"By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it's established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." Proverbs 24:3-4

Monday, July 31, 2017

A Birthday Gift

"Home is the nicest word there is."
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder 

(A view of the countryside that we call home...)

Hello again, friends!

I had a birthday recently, and I'm excited to show you the gift Micah made for me!

When we purchased our farmhouse and surrounding land eight years ago, we inherited this antique tree with the white porch swing dangling from it...

It quickly became one of our favorite places on the property, and we have thoroughly enjoyed it over the years!!!

It's our private, storybook little spot that we've been blessed to call our own!

When we're here I think we're inside one of our vintage children's books, because it reminds me of some of the beautiful illustrations that I ooh and ahh over every time I'm reading to my children. 

"Up into the cherry tree
Who should climb but little me?
I held the trunk with both my hands
And looked abroad on foreign lands."
(Foreign Lands by Robert Louis Stevenson)

I love that my children are being raised on hills, and trees, and meadows. Just the way children were raised many, many years ago...

"... Off they went, climbing joyfully up the Alm. The green Alp was covered with blue and yellow flowers, and their wide-open petals seemed laughing back at the sun, while everything shimmered and shone. Heidi scampered hither and thither, shouting for joy. Gathering great handfuls of flowers, she stuffed them all into her apron; for she must carry them home with her."
(An excerpt from Heidi in the Alpine Pasture, by Johanna Spyri)

Just free to run and play and climb...

What a delightful life...

We always enjoy a nature walk on the trails first, before stopping at the swing for a nice, shady rest...

Sometimes we stop by the pond so that the children can pick the raspberries that grow wild there. And other times we get lucky, and spot a doe or a fawn running around on the trails...

(Can you see her?...)

We all hush! And freeze! And hold our breaths...

This is exciting stuff!

(Poor thing was confused at the sight of us...)

When she darts off we resume our walk.

This lovely drawing of a mama walking with her baby reminds me of Elsa and myself when we walk the trails. (Just much better dressed! Haha...)

It's from the wonderfully charming Marigold Garden nursery rhyme book by Kate Greenaway.

Aren't her illustrations adorable?!

Of course, this one reminds me of my children in our tree...

See what I mean?...

We even come down here during the winter months, if we can...

Yes, this has been a wonderful place for us through the years. 

My prayer has always been that my children will have the happiest of childhood memories on our beloved tree and swing!

So, you can imagine the disappointment I've felt lately when I began to notice our swing slowly rotting and breaking down...

"Oh, I just can't bear the thought of losing this swing!" I said to Micah one day.

He didn't really respond.

Men usually don't.

But now I know it was because he was thinking...

Thinking of a way to restore our tree swing.

On the evening of my birthday, just a couple of weeks ago, we all decided on an after-dinner walk. As we usually do...

 We got on our trails just like normal...

(This is the way to the swing...)

And Nola said to me, "Your dream is about to come true!"

That caused me to laugh (and be a bit suspicious)! Haha...

As I approached our tree, I saw the back of a brand new swing!

I couldn't believe it!

A new, handmade (from treated lumber, so it will never again rot!) tree swing just in time for my birthday!

(I thought Micah was spending a lot of time out in his workshop! Haha...)

What a surprise!!!

Nola was right... A dream come true!

Micah made it much wider than the last swing, so that all the children can swing on it with me.

Just like so...


We will now have many more years of enjoying this spot!

And I will have many more years of living in my own make-believe, story book life.

It's not quite real-life, but as Liza Minnelli once famously said... 

"Reality is something you rise above."

In my mind, our tree climbing and swinging moments look like this...


Don't burst my bubble!


What a wonderful birthday gift!

I am happy...


~ Courtney ~

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