our visit with Hannah


(Caleb and Hannah’s list of things to do)


Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think.

It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” 

LM Montgomery



Last week, we welcomed Hannah into our home.  Hannah and I met here on xanga about five years ago, and began writing letters back and forth.  We have a lot of the same interests, including family, reading, music, and love for the Lord.  We sensed that we were kindred spirits and dreamed of meeting someday.  It was such a blessing to finally see each other face to face.  She was here from Tuesday afternoon (the 15th) to Monday evening (the 21st).  I have a lot of nice pictures from our visit and I wanted to get them all together into one blog post, along with some notes of what we did while she was here.





I baked a cake for Hannah’s Tuesday afternoon arrival.  I decorated it like an envelope, with our addresses, in honor of our writing letters to each other back and forth for so long.  I used a lemon cake mix and frosted it with homemade frosting, with my little Seth and Sarah sitting on the counter, watching.  They love to see the colors get mixed into the frosting.  As soon as we were done, we bundled up to drive to the airport.


On the way, we stopped at the grocery store and bought flowers for Seth’s bedroom, which was where we put Hannah for the week. 


It took her a day of travel to arrive here from Alaska.  She was such a trooper, and stayed awake the whole day despite jet lag and all that travelling. 


As soon as we got her in the house and settled, I fried us some fresh eggs for a snack.  She gave me the gifts she brought me; a new quilted table runner (she made it) and a set of owl salt and pepper shakers.  We were amused that the plates I served the eggs on matched, perfectly.


My darling little Sarah, having a snack.


Sarah Joy and Hannah, getting to know one another.


While Hannah and I were busy talking, Sarah got into the pretty cake!  She put finger prints all along the bottom, tasting the yummy frosting.

I admit I was somewhat aghast, but dear Hannah told me to take a picture.


Hannah read books to Caleb, Seth, and Sarah.

For dinner we had honey baked chicken.



On Wednesday, we woke up to fresh snow and a snow day for the school children.  It was a wonderful day for them to spend time with Hannah, and we wondered, did she bring the snow from Alaska with her?  Caleb took us outside for a morning walk in our pajamas.

Sarah in her nightie.  (with pants and warm boots underneath)




We made yummy muffins from the cookbook I gave to Hannah for Christmas.

 By the way, if you have day old muffins, they taste delicious split in half, buttered, and grilled in a pan. 


Hannah plays the piano and we girls did a LOT of singing.  We sang a lot of hymns from the hymnbook, and some praise songs, too.  She has sheet music stored on her ipad, with a wireless pedal so she can turn the pages hands-free!  Very cool.


She has a beautiful singing voice, and it was a dream to be able to sing two part harmony together (she choked up more than once), we both love the old hymns.  Grace’s beautiful soprano voice made it even more lovely. 

Hannah took a break from singing now and then, so she could concentrate on the piano playing.


Since it was a snowday, we were able to go to Panera for lunch, leaving the little ones napping and Jacob in charge.  Then, OH JOY! we went to the bookstore for coffee.  We each picked out some magazines to browse through, too.


We went to a craft store, because Ethan wanted more yarn for the blanket he’s been crocheting for a couple years now.  Rich came home to the sight of THREE of his boys working away on their handiwork.  Hannah and I made a dishcloth together.  She would do a few rows and then pass it to me, so we got it done in no time.

Caleb had beginner lessons in crochet, and David crocheted three long strands and then had me braid them together for a rope.


Parker, our big lovey boy dog, also adored Hannah.



Hannah gave David his very first piano lesson.

We had chili for dinner.



She gathered eggs.

We went for a walk.


We drank a lot of tea and coffee.


We snuggled in blankets on the couch and talked. 

And, after school, we took Grace and visited a fabric store.  Hannah quilts and sews and she was like a kid in a candy store.  She was able to fill her arms with some lovely fabric for herself.  I bought some fat quarters and some darling Beatrix Potter buttons which Sarah promptly took and ran off with.  I haven’t seen them since.

Rich brought home pizza for dinner that night.



We went to the coffee shop in town with Seth and Sarah.  Hannah and I sat at a table by the window, and the two little ones sat at their table next to us; so so darling.  We snacked on bagels and cake and drank the most delicious caramel lattes.  I love our small town coffee shop.

There was a store next door that I had never been in.  When Hannah saw an owl calendar in the store window she asked if we could go inside.  It ended up being the most delightful place, my friends, FULL of beautiful and unique little things.  I bought a few things for myself and others, my favorite being a leather wrap bracelet.


Hannah made a homemade noodle dish for dinner that night.

Incidentally, her recipe is here today.



We went to NYC.  What an adventure!

When we came home, we ate leftover noodles for dinner.



On Sunday we went to church together.  Afterwards, Hannah and I took the four older boys to Crackerbarrel for lunch.  We all sat together at a big round table in the corner.

We had a lazy Sunday afternoon……..and little Caleb did one more item on his list…..”read to Hannah”

For dinner we had a nice big salad. 


and, lastly, on MONDAY….

This picture was taken by Kathy on the last day of Hannah’s visit. Soon after, I had to drive her back to the airport.  We had such a great time together and she proved to be just what I gathered by her letters and blog; pure sweetness and so very pleasant and kind.  We all love her.  My only wish is that she lived closer!



 “True friends are always together in spirit.”  LM Montgomery (one of our favorite writers)





0 thoughts on “our visit with Hannah

  1. Love the photo of you all singing,even Sarah!So cute!And I like how you often have Parker included in your photos.I can see that he’s part of all the action around your house.We had our chocolate Lab for 12 years.I miss him……..

  2. What a lovely visit you had with Hannah there!  It looks as if she fit right in to your family — I hope you’ll one day be able to visit her in Alaska!

  3. This is so sweet, Shanda!  I love the picture of you girls singing at the piano.  Your friend sounds like a wonderful person.  So glad you were able to have this time together.

  4. You packed so much into her visit! How lovely! Sharing special times with a friend who has similar interests is always so great! So… when are you taking a trip to Alaska?

  5. David looks very sad that Hannah had to go home…What a wonderful visit…those things are things I would so imagine doing on a visit with your family…reading…walking in the woods…it has been amazing to see your family grow and grow up in reading your blog every day…So thankful for this glimpse into the life of your family…

  6. I like this blog very much for you have documented these memories with your friend with full of passion and love towards her as well. One can see that she meant so much to you and that you creating many moments to be remembered with her everyday. This will stays with you till the end … *smile*Happy Weekend!

  7. I would loved to have been there around the Piano singing the third part -I thank my God for giving me that ability and there is nothing that brings me closer the the Savior than singing or leading the hymns.. If U thought it didn’t match your voices I would have sat down.

  8. What a wonderful warm visit. I love that you spent so much time, coffee or tea in hand, just talking. I can imagine all the letters written, all the lovely words with someone you’ve never seen face to face and then when you meet for the first time, you already know each other. Very lovely. I’m glad you had this time together. : )

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