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, January 28, 2019


At the Biltmore Estate . . . on a rainy day . . . on the terrace . . . under a newly purchased umbrella . . .
(so romantic)

Andrew proposed!

And Kati (of course) said yes

A late spring wedding is being planned and we are over-the-moon excited about it! 

We surprised Kati at the airport with balloons and a banner and a hoard of family members with congratulatory hugs and happy squeals!

A ginormous engagement ring (Christmas tree ornament) was attached to the balloons.

Judah was fascinated by the balloons!

Dad admiring the ring

Sisters sharing happiness!

We are so happy for Kati and Andrew, and we're excited to see God's plan for their lives unfolding! 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Completed House Projects | Befores and Afters

This has been a people week here. . . and people always take priority over house projects and over blogging. So the plan to share completed house projects was delayed, but not forgotten. Let's pick up where we left off, shall we? 

We have lived at Pineapple House close to three years now, and we've been doing projects since we moved in. Not because the house was in poor condition when we bought it. Au contraire! It was a well-built and well-loved home. Rather, our projects are to update and to make the house fit our decorating style and our life style


Before . . . 
~ the view that won my heart ~

. . .  and after we removed the carpet, painted, moved all the furniture (again), built shutters for the front windows, added a media cabinet, and painted the fireplace surround.


Before . . .

. . .  and after we changed out the chandelier, removed wallpaper, painted the room, added a cabinet (until we find the right stepback cupboard), and tweaked the walls several times.


Before . . .

. . . and after we replaced the refrigerator and dishwasher with new stainless steel models, installed our double oven range, took down wallpaper and painted part of the kitchen, hung a chandelier over the island, made shutters for the windows, painted again, removed wall oven and created a shelving alcove, simplified the wood trim/shelves around the window over the sink, painted (again, but including the cabinets this time), installed bead board backsplash, installed new walnut butcher block countertops, installed an enameled cast iron sink and bridge faucet.


Before . . .


Before . . .

. . . and after we painted it. There was not much to do in this room. We'll probably add window shutters at some point. Of course, Kati's personal touch made it her own. 


Before . . . 

. . . and after we painted it and hung a new ceiling fan light. As in Kati's room, there was little else that needed doing, aside from the work of designing the space to reflect Bekah's own style.


No before shot of this tiny space, but here is the after. I tell all of the details here

I don't have a before shot of the hallway, but in my most recent post, I shared the after.

Thanks for joining me on my journey back through our completed house projects! In my next post, I will share our house goals for 2019. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Home Projects: A Small Makeover in the Hall

There is a narrow hallway in the bedroom wing of our house. This is a hardworking hallway, for there are seven doors in it. One leads to the dining room and the main part of the house. One leads to Bekah's bedroom, one to Kati's bedroom, another to the linen closet, another to the main bathroom, one to a powder room, and one to the library. There is one length of wall without a door.

When we painted the girls' bedrooms, we took some extra time to paint this hallway. (Actually, we nearly bit off more than we could chew to paint the hallway with its seven doors! It took lots longer than we anticipated.) Still, it was rather dull with its neutral colors and no adornment. 

But last summer, this whale print in Jenny Steffens Hobick's shop caught my eye. It was very affordable, so I ordered it, picked up a frame at Hobby Lobby, and hung it in the hallway.

The whale inspired me to buy a rug! I purchased a red wool Oriental style runner from the Safavieh Heritage Collection. 

Funny story. (Or maybe it's a sad story.) Bekah and I measured the space together. But when it arrived and we unrolled it . . . well, it just kept going! It rolled right into the library! It was a good four feet too long! How did we do that? Did we measure that inaccurately? Or did I forget the measurement by the time I got to my computer to place the order? That's more likely. Regardless, I had to roll that thing back up, stuff it into the packaging, and ship it back. We re-ordered in the correct size. Good grief.

I started collecting frames for a gallery wall of family photos. For cohesiveness, I limited my choices to black, wooden, non-shiny frames which I found at HomeGoods, Marshalls, and Hobby Lobby. I couldn't find the right size for the wedding photo collage, so I sanded off the shiny-ness of the frame it was already in. I found the "thankful" sign at Target's Dollar Spot. (I have two more square frames that will go on the bottom left side of the gallery, but I haven't decided which photos to use yet.)

With a little bit of intention,

and without a lot of money invested,

our dull hallway that was merely a passage is now a defined space with its own personality.

No space is too small to be ignored, don't you think?

Monday, January 14, 2019

House Projects Anyone?

Yes, I think of deeper things as the calendar turns from one year to another. The marking of time always causes me to reflect and evaluate.

But . . . 

We also put our heads together and plan house-y things! 

What projects are we hoping to do this year? What are our priorities? Which projects are feasible in the winter? Which ones should wait for warmer weather? What shall we start with? 

Typically, projects are put on hold during the holiday season. (There is enough to do without adding in paintbrushes and hammers and mess!)  So as the new year begins, we are ready to jump back in and we hash it all out and set our goals. 

This week (and maybe into the next?), because house projects are on the brain right now, I'd like to share a few posts about projects past and present. This is what I plan to share: 

A Recent House Project

(It's a small one.)

House Projects Completed at Pineapple House {Before and After} 

(This could end up being more than one post.)

House Project Goals 2019

What about you? Do you have house goals for the coming year? Do you get excited about house projects? 

Friday, January 11, 2019

By Any Road

At the beginning of this new year, I want this to be the prayer of my heart.

My daughter-in-law Sarah shared this poem with me several years ago, and we often refer to it.

They are hard words. At any cost? By any road? And yet, isn't God Himself - our Father, our Creator, our Savior, the One who loves us beyond comprehension - worth anything that it may cost us?

And so, I pray for the grace to pray these hard words.

by Frances Brook

My goal is God, Himself, not joy, nor peace,
Nor even blessing, but Himself my God,
'Tis His to lead me there not mine, but His
At any cost, dear Lord, by any road.

So faith bounds forward to its goal in God.
And love can trust her Lord to lead her there;
Upheld by Him, my soul is following hard
Till God hath full fulfilled my deepest prayer.

No matter if the way be sometimes dark.
No matter though the cost be oft-times great,
He knoweth how I best shall reach the mark.
The way that leads to Him must needs be straight.

One thing I know, I cannot say Him nay;
One thing I do, I press towards my Lord;
My God my glory here, from day to day,
And in the glory there my great Reward.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Memory-Making Moments {Christmas 2018}

It seems I am later every year in gathering my thoughts and my "moments" from the holiday season. This season was particularly busy. From Thanksgiving right up until now, there have been recitals, gatherings, visitors, parties, events, and a husband on vacation. We had a couple of days of school last week, but starting today, my plan is to hunker down for the long haul. The winter term is actually my favorite, simply because there are fewer days off, fewer interruptions, and more inside time. I like to "dig in" to our studies in January and ride it out as long as possible, hopefully until we get spring fever! (And it's our last winter term. ~sniff~)

I realize that many of you have put Christmas away for another year (me too). And most of you are probably already working on your plans and goals for the new year (me too - some). But I am going to take a bit of time to gather and reflect before forging ahead.

Here are some highlights . . . 

Because Ryan and Sarah were traveling to visit her parents during Christmas, we gathered with them before they left. We shared tokens of our love, lots of laughs (especially when the kids opened the game that Aunt Kati gave them), and treats from both houses. 

Homemade eggnog ice cream . . . 

and lots of yummy cookies!

On Christmas Eve, five of our grands (Maddie, Owen, Ben, Alaine, and Macie) and our son-in-law Brian acted in a nativity play.

Christmas Day began with the girls opening gifts,

and then the grandparents joined us for breakfast. The menu is always the same: Christmas Morning Casserole (sausage, egg, and cheese mixture with a hash brown crust), crock pot oatmeal, orange rolls (Gammy brings this; we couldn't have Christmas breakfast without it!), sausage balls (also by Gammy), fruit, orange juice, and coffee. 
Gammy's orange rolls

Mom wears her necklace of Christmas lights in honor of her sister,
my Aunt Lynn, who passed away on Christmas Day several years ago.
Lynn loved Christmas and wore her own necklace of lights during her final days on earth.

In the afternoon, Kristin and Brian and their kids came to celebrate!

It was a first Christmas for baby Judah. This sweet boy melts Gran's heart!

You gotta love when your shirt matches your gift! :) 

Then it was time for Gammy and Gampy to come back, and for my sister Linda to join Celebration Round 3! 

(Round 3 included desserts.) 

All the girls who wore burgundy and gray on Christmas Day!

The days after Christmas were full too! We visited Kristin and family in their home . . .

♥ oldest and youngest brothers ♥

. . . and my parents at their home! (Yummy things at both places!)

The evening after Christmas, Andrew arrived for a nice long visit!
I was able to find toy tardigrades to give to this nature-loving pair.
(Google tardigrades if you must, but don't say I didn't warn you . . . )

Andrew's parents also traveled to Maryland to visit family and to meet Kati. We were delighted to have them for dinner one evening so that we could get to know them a bit ourselves.

I already told you about the New Year's Eve party that we all attended . . . you know, the one in which Kati and Andrew served octopus?

Tonight, Andrew is back at home. (But Kati has plane tickets for an upcoming visit.)

School is back in session. We're on the home stretch. (~sniff~)

I was in my nightgown before Jeopardy. (Ahhhh . . . )

Christmas season 2018 is past . . . but the memories linger . . . 

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