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, March 19, 2018

Even to Your Old Age and Gray Hairs

Continuing this series of quoted ponderings and Bible verses about growing older. (Other quotes are ~here~ and ~here~.)  Today's thoughts are from a devotional published by Our Daily Bread entitled How to Grow Old.

"While the Bible doesn't gloss over the problems we face as we grow older, neither does it paint old age as a time to be despised or a burden to be endured with gritted teeth."  ~ Billy Graham   
and . . .
Even to your old age and gray hairs . . . I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you." Isaiah 46:4 NIV

But please, follow this link to read this short devotional in its entirety.

When you ponder the truth of that verse . . . and the beautiful thought that He who made us will carry us even unto death . . . that He will sustain us . . . and rescue us . . . doesn't that give you courage as you contemplate growing older?

Monday, March 12, 2018

Clap Your Listless Hands

Last Monday I began a series of quoted ponderings and Bible verses about growing older. We had a thoughtful discussion in the comments section and I thank you for joining, whether you added a thought of your own or simply read the conversation and gleaned. (You may want to click ~here~ if you have not read last week's discussion.) Again this week I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments. 

Today's thought is a quote within a quote . . . in which Elisabeth Elliot quotes George Macdonald . . . 

"George Macdonald said, 'If you knew what God knows about death you would clap your listless hands,' but instead I find old people in North America just buying this whole youth obsession. I think growing older is a wonderful privilege. I want to learn to glorify God in every stage of my life."      ~ Elisabeth Elliot 

Do you see evidence of "youth obsession" in our culture? 
Do you find yourself thinking more about death as you get older? 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Kitchen Progress and a (Long) Story About Paint Colors

On Monday, I started a series of collected quotes and thoughts about growing older. So many of you had thoughtful things to contribute to this discussion. If you have not read this post and all of the comments, maybe you'd like to catch up? And feel free to add your own thoughts to the discussion! Then come back this next Monday for the another quote in the series.

Update on the kitchen: The new space where the wall oven once was is completed! It feels soooo good to have another project checked off the list.

Remember, it started like this  . . .

and then it looked like this . . . 

and now it looks like this!

See the difference in color? The microwave section is painted in the new color.

This is what we've come up with for the shelf under the microwave. The box on the left is a reproduction apple box, given to my dad by a salesman. (Daddy was a grocery store manager for many years.) Inside the box is my collection of my great-grandmother's cookbooks. On the right is an old mincemeat firkin that once belonged to Ron's grandfather. We store Pinky's canned cat food in the firkin. #hideuglystuff  

By the way, thanks to those of you who offered suggestions of what to put on the shelf. Many of you thought it would be a good place for cookbooks and I agree! The problem is that I have my "pretty" cookbooks in a wire basket on the bottom shelf of the island and we like how they look there. The other cookbooks (the ones that are not pretty, including a couple that have scorched spots where I laid them on a hot burner . . . yikes!) are not fit for adorning this shelf.

Who knows what you'll see there in the future! I am still thinking about baskets or more antique boxes. I have also considered cake pedestals or pitchers or a collection of dishes. I have been known to tweak. 😉

Speaking of tweaking . . . let's talk about that paint color, shall we? 

(Click away if you don't have time for a long paint story. No problem.)

Once upon a time (it hasn't even been two years ago!), we moved into Pineapple House and begin dreaming about updating the kitchen. Six months after moving in (and after painting the living room, dining room, and both girls' rooms), we began our very slow remodel of the kitchen.

Color #1 : Inspired

We peeled the wallpaper off the walls, and commenced to paint the walls and trim of the east and west ends of the kitchen (cabinets are between). We planned to paint the cabinets later on in the project, but they would be the same color as the trim so we carefully chose the color for this big job.

Bekah and I (Bek is my "house-y" partner. She loves house-dreaming. She was just a small girl when she started oohing and aahing over house plans and she'd pore for hours over the homes in Southern Living magazine. But back to my story . . . ) had fallen in love with a kitchen in Nora Murphy's online magazine and we thought that paint color would be perfect. It was Old White by Farrow and Ball. I sent for a sample can, tested out the color on the side of a cabinet, and we had the paint mixed. We painted the windows and doors, crown molding and baseboard. It had a hint of a greenish tone (I thought I had a stone/grayish off-white color), but I decided to embrace it and it was good. 

Color #2: A Happy Accident

I had learned to love Old White in our kitchen until Ron made the interior shutters for the windows. One evening, he hung the finished shutters and painted them. But the next morning, the shutters were a different color than the rest of the trim! Oh no!

What in the world had happened? Did the paint darken while it sat in the can? Did something happen to the paint to change its color? It was quite a mystery! We pondered and puzzed over what could have made the change. We were ready to take the paint back to the store and explain what had happened, hoping that they could shed some light on what had caused the change.

However, before (thankfully) we went to the store, it dawned on Ron what may have happened. He looked more carefully at the paint can and realized that he had picked up a can of exterior paint. It was not the kitchen paint at all. Rather, it was the paint for the trim on the outside of the house! Good grief.

But I liked the "new" color better. Oh no.

Color #3: Third Time's a Charm (OR Three Strikes and You're Out!)

Fast forward to about one year later. Ron was working on the new space for the microwave. He had to cut out a narrow strip of wood and add some molding to frame it out. As he sanded his work, the paint that was on the outside of this cabinet began to peel in huge pieces. Ugh. We knew that there was no way that we would be able to use this same paint to paint all of our kitchen cabinets. Cabinets get heavy use and we needed something super durable.

We were going to have to buy new paint. We decided that we would switch to Benjamin Moore which we had used on our cabinets at The Farmhouse. It had been a durable paint with a hard finish. 

Ron said, "I hope that they can match this color perfectly."

And I said, "Ummmm . . . "

Oh no.

The longer that I had lived with the beautiful sage-y grayish green on the trim, the less I could envision it on all of the cabinets. Cabinets are on both sides of our galley-style kitchen and that would be a lot of green. I imagined that we would grow tired of it after a while. And so . . . since we had to buy new paint anyway . . . I hesitatingly suggested that we get a different color. Then I quickly suggested that we just think about it. (The look on Ron's face made me suggest the "let's think about it" part.) 

In the end, we all decided that a change was in order. Ron confessed that he really didn't love the green anyway. If we were going to change colors, now was the time to do it. 

We chose Linen White by Olde Century Colors. At the Benjamin Moore dealer, it was difficult to color match so we went with one of their colors that was almost identical. The Ben Moore color is Kangaroo, but I just can't wrap my mind around a Kangaroo-colored kitchen, so I will hereafter refer to it as Linen White. 🤣😁

This week, we have been (re)painting the kitchen in Kangaroo Linen White. We hope to finish it on Saturday. That is, finish painting over the "happy accident" sage-y grayish green. 

This is only one of a number of paint stories in our history! Does anyone else have crazy paint stories . . . or is it just me? 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Gathered Quotes About Growing Older

For the next several Mondays, I want to talk about growing older. I have been collecting quotes and Bible verses about growing old, and I have decided to share some of them with you. Maybe we can have a little discussion in the comments section? Or maybe we'll just ponder and grow in wisdom.

Today's thought . . . 
"Part of what you have received is your age. Have you accepted the exact number of years and months and days God has granted to you so far? Do you lie about your age? Do you hate growing old? But old age is one of the stages of the journey with the Shepherd. Make use of it as He intends."   ~Elisabeth Elliot

Do we need to come into old age kicking and screaming, or can we view it as "one of the stages of the journey with the Shepherd"? 

Thursday, March 1, 2018


Today was my mother-in-law's 90th birthday! 

Well, she doesn't actually have a birthday this year as she is a Leap Day baby. But her mother put March 1 on her birth certificate so that she would have a birthday every year, and so on March 1st, it's official! 

This past Sunday, nearly one hundred people gathered to celebrate her life and the gift of ninety years. 

What a joyful day of celebration!

Mom Edna has eight children, seventeen grandchildren, forty-one great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild, and a host of in-laws. She still lives in her own home, is mentally keen, and enjoys relatively good health. She is a remarkable woman!

Here is Mom with her eight children.
Photo taken by my sister-in-law, Pat

Mom asked Kati to play the harmonica at the party. Her dad played, so she is sentimental about harmonicas. 

The family's poet laureate, Mom's younger sister Jean, wrote a poem about Mom's life.

I wish you could have heard this song: an a cappella arrangement of "I Can Only Imagine"! It was so beautiful! (Sung by youngest son Mike, oldest grandson Kevin, Kevin's wife Kelly, and granddaughters Jennifer and Deana.)
Photo by Pat

Photo by Pat

From the music to the skit, from the yummy cake to hugs from family and friends, it was a grand day of celebration!

When we paid Mom a birthday visit this evening, she said, "I don't know why I've lived this long!" I told her, "These are the days that were allotted to you by God." 

And we are grateful for these days!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Slow Progress in the Kitchen

Nearly two years ago, I told you about our plans to s-l-o-w-l-y make changes to our kitchen. (Click ~here~ to see the old kitchen and read about our plans.) 

Indeed, the process has been slow. Partly because we're doing the work ourselves. Partly because we have worked on other projects too. (The library and closet, the media cabinet, several pairs of interior shutters, the little vestibule into the master suite, and the repair and/or replacement and the painting of exterior shutters.) And partly because house-y things cost money! 

Our progress has been slow, but sure. Here are the things we have accomplished so far: 

  • We have installed the new double oven range, taking out a bottom cabinet to make space for it.

  • We have removed the old wallpaper and painted the walls. 

  • We have painted the trim. Part of it, twice. (Long story.) And soon we're going to be painting it a third time. (Even longer story.) 

  • We hung a new chandelier over the island. 

  • We constructed, hung, and painted interior shutters.

This is a (nearly) current picture of the west end of the kitchen:

At the beginning of the year, we decided to get serious about the kitchen and make it the focus of this year's projects. Of course, we needed to finish the library closet redo first. but then we got right to work on the next kitchen project: removing the wall oven and reworking that space! 

Although there have been a couple of occasions when we have used all three ovens simultaneously, no one really needs to have three ovens in their kitchen. We felt that the space would be better served as a place for the microwave. That will free up a great deal of counter space! We had considered "hiding ugly stuff" with either cabinet doors, a fabric curtain, or a drop-down door, but we scrapped all of those ideas. Who really wants to open a door or curtain every time you want to rewarm your coffee or melt butter? Convenience won out this time. 

Here's a "before" photo:

And here is what this space has looked like over the past couple of weeks: 

Wall oven gone!

Oops. Not enough depth for the new outlet, because the pocket door is behind this space.
New plan: Build it out a bit with spacer strips.

Line the space with bead board paneling.

Add a shelf for the microwave.

Still considering what we're going to do with the bottom shelf.

As we speak As I type, Ron is painting! We are going to paint just this one section of cabinets/new shelf area this weekend. (The plan is to move on to another section of cabinets soon! Yay!) 

I hope to pop in later this week to show you how this space turned out!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Bongo's Birthday

At our January birthday celebration, I mentioned that there were no more birthday celebrations at Pineapple House until April. "No one has a birthday in February or March, so the next birthday is Bekah's."

And then I heard a little girl say, "Bongo's birthday is in February."

Now Bongo is not just any monkey. Oh no. Bongo is much-loved by Nora and he is a regular part of our family gatherings!

He went on the kayaking adventure last fall.

He comes to sleepovers.

He visits us every time Nora visits. 

He is a part of all of the children's play. 

Sometimes he "hides," but he is always found.

Since there were no birthday peeps in February,

and since we don't need really much of an excuse for a party,

and since we discovered that almost everyone loves banana pudding,

well . . . why not celebrate Bongo's birthday?!

So we did! 😁

Decorations had a tropical flair! 
Here is the birthday boy with his new baby brother, Bingo (one of Nora's own birthday gifts).

Kati made little banana picks to top her homemade coconut cupcakes. (She made a few mini cupcakes for Bongo's party table.)

Gammy and I both made banana pudding for the party.

We played Birthday Bingo Bongo. (Call out "Bongo" when you get five in a row!)

Bongo was on Nora's team.

There was a pair of pineapple sunglasses for photo props. (When I picked those up off the clearance rack in Target, I knew they'd come in handy some day. They were just waiting for the right occasion.)

Bongo took a turn. 

Here, Nora is showing Bongo the cards and present that the cousins had made for him.

We all sang to Bongo and then he blew out his candles!

We loved watching Nora, who was shy at her own birthday celebration, having such fun at Bongo's. I suppose the pressure's off when you are not the center of attention!

I think Bongo enjoyed his moment in the spotlight!

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