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.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Painting a Folk Art Box

I had been wanting to paint this box for a long time. It was a simple black two-drawer storage box we had bought for The Farmhouse bedroom (you can see it ~here~ in photos 4 and 5). I wanted to try my hand at painting a folk art scene . . . kind of like a colonial wall mural but in miniature. 

The project was on last summer's to-do list. Didn't get done. It reappeared on this past summer's to-do list. Finally, I wrote this:


So I did. 

my very professional paper plate palettes 😉

There are plenty of flaws, but I enjoyed the process and mistakes don't show with a perfunctory glance.

But I got it done!

After trying it all over the place, this is where it has landed.

Do you have projects that keep reappearing on the to-do list? Do you ever have to give yourself a pep talk? 😊

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Weekend Reading

, , , and maybe even a little drooling.

I took a little birthday money and pre-purchased my copy of Nora Murphy's new book. It was worth the wait! A feast of house-y goodness and inspiring ideas. I flipped through every single page the day it arrived, and now I'm perusing, reading every word. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

On a Monday Morning . . .

Monday morning, September 17.

We are beginning our third week of our last year of school . . . Bekah's senior year and my twenty-eighth and final year of homeschooling. I will probably talk a lot about "lasts" this year because I will notice them all.

This world of "lasts" is bittersweet. In many ways, I hate to be finished with homeschooling. It is a lifestyle for us and I can hardly imagine not doing it. Homeschooling is a huge part of who I am. But there is great satisfaction in (almost) completing the course and seeing all of my children walking forward with the Lord. There is great joy in being able to say no regrets. Not that I haven't made mistakes along the way, demanded too much or too little, chosen a wrong book or curriculum, left some learning gaps. But . . . no regrets that we walked the homeschooling path. No regrets that we built up so many memories over the years. No regrets that I spent so much time with my children. No regrets that we all learned together to rely on our Father to direct our steps. 

Ron returned to work after a week of vacation. It was a working vacation for sure!

We're continuing to make progress in the kitchen (I told you all about our plans ~here~) and a lot of things were checked off the list this past week. I will share the details in a future post, but I need about a week or so to treat the butcher block before I can use the counters and then there is some painting to do. In the meantime, here's a sneak peek!

I am hoping to squeeze in some fallifying! 

Autumn is getting a slow start around here. Weather-wise, it hasn't happened. But I am ready to do a little fallifying in the house this week. Fall has to be here soon, right?!

Traveling a country road yesterday, we passed a farm with some beautiful Cinderella pumpkins for sale and I gasped! Ron, sweet husband that he is, turned the van around and headed back to the pumpkins. I chose one, and then a few unusual gourds, and then the girls each selected a white pumpkin for their rooms. And so now I am off to a running start . . .

What is happening on this September Monday in your world? 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Painting the Fireplace Surround

One of the projects that I wanted to do this past summer was paint the fireplace surround. I had wanted to do this since we moved into Pineapple House! The brass surround seemed a little dated and it didn't go with anything else I had. It always stood out to me in photos! (Why is it that you see things in photos that you don't notice day by day?) 

This project was on my list of goals for last summer, but procrastination . . . 

~ ahem~

As summer rolled around again, I was determined not to let procrastination get the better of me and doom me to another year of looking at celebration photos with that brass in the background clamoring for attention! Nope, I was going to take the upper hand. I did a little research, gathered my supplies, and just did it. It was simpler than I thought!

First, I used painter's tape to cover the brick, the hearth, the glass doors, and the little wooden handles. Honestly, taping was the most tedious part of the project. 

Taping completed, I went over the brass with some sandpaper to rough up the surface a bit and give it some tooth. 

I used Rust-Oleum's High Heat paint, which promises to stand up to 1200 degrees! That'll do. 

I applied the first coat of paint with a bristle brush, but switched to a foam brush for subsequent coats. In both cases, I had to take care not to overload the brush. The paint is thin and drips easily. I kept nail polish remover and paper towels handy to quickly remove drips from the hearth . . . from the floor . . . from me . . . 

The first coat took a while to dry, remaining tacky for hours, and a lot of brass showed through.

Twenty-four hours after the first coat, I applied the second. It covered wonderfully and dried quickly!

The third coat was the finishing touch! I brushed it on the morning of our Grand Summer Sleepover (brave? or foolhardy?) and it was dry in time for wall-to-wall beds that evening! 

I was happy to say good-bye to the brass!

I am loving the look of the black surround. 

I think the room is happier. 😊

We had the chimney inspected this week, so now I am just waiting for a chilly evening so that we can build a cozy fire in the fireplace! 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Gathering the Moments of Summer

Because I took a blogging break this summer (but I surely didn't take a life break!), I thought I'd take a little time for gathering the moments . . . this time not the moments of a month, but those of a season. And a full season it was! 

Summer 2018 was . . . 

A piano recital. A baby shower, celebrating the new life that was already "growing with love."
Papa teaching the grands to make banana splits. 
Celebrating fathers. Trips to the beach. Lemon cream pie.
Making plans for more kitchen updates. Projects.
A luxurious day of coffee, antiquing, and lunching with a dear friend.
A Grand Summer Sleepover, complete with the performance of an original play that had us rolling with laughter! 

Summer 2018 was also . . .

Times spent with little grands. Reading and puzzles and piano lessons.
A homemade ice cream party. 
Working at VBS for the first time in many years. 
A shrimp feast. (That's even better than ice cream, if you ask me.)
Ladies for lunch and a big summer salad.
Two birthday girls.
A day at the water park.
A birthday party celebrating the July and the August birthdays. Eight in all! We wanted to be sure to celebrate everyone before we went on Baby Watch. 
A night set aside for grands who wanted to play Phase 10. When all was said and done, seven decided to come, even some who don't particularly love Phase 10 but didn't want to miss out on the fun! 

Summer 2018 was also . . . 

Three anniversaries (including a couple of milestones). 
Six birthdays. 
Produce from the garden.
A girls' day out that we squeezed into the middle of Baby Watch. I'd like to say it was a day at the beach, but it was really more like 30 minutes at the beach before the rain began. Snow cones were the consolation prize. But really, being together was the prize.
Did I say six birthdays? Make that seven! 
Baby snuggles and kisses. And a newborn photo shoot by Kati. (More photos ~here~.)
A real life science lesson when "Anna" the monarch showed signs of emerging from her chrysalis on a piano lesson morning and was brought along to Gran's house. And emerge she did, right before our wondering eyes. It was Eve's turn to release. 

Photo by Kati

Photo by Kati

I can't show you all the "happy" without acknowledging that there is suffering and sadness all around. Life is full of it because we live in a fallen world. But that knowledge reinforces my belief that we do need to celebrate His goodness, to spend time with our loves, to invest in them, to reach out to those around us, to use the time we have for good.

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, 
giving thanks to God the Father through Him. 
Colossians 3:17

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