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.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Five On Friday | From the Antique Store

We've been on Staycation this week, getting this and that done around the house and yard. 

But yesterday was FUNday! We took a little road trip, visiting a wonderful coffee shop in the morning, a Mexican restaurant in the afternoon, and antique stores in two different towns. (Yes, that's what we do for fun!)

For Five On Friday, I thought I would show you the things that I purchased while antiquing, tell you how I chose each item, what it cost, and how I plan to use it. I love to see the thought process behind what people purchase for their homes. Maybe you enjoy it too! 

{one} silhouette
I have been keeping my eye out for some colonial silhouettes. I had one in my hand not long ago, but it felt a little too Victorian for my taste, so I left it behind. This one was just right . . . and so was the price of $18.00. So begins my collection. 

I hung it on the small wall near my front door where it will live with a sampler from my Great Aunt Minerva's home and a scherenschnitte by my artist friend Kim. Until it moves. (It could.)

{two} wreath
I really didn't need a wreath for my back door. I had a basket that I liked which just needed to be filled with something fall-ish. So when my eye was drawn to a couple of pretty wreaths in the first store we visited, I decided not to purchase. But this one said "fall" without screaming it, and it cost $7.95. I love how it looks with my green back door! 

{three} lemon squeezer
Ron loves gadgets old and new! This old lemon squeezer (on the left) joins other recent purchases of a pasta cutting wheel (we think!) and a jar lifter. It was $9.00.

{four} Early American Life magazines
I purchased these magazines for inspiration. I've already thumbed through them and have taken note of a few ideas to try. Well worth the 75-cents apiece price tag! When (if) I am finished with them, I will pass them on  or take them to recycle. 

{five} bundle of wheat
I saw a picture on Instagram last week that inspired thoughts for my Thanksgiving table this year. I love the simplicity of the white plates, white pumpkins, and wheat. It would be a departure from the bright colors I used last year, but I like to change it up a little each year, so I am considering a similar theme. I have three bundles of wheat in pots that I could use on the table, but when I saw the bundle of wheat for $10 in the antique store, I knew I could deconstruct it to have sprigs for each place setting or to strew among the pumpkins. We'll see. 

Have you made any fun or exciting purchases lately? Gotten any bargains? Do tell! 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Welcome, Autumn!

Oh, it is such a lovely first day of fall! The weather is glorious, doors are open, and Ron is off this week tackling projects around the house. I am praising the Lord for His faithfulness as evidenced in the return of the seasons year after year after year.

"While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease."
Genesis 8:22 

Here are some glimpses of autumn in my world today . . . 

Three small one-dollar mums plopped in an old bowl.

Yes, I have been eagerly awaiting Autumn! 
I wait for it all year. There are things that I love about every season, but fall is my favorite.

I have been saving this beautiful mug that my sister gave me for the first day of fall. 
I love it (thank you, Linda!) and I celebrated by having two cups of coffee this morning.

At the back door.

This could be the first time a tractor came to our small neighborhood at the edge of town!
Ron borrowed his brother's tractor to level out the ground by the new fence.
I called out the back door, "Who is this farm boy in my back yard?"
He laughed, but he really is a farm boy at heart!

Some of us are working hard. Some of us are not.

Not sure where this pumpkin will land, but it's here on the kitchen island for now.
I love a green pumpkin, but I have had trouble finding them this year.

At the front door.
But, actually, this photo is already outdated because, as I type, Ron is installing a new full-view storm door. We also have plans to replace the iron railing with a colonial-style wooden rail later this fall.

Yes, fall is my favorite, but some of my people are hating to say good-bye to summer. 

What about you? Which season is your favorite?

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Gathering the Moments of Summer

To me, Labor Day marks a change in the seasons, and although the autumnal equinox is still few days away, my heart and my home have begun to shift. No pumpkins, no mums, no Indian corn at my house yet. In fact, there are still some summer-weary geraniums at my front and back doors. But  I have packed up the beach bag, put away the sun screen, and sent the few seashells and starfish back to the summer decor storage box. The changes are coming, ready or not, and I plan to relish the days of autumn, my favorite season.  But before I bring on the pumpkins . . . 

I am going to pause and gather the moments, not of a month this time, but of a season. 

It was a summer like no other, this summer of 2020! 

It was the summer of the pandemic. 

It was the summer that our newborn grandson Caleb suffered a medical crisis and, thankfully, fully recovered

It was the summer that I lost a beloved aunt

It was the summer that our neighbor lost her mother and her longtime boyfriend to covid, both within three weeks' time. 

It was a summer of limiting time on the internet, because social media was filled with angst and anger and complaining and rants.

It was a summer in which I had to lean hard on the Lord, learning to keep a quiet heart in the middle of the angst. It was a summer in which I began a new Bible reading program and read through the New Testament. (That will quiet your heart!)

In spite of everything, we found joy. Joy in time with family and with friends. Joy in gathering with God's people. Joy in meeting our new grandson. Joy in God's creation. Joy in the slower pace. Joy in the Lord and His faithfulness to us. 

Let me share some glimpses of our summer . . . 

Prior to our trip, we had stayed very close to home, determined not to take any unnecessary risks that would prevent us from meeting our new grandson. But after we got home, we began to gather with our church family in person (rather than online) as well as with family and a few friends.

Ladies' Bible study via Zoom

Manzy was curious about these visitors in our backyard . . . but there's a screen separating them.

From the sun porch, you can see the fence that Ron worked on this summer.

July began with Caleb's illness, but by month's end, he was in full recovery mode and I had been blessed to spend some precious time with them. Lots of other life happened too! 

Oops! Where's Paul?

Everyone loves Ryan and Sarah's little foster baby!

Down south to spend a week with Kati, Andrew, and Baby Caleb!
Happy mama, healthy baby!

Ryan carrying on the homemade ice cream tradition.

We hosted three of our grands for a few days while their older siblings went on a "big kid" trip with their mom and dad. 

August is our month full of anniversaries and birthdays, and much of our activity revolved around those events.

When lunch at a friend's house ends with three desserts . . . 

Got to see these sweet girls (my great-nieces) when we visited my sister.

Look at those chunky legs! He doesn't look like he was so sick only a month before this.
Thank you, Lord!

Grand Game Night!
(This photo was taken before the games and the cRaZy fun began!)

At the beach, there was a hole with some very strange, smooth, muddy sand. The kids started calling it ooblek and it became one of the highlights of the day! 

Barbara and I celebrated our birthdays (only five days apart) with our first PSLs of the season!

September begins with another birthday, but then we get a five-week birthday break. 

The annual Grand Summer Sleepover had to be rescheduled when I went to visit Kati and family, but we were able to fit it in before summer's end. It was worth the wait! 

And on Labor Day weekend, we said good-bye to Gavin, our oldest grandchild, as he headed off to begin his first year of college. (What?! How can this be?)

And so, this crazy summer of 2020 has passed. How have we (how have I) spent this time? 

When Caleb was in the hospital, a very dear friend wrote these encouraging words to me as I struggled . . . 

"It's so hard to watch our children (and grandchildren) go through challenges! Yet, we know from our own life experiences, that walking with our Father through the hard places develops and strengthens our faith! They (kids) are building their own 'monuments' to God's goodness and faithfulness!!" 

Oh, how that helped me! Her words put that truth in back in focus for me.

I pray that these hard days that all of us are living will find us walking with our Father, showing love and grace to those around us, and building "monuments" to God's goodness and faithfulness! 

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