We had it painted, and then we pulled up the carpet, and sanded the floors. We turned this area into the family photo gallery.
The antique light fixture was in the dining room but we needed ceiling fans in all the rooms we live in (since the house doesn't have any A/C) so we relocated the old fixture to the foyer.
Tim knows that the best gift he can give me when we move to a new home is full view glass storm doors. Since they have been installed, the first thing I do every morning is open the heavy wooden doors to reveal the view of the outside through the full glass panels.
The photos are dear as they remind me of the good memories I've been privileged to make with these people God has allowed me to call my family. Pictures of vacations, newly birthed calves surrounded by children, anniversaries, and even one little fellow with his new eye glasses all bring back such precious memories to me.
All the pictures are of family members except for one. Who could possibly break through the "members only" status on the family photo gallery? Joel Salatin, the famous all-natural farmer, sticks out like a Thanksgiving turkey in the picture that the older boys treasure of a time when they were visiting with him. We are thankful for his influence both spiritually and educationally in Elliott and Oliver's lives. So for now, Joel is considered kin folk and hangs with the blood relatives.
The bouquet of dried hydrangeas are from a friend who God spared from stage four cancer. Her testimony and appreciation for life had a profound effect on me last summer when I struggled with discouragement as we adjusted to farm life in the abandoned house. I never look at the bouquet that I don't remember her kindness to minister to me when truly she was the one deserving of encouragement.
The jars of sand, with dates and locations, remind us of the beaches we've been blessed to visit in other countries while vacationing.
The black benches and matching shelves have survived several moves. I remember seeing them in a Walmart on vacation in Florida several years ago reduced to $30 for each shelf/bench set. It is nothing short of a miracle that Timmy let me further crowd our cram-packed vehicle to bring them home. In one house, where our seating was very limited, we'd all hold our breath as visitors would plop down on the benches assuming they were sturdy - they aren't!
This wall just outside the master bedroom in the foyer displays the gifts of unspeakable joy that God has given us during our marriage. I had pictures of each of the children developed in sepia tones and framed. Even though there is almost twenty years between them, time disappears in the neutral colors of the prints.
The picture on the left, a gold-branched tree dotted with jewels and framed in a glass-covered shadow box is probably the most thoughtful gift I've ever received. A dear friend, along with her artistic children and another mutual friend, created this most incredible memento after a loss we experienced through miscarriage.
The tree has a jewel signifying the birth month of each of our living children, while jewels representing our miscarried babies and the month of their home-going are interspersed and dot the branches in perfect order.
I received the gift in the mail the very day I returned from the hospital after having just added our ninth baby to our heavenly home last October. I was so overwhelmed by their most thoughtful gift and beautiful display of sisterly kindness and compassion. What dear friends God has given me.