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, March 31, 2018

Easter Playlist

The house has been cleaned. 

We've made a coffee run. 

And now the girls and I are in the kitchen preparing food for our Resurrection Day dinner. 

As we cook, we are listening (and singing) to a playlist of wonder-full music that will be playing at our celebration tomorrow. Songs that tell of the death, burial and resurrection of our great Savior! 

Perhaps you'd like to listen (and sing) too . . . 

Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Gathering the Moments | March 2018

Why hello, Gathering the Moments! Long time, no see! 

Although it has been ages since I have Gathered the Moments, March seems like the right month to jump back in. There has been lots of activity in March, most of it undocumented unless I take a bit of time to gather and record. So here goes . . . 

Don't let the appearance of forsythia and daffodils fool you. March has been cold! And rainy. And windy. And even a bit snowy. March came in like a lion . . . and it's been lion-ish most of the way!

One good thing about the cold: soup! I've been trying to make everyone's favorites before warm weather sets in. We've had taco soup (that was on a Sunday and it is Gavin's favorite), cream cheese chicken soup (Bekah's fave), sausage bean chowder (Kati's), and vegetable beef (Ron's). I love them all! 

March was a month for new!

Some bargains . . . 
a few treasures from an antiquing jaunt
and some new luncheon plates from HomeGoods

some free . . .
some new-to-me dishes from my aunt

some not . . .
new primitive wall sconces
(This is my third attempt at getting this wall "right.")

and some long-considered, long-awaited. My new camera arrived this week and, although I have lots to learn, I am so excited!

Oh . . . and a new paint color in the kitchen. (At least the part of the kitchen that has been painted so far.) 

March was the month for Clue!

Bekah (Miss Scarlet), Gavin (Colonel Mustard), and Maddie (Mrs. White) attended an 18th mystery-themed birthday party for one of their friends. All of the guests were in costume and we had great fun looking at all of the photos posted on Facebook.

Pineapple House was the scene for several gatherings this month.

We hosted a dinner party for the Fashionably Late Dinner Club, also known as the FLDC. (We love our name. 😉) For dinner, we had a pasta bar; one family brought a big delicious salad, and the other brought yummy homemade sourdough bread. In our group, there are six parents, four young adults, four children under the age of six, which makes for lots of action and snippets of conversation, but we always have a great time together. It had been quite a while since we last gathered, so there was much catching up.

Of course, I neglected to take any photos of my guests, but I did get a quick shot of the desserts on the sideboard.

The very next day was the retirement party for my dad.

When two different groups of people try to coordinate dates to get together, and then those dates just happen to fall on the same weekend . . . well, you just make it work! One of the ways I made it work was to have the same basic menu. I had made large batches of spaghetti sauce and Alfredo sauce, so we repeated the pasta bar. I had made a loaf of French bread earlier in the week. Everybody else pitched in with salads and rolls and mac-and-cheese for the kiddos. We had a whole pie left over from our FLDC dinner and we served that along with the cake.

I always take photos of family gatherings. They forgive me. You can see some of them ~here~.

Also this month, Kati and I also hosted a ladies' game night (the same night that the kids went to the Clue party). We often serve dinner at our game nights, but it was a busy month and so we simplified. Better to simplify than to miss the opportunity, right? We had three kinds of cookies, and coffee and tea. And lots of great conversation and laughter and rollicking fun with our games! It was such a pleasant evening!

(And again, no guest photos, even though I had left my camera in plain sight.)

March was also full of ordinary moments. But are they really ordinary? They are the moments that make up our days and our months and our lives . . .

Bekah found a note from the past in her math book! It's always fun to connect with a sibling across the years!

What you don't see:

Piano lessons and choir practice.

Sweet coffee chats.

Sinus headaches.


Doctor's appointments.

Changes of plans.

Change. Always change.

Rides/coffee/car convos.

Singing hymns together.

New friends.

Tentative steps.

The best hugs from grandchildren.

Lunch with old friends.

All are a part of this life we've been given.

Looking back, as I gather the moments of March . . . He is there. 

He is always there. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Much Yet to Do

Today's thought in our series may take you a few more minutes to read, but it is full of deep thought and perhaps a fresh way of looking at retirement for the Christ-follower!

(Other ponderings are ~here~, ~here~, and ~here~.) 

Much Yet to Do
“Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.” (Joshua 13:1)
There is no set “retirement age” for the Christian, for there is always “yet very much land to be possessed.” Joshua had survived 40 years in the wilderness, then led in the long hard conquest of Canaan, and was now at least 80 years of age. Not only was he “old and stricken in years,” but God even told him he was old! But instead of allowing him to settle down to enjoy a few retirement years in his hard-won new home, God sent Joshua out once again for further conquests.
That must always be the case with those who love and serve the Lord. There is still much Scripture to study and learn, many people yet to reach with a gospel witness, many with whom to share God’s love and comfort, much money yet to be earned to give to missions. Even those who must retire from active service or become confined at home still have much praying to accomplish.
No one who knows the redemptive love of Jesus Christ is ever too old to possess more “land” for the Lord. “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing” (Psalm 92:12-14).
Old age eventually comes to everyone who survives youth and middle age, but that does not mean it is time to quit. “O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come” (Psalm 71:17-18).

~ Henry M. Morris, Jr. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Sunday Snapshots: Happy Retirement!

Are you wondering who retired? 

Not Ron who is a young upstart at the age of sixty-one! 

And not I (although I will "retire" from home schooling at the end of next school year).

No, it is this amazing man,
my father,
who retired in January at the age of
80 years, 3 months!

Daddy started working at age 17, the day after he graduated from high school,
making a total of 63.5 years on the job!

His first job was in manufacturing.
Then he took a seasonal job at Christmastime working at a grocery store and he found his calling!
He began as a clerk, then quickly advanced to produce manager, then assistant manager, and then manager, a position he held for many years.

Daddy's last job was also in retail, a home improvement chain where he held several positions.

 Daddy would still be working if it were not for arthritis/disc degeneration in his neck, a condition which was slowing him down. His employer was disappointed to lose him, as he was a valuable employee!

On Sunday, we gathered for a family-style celebration of this milestone in Daddy's life.

 We shared a meal (pasta bar, homemade bread, salads . . . yum!)

In which Kati photobombs the girls in denim jackets . . . 

There was entertainment! 
(Daddy and Mom both love music, especially when it's sung/played by their "babies"!)

Along with the musical entertainment,
we were also treated to an original video created by Eve, Nora, and Peter. 
So funny! Look out, YouTube!

There was plenty of entertainment just watching these little ones eat cake!

It was such a small way to honor my dad for a lifetime of achievement: 
being a faithful provider and an honorable and valued employee.

We pray that this next stage of life brings him many joys!

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