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 nearly six-acre tract of land, this farmhouse, this domain—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.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

What Kind of Clothing?


Clothing seemed (seamed?) to be the theme of this past weekend. 


Kati's collection of stripes ~ photo by Kati 


On Friday afternoon, I steeled myself for an afternoon of dress shopping with Bekah (nearly 16). She is not the stereotypical angst-filled teenage girl, but she is quite particular about her clothes. 

Bekah is my hardest girl to please in the realm of fashion. Something is either too long or too short or low under the arms or not the right shade or too frilly or too boxy or too fill-in-the-blank. She can't even please herself! She'll buy something and then it will languish away in her closet until she finally decides that she really doesn't like it after all. 

Even as a tiny girl, she felt strongly about what she wore. For many years, she only wore dresses or skirts. Even to bed. Nightgowns only. Never pajamas because they were pants. She would have a complete meltdown if I insisted she wear pants on a frigid day . . . as in sobbing her heart out. I finally wised up and bought her leggings to wear under her dresses. No more tears. (For either of us.)

So the thought of dress shopping with Bek brings a bit of angst to my own heart.  

But she needs a purple dress, solid or print, for her spring concert in May. So on Friday afternoon, we set out together, cheerful attitudes and everything, to find The Dress.

Fourteen stores later (not kidding), we had no purple dress.

This time, it was not Bekah's fashion sense that was the hindrance. It is the fact that "purple is not in our spring color palette this year." What?! Who decided that? Do all the stores have the same decision-makers?

In the course of the afternoon, she did find two lavender dresses and tried them on. Both {ahem} needed more fabric. (I will just insert here that I am so thankful that Bek has a sense of modesty. Even though we don't always agree on fashion styles, we have no disagreements about the appropriateness of a garment.)

We gave it a heroic try.

That evening, we came home and ordered a lovely dress online. Now we pray that it arrives at the beginning of the estimated delivery range and not at the end. (The last day of the estimated range is the day of the concert. Yikes!)


On Saturday (while Ron was working on the library book shelves . . . yay!), Kati, Bekah, and I all cleaned out our closets. Out came clothes that don't fit. Out came clothes that are out of style. Out came clothes that are worn or faded. Out came clothes that have been hanging there for a year or two but never worn . . . you know, those things that you like, but never feel good in, so you always choose something else? (In Bekah's case, out came clothes with tags still attached!)

Then Kati and Bekah decided to go to a local consignment shop as well as a new store at the mall to search for a few missing pieces in their wardrobes.

At the end of the day, there were piles of things to share with family, some bags to donate, and a few things in the trash. Our closets were tidier and were filled with clothes that we actually wear and love. Very satisfying.



On Sunday, clothes sorting was a part of the afternoon's activities. Kristin's girls' clothes are stored in our attic. She had gotten some of the boxes down earlier in the week and the two younger girls had already done the spring clothing switch. So those boxes returned to the attic and those in Maddie's size came down, along with another box that may have blue dresses which the younger choir girls need for the spring concert. (No blue dresses in the box.) The piles from the closets were looked through and both families took some.


If you didn't follow that, no worries. I am not even sure that I followed it all myself!
I said all of that to show you how much time and effort this weekend went into the simple business of clothing our bodies.


But then I consider these words and it is all put into perspective. 

Do not let your adornment be merely outward arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. (I Peter 3:3, 4)


Yes, clothing our bodies is necessary and good. It is even a means of expressing our creativity and our individual style. But that's not the most important adornment, even if it is stylish or beautiful or costly, because that is outward.

True beauty . . . that is inward.

It is the hidden person of the heart.

It is a gentle and quiet spirit.

And it is precious in the sight of God.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Tulips


Since early February 


tulips have adorned my kitchen island.


Sometimes they stand tall . . . 



. . . sometimes they flop carelessly.


Tulips are my favorite!

Biology at the island.

It seems that my love for tulips goes way back. :)

Me, 1963


During late winter and early spring, I crave the color and cheer that fresh flowers bring.

A granddaughter plopped Bongo by the tulips to wait for her.

As I grocery shop each week, I hear another bunch call my name from the table of cut flowers.
(I wonder why it's always the tulips that call the loudest?)


I think that five dollars is a small price to pay for spring beauty on the island.


Don't you?


Do cut flowers ever call your name when you're shopping for groceries?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Unexplained


For your weekend . . . food for thought . . . 


I have been thinking of how many unexplained things there are in life. Our Lord Jesus, who could have explained everything, explained nothing. He said there would be tribulation, but He never said why. Sometimes He spoke of suffering being to the glory of God, but He never said how. All through the Scriptures it is the same. I cannot recall a single explanation of trial. Can you? We are trusted with the unexplained.  

- Amy Carmichael, Edges of His Ways 




Saturday, March 11, 2017

Homeschooling: A Little Splurge




Sometimes, you need a little splurge!

A friend was telling me recently about a puzzle game that she had bought for her son. As soon as he saw it in the store, he was taken with it, but it was not a planned expenditure. She mulled it over . . . reasoning within her thoughts that they spend no money on video games because that doesn't fit with their lifestyle, but education does fit . . . 

She decided to splurge.

She went on to tell me how much pleasure Andrew had gotten from this puzzle. He has spent hours playing with it and has taken every opportunity to share it with others. It was money well spent!




Hearing Barbara's story got me thinking about how a little splurge can generate enthusiasm in your homeschool.

While I was preparing our school order last summer. Bekah became fascinated with some 4-D anatomy models that she saw in homeschool catalogs. She was going to be studying biology this year, so Ron and I decided to choose a model and order it for her as a surprise.

It is always a thrill when new school things arrive in the mail, but this time it was especially fun to see Bekah's surprise as she discovered her chicken model!



She put it together that day . . .



. . . and many times since then,



learning all the while,



having fun,



increasing her speed


and her knowledge of bird anatomy.



Money well spent.

Because sometimes a little splurge is all it takes to ignite a spark!




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Monday, March 6, 2017

Monday Miscellany



It's been a while since we've had a little chat. Today seems like a good day for it. Is it okay if this is kind of random? 😊

After five weeks off for surgery and recovery, Ron has returned to work. We praise the Lord for a smooth recovery with this surgery! It seemed a little quiet here this morning. Not that Ron is noisy, but he is chatty and he's a morning person (which I am not), so the morning was definitely off to a slower start. 

Back to routine. 

But we've had a wee peek at what retirement could look like and it's all good. 




We had a GRAND sleepover this weekend, the first in Pineapple House! Seven of our grands came for dinner on Friday night and went home on Saturday afternoon. Such a lot of fun! Wall-to-wall kiddos, make-your-own pizzas, Finding Dory, games, art, more games, Papa's pancakes for breakfast. 

One of my favorite activities is a dinner game that one set of grands introduced to us. One person asks a question (What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Are you a morning or a night person? What is your favorite season? What is your favorite bird?), we go around the table giving each person a chance to answer that question, and then the next person asks a question. It can take a while when there are eleven people at your table, but it's a great way to learn about each other and get the conversation flowing. 








A parting shot . . . 


. . . and they all agreed that they'd like to have a summer sleepover. Good times! 




These two did not sleepover on Friday night . . . 


 . . . but I soaked up their cuteness yesterday.
Don't you just love the knees on those tights? I wish I had gotten a shot of the whole outfit.

Our oldest grandson also did not sleep over, but I didn't get any pics of him yesterday. Next week, Gavin. 





I have finally moved into the 21st century with my purchase of a smart phone. Truth be told, I purchased it from my daughter when she upgraded. More truth: I am far from using all of its capabilities. Far. I can make and receive calls (duh), send and receive texts (which I could with my old "stupid phone" but it's much faster with a keyboard instead of a number pad . . . hello!), AND I have learned to take selfies.

I showed my sister my first selfie and she said, "You do know that you can delete, don't you?"

Yes, it was that bad. 

This one that I took on a recent drive is a little better. 






And speaking of my sister . . . and the 21st century . . . and selfies . . . 

For her birthday (which was back in December . . . I told you this was a random post!), I got her a selfie stick. Now Linda is really not a "selfie" kind of person, but on our mother/daughter Christmas shopping trip, we had (kind of) joked that a selfie stick would come in handy for group shots.

Here we are . . . having way too much fun with it! This picture cracks me up. 



So we tried a family shot, and it is my favorite selfie of all time. I am still amazed that we got that many people all looking natural and pleasant! 



Thus ends my rambling post. Happy Monday, everyone! 


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Planning the Library

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When we began to look for a house last year, we weren't looking for a home with four bedrooms, but Pineapple House had four and so we hatched a plan. We would make that extra room into our homeschool room. 

Now that we have lived here for ten months, we have a better feel for how life flows here in this house. Bekah does her written work at the dining room table, and reading/studying can be done all over the place . . . in her bedroom, in the living room, in the car (sometimes!), or on the sun porch when the weather is nice. So, while we still plan to keep our school supplies in the bonus bedroom and school work will be done there from time to time, homeschooling will not be its only function.


This is the room before we moved in.


We are excited about making over this room this spring! This is what we are planning:

1) Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves on one wall.

Hooray! Although we have put some of our books on the built-ins in the living room, we have many that are still in boxes. I. cannot. wait. to start unpacking those boxes. Biographies, history books, geography, fiction, our large collection of children's books, as well as some of our homeschool books, have been hidden away for nearly a year now and it's time for them to see the light of day.

2) A desk/office area.

We have already moved the filing cabinet up from the basement to the closet for easier access. The desk will be a place for bill paying and correspondence. It will also be the designated place for dropping and sorting mail which will eliminate clutter in the kitchen and/or bedroom night stand and/or anywhere else.

3) A reading area.

The love seat that was in The Farmhouse kitchen is in this room. It is a comfortable and inviting piece of furniture. It will eventually need to be reupholstered, but it will be a great place to cozy up and read, whether alone or for school reading.

4) An overflow conversation area.

Although our large gathering area is one of my favorite features in Pineapple House, there are times when a quiet nook is needed . . . for a private conversation, for a couple of grandchildren to play away from the group, to have somewhere to go when others are watching TV, for Sarah and I to chat while Bekah is teaching piano to her nieces. The love seat will serve this function too, and I am also checking Craigslist daily for a small wing chair for the room.


What do you call a room with so many purposes? A homeschool room? A study? An office? A library?

We discussed it and we all agreed. It's a library! 

(Doesn't that sound dreamy?!)



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So for a library, I am picturing a cozy space and have planned my color palette accordingly. It will be something like this . . .

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The walls, like all of the walls we have painted in Pineapple House, will be antique white. It is an old Valspar paint which I don't think Lowe's carries any more. It is a pleasant white, not a bright, pure white, but it has no yellow undertone which is important to me. For the trim, we are going darker for that warm, cozy feel. I have chosen an Olde Century Colors shade called Quaker Green. You can see it here. (I don't think the trim in the above photo is green, but it has the feel we are going for.)


I have created a Pinterest board (Library) and I am gathering ideas.

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Even though our fourth bedroom is about to become a library, it could quickly be converted back into a bedroom again should the need arise. Of course, the wall of bookshelves will be permanent, but the love seat and desk could be taken out and a bed and dresser could be put in. Some of the bookshelves could be fitted with baskets or some other container for added storage. We want to retain that flexibility.

So that is our project for this spring. I'll keep you posted on our progress. Do you have any suggestions for us?

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