feeling plump and happy already!


I like to sit on the side of (our wrap around) porch.  There is a wooden bench here and as I look through the railings into the flower garden I can see things.  Further into the distance, but not too far, there is the road and the woods.  This morning the sky is so blue peeking through the leaves of the treetops, which are dancing gently.  My finger tips are cold this morning as I type.  It’s 72 in the sun and less than that where I am sitting.  I’m snacking on cashews and mint tea.  I’m thinking about home……

Yesterday as I was listening to the radio on the way to Costco, I heard a happy little news report about a nursing home in which the staff is attempting to make the residents feel more at home in the decorations, design of the building, and special lighting.  They want the residents to feel at home.  So interesting.

I named this blog “Good to be Home” because in my opinion, home is the dearest place on earth and in Heaven.  As you may be aware, we can sometimes feel homesick even in the most coziest of homes, and that is because we aren’t made just for earth, we are ultimately made for Heaven.

“The believer not only is well assured by faith that there is another and a happy life after this is ended, but he has good hope, through grace, of heaven as a dwelling-place, a resting-place, a hiding-place. In our Father’s house there are many mansions, whose Builder and Maker is God. The happiness of the future state is what God has prepared for those that love him: everlasting habitations…….”  ~Matthew Henry

Despite the hope and assurance that a better home (oh joy!) is coming, I believe it is important to “feather our nests” so to speak, in the here and now, as we live out our days.

My son Ethan is away at college now, and the very first thing we did when we took him there was to get his dorm room all set up.  It felt so good to make his bed, hang up his clothes, find a place for all of his things.  He had pictures and special belongings from home to keep with him and decorate with.  His roommate did the same, putting a big American flag up on the wall and choosing nice bedding and pillows.  They have a little refrigerator in their room for cold drinks.

Even if you are a college student you should still consider making your place homelike for yourself.  A small vase (jar/tin can) with something fresh from nature: a humble, small branch, tall pretty grasses, or a flower picked from those nice landscaped gardens would be sweet.  A “flameless” candle, a pretty throw pillow, a string of lights, all these things could be done at little cost to the pocketbook but to much benefit of the soul.  A special blanket and a stack of familiar books is nice, or an organic room spray for a fresh scent, a framed photo of your dog or sister or (mom)…..

I’ve considered making my big SUV more home-like!   I keep a blanket in it and hang an air freshener on the rearview mirror.  As a personal touch, the kids love to add stickers to the windows and doors and also scribble on them with pens (I’m being truthful but sarcastic now).

What about travel?  For me, these are the things required to be cozy (and at home) in a hotel: books, pens, notebook, iPhone and charger, and socks.  Poptarts are nice, too.  🙂

At my real home, I simply must have a cat or four, as well.

Oh yes, food!!  Food is a HUGE part of home life, isn’t it?  Food makes every event just that much more special.  Seth and Caleb have a football scrimmage this evening and I didn’t want to go until I realized that I could take a bag of some special snacks; homemade granola bars, cut up fruit, some hot tea in a thermos.  I have several Susan Branch cookbooks and I read a recipe, an actual RECIPE yesterday for a special garlic flavored popcorn…maybe I’ll try that, I mean it has to be good if she included it in her cookbook?

Maybe this is why some people ALWAYS take lunch to work from home.  It’s just cozier, all yours, special, made for YOU…….make lunchtime (any mealtime!) a special time, a nice break for yourself in the midst of a busy day.

Yesterday my kids watched a favorite TV show while munching crackers and cheese.  It’s so cute, the way they always have to eat the same snack during this particular show.  If you watch it, you will see why.  (highly recommended).

I love to visit my mom at work because she has made her whole office look cozy!  She has plants, lots of pictures of her family, framed maps (she loves maps!), and blue glass in the windows (it looks so pretty with the sun shining through them).  Her personality shines.

Sometimes I visit Rich at work (he has his own office) but I’ve seen the cubicles there…..and each one is such a reflection of the person who uses it!

Why do we put so much effort into creating these places for ourselves?  I have to believe it satisfies something in our souls that God put there.  A place that says “you are home, be at peace, you are secure, you can rest now.”  What a gift.

Not only that, but to do things like baking or decorating requires slowing down and being thoughtful, both of which are becoming harder and harder to do, but essential to well-being.  It’s much easier, when we are frantically busy, to grab drive-thru meals (I do it, too!!) which are not very nutritious or nurturing, to say the least.  What soul-satisfying moments we miss (both in the preparing AND the eating) when we don’t cook or bake our own foods.

To make a house a home takes time, mindfulness, and hours upon hours in the kitchen.  

It’s a job, yes, but like any job it can be done spiritually, with thankfulness that we are blessed and fortunate to even have nice homes and plenteous food!


From my bench on the porch I had a hummingbird come to visit the zinnias.  Even a hummingbird has a nest to make, and to put babies in.


With wings so fast that they hum.


And a place to tuck their feet so they are completely out of sight (and out of the way for better aerodynamics!)

They are very fast fliers.


It’s strange I know, but flying birds and their tucked-away feet just make me smile.


I like the way the photos look with the railings blurred away but still there, like a frame.



It wasn’t all hummingbirds.


Time for another road trip!


I took this photo last Sunday with my phone….we were coming home after taking Ethan to college and then spending a few days in Lake George, NY.  That big green thing in the back is a blow up Gumby — a prize from playing a game at Great Escape amusement park.

It’s these five who will be going with us to NY for a family reunion TOMORROW and to visit our friends Janice and James and their kids.  This will be the third weekend in a row we are away.  Jacob and Michael will be home taking care of the house and pets while we are gone and Ethan of course will be at school.

I’m baking later for football snacks AND road trip snacks.  (any favorite recipes to share?)


The other day I was blogging in bed with these creatures at my feet.  (three cats, and Parker the dog who still smells a little skunky even after 2 baths).


On a different “other day” I left to take Grace school shopping and Jacob called me on my cell phone because he had passed me as he was going home.  He had a starbucks coffee for me as a surprise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! so I turned around to meet him at the gas station and he handed it to me through the window with a smile.  I’m still crying about it.


This is so random…..I went to the library to put books in the free box and liked this display so took a photo of it.  I want to study these birds now!  And I want some to come live in my chimney!  Do you know this bird?  Have you ever seen them?


And this (again at the public library) was fun.  Someone painted bricks to look like books– to use as bookends.  I loved how the Holy Bible was one of them!!  I’ve read all these (brick books) except The Notebook.  I refuse to read anything by Nicholas Sparks. (just one of my quirks–I hear he is a very good author–so maybe someday).

Happy Friday!  Happy Labor Day weekend!



PS, something funny: the whole time I was writing this I was also texting my brother and planing on a gathering at Mom and Dad’s on Sunday evening.  He immediately thought “FOOD” and in no time at all he arranged the entire menu and told me that mama was making cookies.  “I’m feeling plump and happy already” he texted.  As we should be.


Then my people will live in a peaceful habitation, And in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places…  Isaiah 32:18

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies: you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.  Psalm 23:5


7 thoughts on “feeling plump and happy already!

  1. Just an interested question about books: you said you’ve read all these except The Notebook; does that include the real books on the shelf too? If so, what is the reasoning behind reading Steele but not Sparks? I’m interested because I like to read too and sometimes wonder how I as a believer should choose my reading material.

    • Hi Sarah! Let me clarify…I meant that I had read the titles on the “brick” books (I haven’t read anything by Steele). But, other than that small detail, about Sparks… I personally don’t read Sparks–but simply because of his genre and I just can’t seem to get into his writing. (i have trouble with authors who write a lot of books in the same genre because they tend to never be as good to me as the first one–like Grisham for instance). I read pretty much anything and everything and if the book ends up offending my beliefs or isn’t written well I abandon the book. I like mysteries, memoirs, fiction, nonfiction, etc. The main, number one thing I look for is quality writing, and I do read any “age” book, too…kid, teen, and adult! It doesn’t matter to me, as long as it is written well and there is some redeeming quality in it (humor, lessons learned, education, history, or even just plain fun!) Short answer is: there is no reasoning, it’s only my opinion based on my own taste. (In my mid twenties to mid thirties I read almost exclusively Christian books, but as I become more free in Christ I realized that I can pick up any book (within reason) and read it.) That’s just my opinion of what I’ve decided through the years. If you check out my pinterest board you can see the books I’ve liked enough to pin. Or if you search this site you will find many recommendations. Also try the book “Honey for a Woman’s Heart” which has lots of book lists in it. I would say, read anything and everything (within reason, of course–there ARE trashy books out there, and/or books that aren’t written very well) reading is a gift! Love, Shanda

  2. I always like your posts,but this one I love! “You are home,be at peace”!So true.And heaven will be”home”for all of God’s people,regardless of race,ethnicity,etc,We will be home,

  3. The close-up of the humming bird and the flower with the dark background is spectacular. I love my home. I was able to design it myself and have it built. It’s a blessing. However, as I age, I’m thinking I should make plans to move into the nearby retirement community. I will miss the big window where I sit in the mornings, drink my coffee, pray and read my Bible, and just be still. I’m still praying about a move.

  4. Love your post! I couldnt agree more! Ive gotten tons of good recipes off my yummly app. Ill send you the link. 🙂 love the pictures too! Hugs,Christina

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