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.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Monday Musings

I have a few more thoughts to share in my series on aging, but those will wait. Instead, this Monday I'd like to have a little chat with you. It's been a while. 

About this time last year, I wrote this: 

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. 

I could say it all again. Life is full. It might even be fuller. (Is that a word? ~smile~) 

On Saturday, we girls went to a barn sale and came home with a few treasures. My favorite find was this folk art wall cabinet. I hope it's not "Kountry-with-a-K" (the girls' name for 80's country), but even if it is, I love it. (Buy what you love, right?) And I think it gives the kitchen a needed bit of color. 

While we were out gallivanting, Ron was hard at work in the kitchen. He made some changes around the window above the kitchen sink and installed some recessed lights. A few weeks ago, he put in a range hood. New counter tops and sink are on the horizon now. (Hopefully in May. Possibly in the summer. Exciting!) Then we'll paint the cabinets on the north wall and that will complete that side of the room. I'll show you some "befores" and "afters" when the painting is done. (It is so hard to take good pictures around a window. I'll do my best.) 

Kati was hosting a game party on Sunday evening, so Ron and I took the afternoon and evening to have a date! Middle-age dates include coffee, plant shopping, looking at kitchen sinks, a steak dinner, more plant shopping, more coffee, and lots of conversation about big things and little things. (I like middle-age dates!)

Last week brought several opportunities to gather with friends. Life is busy, but when these opportunities arise, I try to make time. Of course, I am older and do not have little ones who depend on me, so my time is more flexible. When my children were young, my gatherings were often with moms and their children, or occasionally an evening outing when Ron was home for the children. But friendships change as our life circumstances change.

The crux of the matter is that people matter! And I am not being entirely altruistic here. I am needy. I thrive on the interaction and encouragement and fellowship of my friends.

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Galations 6:2

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. 
Romans 12: 10-13

Therefore, comfort one another and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
I Thessalonians 5:11

"Back door friends are best."

We are approaching the end of another school year.

Every year is different. Because every child is different and every year's circumstances are different and, honestly, even though all of my children have had the same teacher (me!), I am different and our family dynamics are different from year to year.

So, yes. This year has been different from any other year. Maybe I'll write a long, rambling post about Bekah's junior year (not now; this post has rambled enough!) or maybe not. But I can assure you that music had been an important part!

Tonight, Pineapple House is the setting for Bekah's second piano recital as a teacher! She has five students now: her nieces Eve and Nora, her nephew Peter and two others. Our living room/dining room will be full and our hearts will be full as we share in their beautiful music! Excitement is high!

Today marks two years since we moved into Pineapple House! (How can it have been that long already?) Sometimes, I marvel that we are not at The Farmhouse. I always thought that we'd be there for the rest of our lives. But we're not, and it is good for so many reasons! We continue to be grateful for this wonderful home, the Lord's provision for our family! 

I am delighted that you stopped by for a visit here at Thinking About Home! How do you feel about friendship? Do you have a friend who encourages you in your walk with the Lord? Do you think it's important to be that friend?

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Turning Seventeen With The Sound of Music

Somehow, my "baby" has turned seventeen already!

The years have flown by, 
from the time we brought our little preemie home from the hospital

through all the years in between
18 months

8 years old

11 years old

age 15

. . . and now, she is a young lady on the cusp of adulthood.

My mama-heart flutters a little when I realize that this time next year, all of my children will be adults and this chapter of my life will end. But mostly, I am so grateful that I have had the wonderful privilege and responsibility of raising this precious girl, walking alongside her, encouraging and being encouraged by her as we have grown in grace together!

On Sunday, we gathered to celebrate Bekah with a Sound of Music birthday party!
(We played the soundtrack during the party. Click ~here~ for a song!)

🎜 Raindrops on roses 🎝

🎜 Whiskers on kittens 🎝

🎜 Brown paper packages tied up with string 🎝

🎜 These are a few of my favorite things 🎝

🎜 Edelweiss 🎝

"A Few of My Favorite Things" game:
We named some of Bekah's favorite things (dark chocolate, Sherlock Holmes, high heels, etc.)
and each player stood near the appropriate sign.

Sadly, Ryan had to work, but Paul was willing to participate in Wrapping Paper Antics.

Bekah with Mommom

with Gammy

with Gampy

her "camera"

The kids performed a skit for Bekah! :)

with Aunt Linda

with her sisters

with her nieces and nephews

As I do every year, I reflect on the hard and beautiful story of Bekah's coming into this world and I am filled with gratitude. She was meant to be! Our God has a plan for her life!

For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. 
Therefore I also have lent [her] to the LORD;
as long as [s]he lives [s]he shall be lent to the LORD.” 
I Samuel 1:27,28

Monday, April 16, 2018

"Life's Autumn"

Continuing this series of quoted ponderings and Bible verses about growing older. (Click ~here~ to read others.) Today, I am sharing a poem by Amy Carmichael, found in Mountain Breezes

~ Amy Carmichael

Great Giver of my lovely green in Spring,
          A dancing, singing green upon my tree,
My green has passed; I have no song to sing;
          What will my Autumn be?

Must it be, thought alive, as all but dead,
          A heavy-footed and a silent thing?
Effectless, sapless, tedious, limited,
          A withered vanishing?

                    * * * * *

This I; but He to me: "Have I not shown
          In Autumn woodland and on mountain fell
The splendor of My purpose for Mine own?
          Fear not, for all is well.

"And thou shalt see, My child, what I will do,
          For as thy lingering Autumn days unfold,
The lovely, singing green of hitherto
          Will come to thee in gold."

Does this poem say anything to you? Does it give you encouragement for the "Autumn" of your life?

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Is It a Boy or Is It a Girl?

"Sometimes," said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."

Shortly after Christmas, we learned that our daughter Kristin and her husband Brian were expecting their seventh child! What joyful news!

Fast forward through weeks of morning (or all day) sickness and excited siblings and speculation on how the tie between boys and girls would be broken (I feel certain that Kristin would like to have fast forwarded through some of that!) . . . and we arrive at Kristin's sonogram last week and the gender reveal party on Sunday! 

photo by Kristin

Kati and Bekah were ready for the party with their "Blessed Aunt" shirts. (The pink color simply represented the aunts themselves, not their vote on the gender.)

Kristin's church family blessed them with this very special evening. It was a night for families, for singles, for retired couples . . . anyone who wanted to join in the celebration.

Attendees brought food to share and a package of diapers. Each person made a prediction of boy or girl and wore the appropriate color clothespin. There was a super fun game in which everyone tried to identify whose baby photo was whose.

photos by Kati

The climax of the evening was the cutting of the cake! Was there pink or blue cake under the cover of frosting?

photo by ?? (copied from Facebook)

Kristin and her good friend, Melinda who did much of the planning of this gender reveal party
photo by ?? (copied from Facebook)

Yes, it's a BOY!! 

photo by Kati

We are filled with anticipation as we await the August arrival of our new son/brother/grandson/nephew/cousin/great-grandson!

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