simple, beautiful life



“Everyone who has any talent at all in sketching, painting, sculpturing or carving, should have the opportunity to use that talent. The expression is important for the person, and can tremendously enrich the lives of other people. What can you do?”  Edith Shaeffer


I spent a sort of lazy Saturday (but how can anyone be lazy with a large family?) and one of the things I did for a treat was to pick out some books from my shelves to nourish my soul.

Edith Shaeffer reminded me to put meaning and purpose into homemaking, with good meals and staying creative in an artistic way, because we have an artist God.

Reading Nourishing Traditions inspired me to make some small changes in my diet, and in our family meals.  Good food=good health

Mary Jane Butters’ books are lovely and interesting for the women who enjoy making their country lives adventurous and beautiful.


I read with fascination, these old favorites of mine, and jotted down some notes in my journal.


“Eggs are one of the healthiest foods on the planet.  They provide protein of the highest quality and all known vitamins and minerals (except vitamin C)” ~Nourishing Traditions

(what a blessing to have our own flock of chickens for fresh eggs.  I’ve been frying myself 3 eggs for breakfast each morning, no toast, just eggs–so satisfying!)



A current favorite verse that “jumped” off the pages of my Bible this weekend::



Romans 8:6



Caleb, our 7-almost-8 year old, brought home his art journal from school on Friday.

He is in 2nd grade.

I had tears in my eyes the whole time we looked through his book together. 

His teacher gave all the students a notebook and every Friday she had a quote, or a question, or an assigned drawing for them to add to it.

By the end of the year, the notebook was full and a precious treasure for Caleb to keep.

Every page was an inspiration and I feel I simply must write to Mrs. Art Teacher to tell her so!


This was my very favorite page, the tears rolled down as I lovingly laughed over his precious writing:


I am so busy that I honestly don’t “do art” in a proper or impressive way.  However, adding words and pictures to pages, sitting down to color with the children, watching a soul-inspiring movie, picking and arranging flowers, gardening, putting pretty little touches in the rooms of my home, even lighting a candle or placing cookies on a plate “just so”, does just enough for that creative part of my soul to satisfy!  And I think my husband and children appreciate it, too, even if they don’t exactly know it!


Other very small “artful” ideas to beautify life:

a ribbon in Sarah’s pony tail
pretty painted toenails
a necklace and earrings
a vase of flowers in the chicken coop
filling a portfolio notebook with the children’s artwork
blogging and photography
a homemade card, with stickers and (maybe even) glitter
journaling EVERYTHING: gardens, books, daily life, quotes
homemade baked goods and satisfying dinners
collecting the dishes that YOU love (I collect fiestware, my sister loves Spode)
sincerely appreciating art from the children, and displaying it on walls, fridge, etc…..encouraging any creativity from them
small sewing projects
pressing flowers in the dictionary



Sending love and care to each of you on this day.  Isn’t it amazing that God loves us all so very much, more than any we can even fathom.  He has given each of us our own set of gifts and passions to develop and enjoy for His glory.  You are you, and that is a gift to everyone you come in contact with.  I am so thankful for each person that I have met here in blogland.  This world is full of beautiful people and we need one another to uplift, encourage, and pray.


Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.  I Peter 4:8



9 thoughts on “simple, beautiful life

  1. I like your quote that desserts are something we should deserve, and not eat every day. I should write that on a sticky note and put it in my kitchen as a reminder. (I love sweets).

  2. What a beautiful, thought provoking post. Stopping and appreciating beauty is something I take for granted. You have given me the desire to take a lot more time to do this! Hope your day is blessed.

  3. I love Nourishing Traditions. However, I lent my book to someone and I can’t remember who! I have asked everyone I know…I think it was at a homeschool mom’s meeting held at my house. I haven’t had it all year and I miss it..I have to just accept it’s gone and order another! Haha.I love the way you write. So beautiful and…cozy. Your blog makes me relax and sigh….so peaceful over here in this little corner of the internet.This post has inspired me to get out my journal. I have always been a bad journal-er…but I used to be good about having my kids keep one. I have been slacking recently. :/Happy Tuesday.XxOo

  4. You are very artistic Shanda. Your blog is done so beautifully from photos, to quotes, and your writing! A blessing to me. I also think the way you cook and bake for your family is artistic, as well as your homemaking. I love the encouragement of Edith Shaeffer, she helped me to feel all the nice things I would do for my family were just what I should be doing. I also remember flipping through that book,Nourishing Traditions, at a homeschool Fair, and liking it so much. I must have had too many things to buy or I would have brought it home. The little “artist froggy” in the middle of your table is pretty cute!

  5. This made me smile and say, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” I love to try to create beauty (the RIGHT kind) in my life and in the lives of others. I take simple pleasure in arranging flowers or tending my houseplants. I like people to look around my house and see things that speak to their soul.

  6. You said you don’t “do art”, Shanda, but I say you do. In a big way. In all the ways you mentioned. And more–like sending friends cards in the mail with sweet pictures and words in them. Thank you! I will try to answer your questions when I reply. I don’t think I’ve ever had a letter from someone in CT, so my family was wondering WHO sent it to me. And I told them it was the lady with the blog where the boys love to hold frogs and snakes. :)You always inspire me. Happy Thursday. Sending love.

  7. I just loved reading your artful ideas. My main creative outlet is photography and right now I am using it to journal a house we are fixing up. I take pictures each step of the way and send them to family who live far away. They love seeing a part of our life and I love to make them happy. I love your blog and and how you journal your life. Thanks for sharing it with us!

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