    Here speaks the Comforter, tenderly saying,
    “Earth has no sorrow that heav’n cannot cure.”
  3. Here see the bread of life, see waters flowing
    Forth from the throne of God, pure from above.
    Come to the feast of love; come, ever knowing
    Earth has no sorrow but heav’n can remove.

Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, 
and you will find rest for your souls. 
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

Matthew 11: 28-30

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Honoring Mothers

Amidst the challenges of living in a sad and broken world, Mother's Day is not always cotton candy sweet. There are women who have lost their mothers. Women whose relationships with their mothers are strained or broken. Women who do not have children or who have suffered the loss of a child. The year that we lost our Kara Joy, Mother's Day was a painful day.  

Motherhood is not something that is automatic. It is not a given, nor is it our right.

But, if you have been given this grace, the privilege and responsibility that is motherhood, then what you do with this gift is of eternal significance!

Mothering is hard and important work and is worthy of honor

On Sunday, we gathered together to celebrate and honor the mothers in our family.

This view from my kitchen window is a wonderful sight!

I think this was Paul's first time at the Big Kid table. His mommy noted that it was not a "baby" bite he was taking from his roll!

My darling great-nieces, Ivy and Isabel

We took a photo of each mother with her children . . .
Mom and her daughters

My sister Linda with two of her three children: Amy and Alec

My niece Amy with Isabel and Ivy

Our daughter Kristin with her children
(l to r) Maddie, Gavin, Alaine, Baby Macie, Ben, Owen

Our daughter-in-law Sarah with her children
(l to r) Nora, Paul, Peter, Eve

Ron's mom with one of her eight

Me with my children: Kristin, Kati, Ryan, Bekah

This was the very best of gifts: my grandchildren's sweet and beautiful voices blended to sing a prayer, "Teach Us to Love," accompanied by Bekah on the piano. It was so beautiful, and it fills my mama-heart (and my gran-heart) to know that their hearts and minds are being filled with spiritual truth. 

And, of course, the day would not have been complete without one of our favorite games: Wrapping Paper Antics. 😁

My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother;
For they will be a graceful ornament on your head, and chains about your neck.
Proverbs 1:8, 9

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Pineapple House | Bekah's Room

It was last September when we painted the girls' rooms. Shortly after, I showed you Kati's room at Pineapple House. She had begun planning her new room weeks before we moved in and everything was already in place. The fresh paint simply completed it.

Bekah, on the other hand, works more like her mama. Slow and steady. 

Her room was a total change from her old room in style and color, and she was also working with some new (to her) furniture pieces, so it took a while to develop her plan. She slowly added and Pinned and tweaked and took away. Decorating is a process!

Over this year, she has learned what her style is. She is becoming more confident in her choices and more at home with what she really loves.

Here is Bekah's new room . . . 

Just to the left of her closet door, she created a small gallery wall. When we cleaned out the attic of The Farmhouse before we moved, Bekah claimed the antique mirror as well as the little demilune table.

On our last day at The Farmhouse, Bekah took snippets of several plants that she loved, brought them here, and pressed them. She later made this framed collage of Farmhouse specimens, remembrances from her childhood.

The Ikea chair that she has had since age 9 is still a cozy place to read. Some day, a new chair could replace it, but until then . . .

Bek found this pair of pillows that coordinated with her new color scheme for $3.00 each in a local antique store. She only bought one until she could see if it would hold up in the wash (must be washed!). It did, so we went back to get the other. 

Her second rug from Rugs USA. The first one went back. (Not the right color.)

I knew that Bekah had been looking for a piecrust table, so for Christmas Ron and I decided to give her money towards the purchase of one. Who knew that she already knew the one she wanted . . . and that the amount of money we gave her was the exact cost of that one? Not us! On December 26th, off we went to the antique store, hoping that "her" table was still there. It was! 

Do you remember my Aunt Lynn's highboy that I wasn't sure what to do with? (I even considered painting it, causing a collective cringe from many Thinking About Home readers. 😮)

Well, Bekah knew what to do with it.

This is Pinky's furniture. 🐈

This room is a bit like a bride: something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.

The "something borrowed" is her bed, a family piece that actually belongs to my sister who does not have a place to use it in her current home. It is one of a pair. I have known "the twin beds" all of my life, first in my great-aunt's house, then in my aunt's, and I have slept in one many times. Before that, they were at my great-grandparents' house (the ones who owned this house). My mom remembers sleeping in them as a child.

Ron made the night table for her room at The Farmhouse. It started out seafoam green, but Bekah painted it this shade of periwinkle for her new room. 

Bekah is still tweaking the art work in her room. She has framed a couple of old maps, but she would like to add more color, so she is planning to add some botanical prints to her walls.

Bekah's favorite piece in her bedroom is this family heirloom. It was my great-grandfather's (her great-great-grandfather's) desk and it too has been passed down through the generations. It is such a handsome, yet graceful, piece.

Although Bekah was sad to leave her room at The Farmhouse, I think she has done a beautiful job creating her own space here at Pineapple House!  

(A look through the years . . . Bekah's room at the Farmhouse . . . 201020132015.)

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