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, February 24, 2018

Slow Progress in the Kitchen

Nearly two years ago, I told you about our plans to s-l-o-w-l-y make changes to our kitchen. (Click ~here~ to see the old kitchen and read about our plans.) 

Indeed, the process has been slow. Partly because we're doing the work ourselves. Partly because we have worked on other projects too. (The library and closet, the media cabinet, several pairs of interior shutters, the little vestibule into the master suite, and the repair and/or replacement and the painting of exterior shutters.) And partly because house-y things cost money! 

Our progress has been slow, but sure. Here are the things we have accomplished so far: 

  • We have installed the new double oven range, taking out a bottom cabinet to make space for it.

  • We have removed the old wallpaper and painted the walls. 

  • We have painted the trim. Part of it, twice. (Long story.) And soon we're going to be painting it a third time. (Even longer story.) 

  • We hung a new chandelier over the island. 

  • We constructed, hung, and painted interior shutters.

This is a (nearly) current picture of the west end of the kitchen:

At the beginning of the year, we decided to get serious about the kitchen and make it the focus of this year's projects. Of course, we needed to finish the library closet redo first. but then we got right to work on the next kitchen project: removing the wall oven and reworking that space! 

Although there have been a couple of occasions when we have used all three ovens simultaneously, no one really needs to have three ovens in their kitchen. We felt that the space would be better served as a place for the microwave. That will free up a great deal of counter space! We had considered "hiding ugly stuff" with either cabinet doors, a fabric curtain, or a drop-down door, but we scrapped all of those ideas. Who really wants to open a door or curtain every time you want to rewarm your coffee or melt butter? Convenience won out this time. 

Here's a "before" photo:

And here is what this space has looked like over the past couple of weeks: 

Wall oven gone!

Oops. Not enough depth for the new outlet, because the pocket door is behind this space.
New plan: Build it out a bit with spacer strips.

Line the space with bead board paneling.

Add a shelf for the microwave.

Still considering what we're going to do with the bottom shelf.

As we speak As I type, Ron is painting! We are going to paint just this one section of cabinets/new shelf area this weekend. (The plan is to move on to another section of cabinets soon! Yay!) 

I hope to pop in later this week to show you how this space turned out!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Bongo's Birthday

At our January birthday celebration, I mentioned that there were no more birthday celebrations at Pineapple House until April. "No one has a birthday in February or March, so the next birthday is Bekah's."

And then I heard a little girl say, "Bongo's birthday is in February."

Now Bongo is not just any monkey. Oh no. Bongo is much-loved by Nora and he is a regular part of our family gatherings!

He went on the kayaking adventure last fall.

He comes to sleepovers.

He visits us every time Nora visits. 

He is a part of all of the children's play. 

Sometimes he "hides," but he is always found.

Since there were no birthday peeps in February,

and since we don't need really much of an excuse for a party,

and since we discovered that almost everyone loves banana pudding,

well . . . why not celebrate Bongo's birthday?!

So we did! 😁

Decorations had a tropical flair! 
Here is the birthday boy with his new baby brother, Bingo (one of Nora's own birthday gifts).

Kati made little banana picks to top her homemade coconut cupcakes. (She made a few mini cupcakes for Bongo's party table.)

Gammy and I both made banana pudding for the party.

We played Birthday Bingo Bongo. (Call out "Bongo" when you get five in a row!)

Bongo was on Nora's team.

There was a pair of pineapple sunglasses for photo props. (When I picked those up off the clearance rack in Target, I knew they'd come in handy some day. They were just waiting for the right occasion.)

Bongo took a turn. 

Here, Nora is showing Bongo the cards and present that the cousins had made for him.

We all sang to Bongo and then he blew out his candles!

We loved watching Nora, who was shy at her own birthday celebration, having such fun at Bongo's. I suppose the pressure's off when you are not the center of attention!

I think Bongo enjoyed his moment in the spotlight!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

My Valentine

It was our very first Valentine's Day as husband and wife, and I was sorely disappointed! 

I had had high expectations. Surely my new hubby had some sort of romantic plan for this special day. After all, when we were dating, he had given me sweet cards, a locket, perfume, and candy. He would certainly do no less now that we were married!

Oh, but he did.


I was working that year as a teaching assistant. As I sat in the teachers' lounge on my break, all the ladies were talking about their flowers and candy and cards and plans for dinner . . . and I, the newlywed, had nothing to share. I was not a happy woman.

Over the years, we have both learned a bit about expectations, and about what makes the other one happy. And it's not all about romance or jewelry or flowers. It's more about caring and sacrifice and faithfulness. Those are the gifts that last. Those are the gifts that count.

So this Valentine's Day, thirty-nine years later, Ron brought me flowers and a mushy card. I gave him a mushy card too, along with a coffee gift card. I prepared some "man food": beef stew, one of his favorite dishes. All four of us sat down to dinner (right after Ron rotated the tires on his truck, because #reallife), enjoying lit candles and pretty flowers and "man food" and chocolate for the girls. A simple celebration, but special because our love is a real life love.

The best gifts are not those which can be purchased.

The best gifts are things like building book shelves and painting closets. Running to the store on a Sunday morning because I forgot something that I need for dinner. Being a good provider. Treating my parents like they are his parents. Giving sacrificially. Serving the Lord faithfully.

That is my Valentine.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Library Closet Makeover

Our first project of the year was re-configuring the closet in the library. 

{Read ~here~ about how we transformed our fourth bedroom into a library.}

Since this room is no longer a bedroom, we needed the closet to serve the room as we are now using it: a combination of library, school room, and office. 

First, we removed the clothing rod, then Ron added another shelf all the way across, doubling the storage. (If we ever need the library to be a bedroom again, we will simply remove the new shelf and put the clothing rod back in.)

He also added an outlet so that we would be able to put the printer and the shredder in this closet, behind closed doors. (I am all about "hiding ugly stuff.") Finally, we painted the whole thing antique white. 

On the left side of the closet, adjacent to the desk, we put the filing cabinet and a metal basket with copy paper. On the new shelf is the wireless printer, shredder, and electric pencil sharpener. The top shelf holds decorative paper, card stock, and construction paper, as well as a few scrapbooking supplies.


On the right side of the closet, a plastic drawer unit holds craft and office supplies. Puzzles for tiny tots are on top of it. The new shelf holds lots of "grand" supplies, like coloring books, colored pencils, crayons, other art supplies, and more puzzles. The top shelf has some of our school supplies.

The closet makeover was a pretty quick project, but it made a big difference in how this room functions! You'd never guess how much "ugly stuff" is hiding behind those closed doors! 

And now the kitchen project continues . . . 

Saturday, February 3, 2018

January Birthdays and Other Things

What a busy week it has been!

There has been something (or things!) every day . . . from piano lessons to book club to visits from sweet grandbabies and piano families and coffee friends. Projects, from taxes to oven-removing (really) to preparing 90th birthday party invitations for mailing. Taking a little detour on the way home from Bekah's out-of-town piano lesson and getting lost. A doctor's appointment. Seeing a movie with the girls. Never a dull moment. 

Sometimes I wonder what life will be like in another seventeen months or so, which is when my youngest child will be graduating from homeschool. Will I miss the busyness of teaching and lessons and taxiing? Will I be relieved to slow down a bit? Will I simply find myself busy with different things?

I do wonder, but not with trepidation, instead determining to live one "today" at a time, trusting Him to guide my steps. 

Checking out Aunt Kati's bed.

Serious about taxes!
Serious hole in the kitchen!

And before the busyness of the week, we celebrated the January birthdays! 

Honestly, I have been fiddling around with this post all week. Last Sunday was a dreary, rainy day, and while it didn't dampen our party spirits, the gray day did affect my photos. I ended up with a bunch of washed out, out-of-focus shots. (It makes me even more excited about the new camera that I have ordered. Maybe I'll finally learn how to shoot in manual mode!)

But these are what I have, and they're still a record of the celebration for our January birthday people: 

our youngest grandchild, Macie, 2 
our son-in-law Brian
and our granddaughter Nora, 9.

(I didn't tell you Brian's age, but I will tell you that he is now the age that I was when I first met him!)

I was so glad that we had chosen to go bright and colorful for this January party!

The yarn pompom garland and the birthday candle napkins were Target finds. The colorful linen napkins were from my own stash as well as Kati's. Mom brought the festive cupcakes and Kati made the chocolate peanut butter trifle. What more do you need for a party?!

And now, after having a birthday celebration every month since July, Pineapple House is on birthday hiatus until April! 
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