blog housekeeping

Hi and Good morning!

Having to make my blog private, my former readers must send a request to me through wordpress in order to be accepted as a new viewer. When the request comes to me I am given NO information about you except your chosen username. The problem for me is, I feel that I need to know who you are, and a few of you have chosen usernames that have no meaning for me as your humble blog creator/writer.

I need to feel comfortable here, so I ask that you (don’t be shy) leave a comment today and tell me anything you want to tell me….(for instance, what’s your weather? Are you wearing socks? Do you know me in real life? Have you read my blog for long? How did you find it? What made you go through the effort of requesting access? What’s your real name? Do I know you from past comments and interaction on the blog?) Any ol’ comment will do!!

I would truly appreciate it. I have a list within my settings of each of your usernames (only names, no email addresses) and I will be keeping track of who I hear from. If I NEVER hear from a particular user, I will have to remove that person from my readers list simply because I have no idea who you are. This in the long run will make a more comfortable way for us all to communicate here.

If you’ve already left a comment on the previous post you don’t have to leave one here unless you really want to. I always love to hear from you, my dear friends.

Thank you,
Shanda, for blog housekeeping

63 thoughts on “blog housekeeping

  1. Good morning, Shanda.
    I am using my real name. I have been reading your blog since Caleb was a toddler. My daughter got me interested because she was a young Mom reading young Mom blogs. I have enjoyed reading about your family as it grows and grows up.
    What a blessing you and your beautiful Christian family are to all around you and all who read about good Christian values. My daughter has three children and she is a home schooler.
    Have a beautiful day. Thank you for accepting my request to keep reading.
    Carol Eastham

  2. Hi from Croatia, Europe. My name is Branka. I have been reading your blog for a very long time. I like you. 🙂

  3. I feel like I know you in real life having been blog friends since Xanga. I feel so blessed that you continue to blog here and am looking forward to keeping up on your life and goings on.

  4. Hi, Shanda. I don’t know you personally, but I have followed your sweet blog for years. I love the way you love your family. You’re such an inspiration. Thanks for allowing me to continue to follow your journey through life. 🙂

  5. Hi! I have followed your blog for a few years- I am a working mom with a two year old and have always been inspired by the joy and love you have and bring to your family

  6. From my end I see my photo and name with the comment I left on your previous post, but am messaging here to be sure you know…it’s Christina Book.😘❤️

  7. Weather: rainy and upper 70

    Socks: not today, but fuzzy pair around the house last Sunday

    Real life: yes, during my time of woe

    Read: since you started

    Found: stalking you since the turn of the century

    Requested: because you know my secrets and give me hope

    Name: Lea Ann

    Comments: on blog and in my heart

  8. Hello beautiful Shanda!! Love your honesty and willingness to put it all out there for others. Lifting you up in prayer today sweet friend. – Jami

    (This is Jami Dodd Regan from facebook)

  9. Hello, dear mother.
    No socks today, I’m afraid. The weather is quite nice, sunny with an abundance of birds. I first made your acquaintance nineteen years and a handful of months ago. I hope you remember me.

  10. My name is Mariela and we’ve never met but I have been following your blog for ten years. I requested you because your blog inspires me. To appreciate the small things in life and, as someone from a big city, your nature walks are so intriguing to me.

  11. Our lives are radically different. I’m a decade or so older than you. I only have three children (aged 21,19 and 18) and live in a big city (London). I am not at all religious and both my parents are dead so I don’t have the sort of extended biological/church family that you do. But I still feel we have so much in common – the same concerns about our children, the same need to create lovely things (I’m currently grappling with my daughter’s prom dress!), the same solace found in a good book. And I do think one of the nicest things about the internet is getting an insight into lives lived very differently – important if we are not to believe that there is only one way of making sense of the time that we are here.

    I remember you being pregnant with Sarah – so it’s been a while!


    • SO TRUE. I love reading and learning about all other kinds of people. We are all different and are still interested and supportive of one another. I hope the prom dress comes together for you, I’m sure it will. I’ve been thinking about getting the sewing machine out again. “we’ll see”. I agree that the internet has been a great way to gain insight and meet people. It’s been fun!

  12. Hi Shanda, it’s Cynthia. I am on “staycation” right now. It took 3 days to get enough rest just to feel rested enough to enjoy my time off! I go back to work on Thursday….sigh.

  13. Have been “reading you” since one day I saw you on xanga & don’t want to ever lose you & your family. Will I now be notified in my email when you have a new post? Thanks. Oh, by the way. I’m much older than you,
    living in PA countryside, happily married almost 50 yrs, mother of 5, & g-ma to 4.

    • Yes, you should be getting emails! I’m so glad we can keep in touch here. Happily married for almost 50 years!! Congratulations that is certainly something to be proud of. Thank you, L! Blessings and hugs!

  14. I’ve followed you since Xanga. How long ago was that ☺️
    I hope to meet you, this side of Heaven, one day!

  15. weather? Beatuful, sunny 70s.
    Are you wearing socks? Yes
    Do you know me in real life? Yes
    Have you read my blog for long? From the first post I believe.
    How did you find it? You gave it to me
    What made you go through the effort of requesting access? B/c I love following you..I admire you!
    What’s your real name? Bridgette
    Do I know you from past comments and interaction on the blog? You better 😉

    Just having fun! 🙂

  16. Beautiful honesty.
    Maybe I’ll have to follow your example because my life has some Hard threads that need a safe place to be examined.
    I have always loved your heart for sharing the beauty and grace you diligently display.

    • I’ve felt a connection with you through the years on xanga and blogging. We are deep down alike in our love for thoughtful, honest words.

  17. I live in California. Hubby and I are 63, and we have two adult daughters who are grown and flown. Our oldest (age 31) lives near DC and she and her husband have a 10 month old so we are now grandparents! We try to fly out to see them at least once every 3 months. Our younger daughter (age 29) is working and also lives out-of-state. Hubby is still working but I am retired. I volunteer a few days a week at a thrift store that benefits the American Cancer Society … I really enjoy my time there 🙂 I’ve read your blog since Xanga days. I enjoy your blog so much! You are a very talented writer and photographer. Pam

    • LOVED reading this extra details about you! Very coole that you fly to DC so often! It’s important to make those connections wheeve possible. Do you ever see fiestaware at the thrift store? 😉

  18. I have never been super comfortable leaving comments but I wanted you to know that you and your blog are inspirational and just so real. I feel blessed to know you in real life. You are a beautiful women inside and out. Love you much!

    • Hi dear friend, I’m always here for you and it’s a comfort to me that you are there for me, too. My real life hometown friend! Always! Love you!

  19. Hi! I’ve been reading since Xanga days… I love getting to check in and see how you are doing. I am always so inspired and encouraged by your blog and the honest way you share your life and love. It makes me happy seeing your pictures, your connection with nature and your family and God. You share so much joy in your words and they have had great impact on me over the years. Thank you!!

    • Hi Maggie! thank you so so much for commenting. It’s awesome you’ve been following since xanga days. I’m so glad you enjoy the blog. I have some nature photos I will post eventually. I’m so glad you’re continuing to follow me, I wasn’t sure how many would!! Hugs!

  20. I started reading your blog (now and then) when Sarah was a baby – she had a cute little outfit on that I think you made? and she was barefoot! and it was winter! oh my.. haha I now check your blog faithfully for your latest post. We built a house around the same time that you added on to yours – we chose similar cabinets, except that mine are white and yours are stained. I also have a cookbook shelf on the end of my counter similar to yours. life can be hard, but God is good and Jesus is (more than) enough. God bless you and yours

    • I love what you say, God is good and Jesus is more than enough. God bless! Thank you so much for writing to me. Sarah turns 9 on the 30th! ~Shanda

  21. Finally got in! Yay! (Jumping up and down)
    Started reading your blog in the Xanga days. I really miss the early days of blogging….14 years ago.
    Cooler temps here today. A sock day for sure. Just cut two heads of hair for my grandsons.
    Working on two smocked bonnets for twin girls born a few weeks ago. The mom was a student of mine when I taught art back in the day.
    Dawn ❤️

    • Dearest Dawn, I am SO glad you got in!!! So happy. I’m jumping up and down, too. Can you believe the early days of blogging were 14 years ago?! It’s cool in the shade (need a sweater) but hot in the sun (need sunscreen). We are heading to Seth’s game soon. later!

  22. Hey lady!

    We’ve never met, but I know we’re friends. =) I will talk about you and your family with my family as if we’re “cousins” living in two different areas of our country!

    We were friends on xanga many moons ago and I can remember asking you about fiesta when I first started collecting it. I now have a very nice collection that my husband had to reinforce our cabinets for and he also had to build a special fiesta shelf just so I could “display” my pretties.

    I currently have no socks on and I’m standing in my kitchen while lunch is cooking in the oven. My windows are open and a robin is currently singing a beautiful song.

    Much love to you and your family.

  23. Hi Shanda – I have been reading your blog for a long time – enjoy reading about your growing family – love seeing pictures of your birds, nature, etc. I am from Pa. I am a grandma and a great grandma – love my family. Thank you for accepting me to continue reading your blog.
    Keep up the good work. God bless!

  24. Hi Shanda,
    I found your blog several years ago, then lost it for awhile, then rediscovered it, so I certainly don’t wish to lose it again! We never met, but your writing and pictures are beautiful and inspiring, and give me the feeling of having a kindred spirit in the world, for I delight in words and books and flowers and other things of beauty, too. I love how you capture all of these things- and more- and share them with your readers.

    As for who I am, my real name is Joanna and I am a 35-year-old wife and mother of four who resides in PA. I homeschool, but at this point in the year, we are out of school and I am not sure who is enjoying the break more- me or my children!

    I am one of seven children (I am #5) so that particular number of children is special to me! 🙂

    Other points of interest: there is a thunderstorm going on at the moment (rain and more rain in these parts!), I am not wearing socks (I live in flip flops as much as possible during the summer!), and I am hoping to read a bit and maybe even have a cup of tea before sleep overtakes me.

    God bless you, Shanda! THANKS for sharing your life with us…I enjoy your blog so much and it makes me happy to see a new post! 🙂


    • Hi Joanna, THANK YOU so much for the lovely note here! It was so fun to read expeciall your second sentence, which I will be copying out in my journal. Very cool that you’re number five of seven children (my number five, Caleb, is finishing up middle school this month). We were supposed to have a thunderstorm last night but it went away (I love a good thunder storm).
      God bless you as well, dear Joanna! You’re very welcome for the blog… it is a gift from me to you, and your comments cheer my soul.
      Love, Shanda

  25. Hi, Shanda!
    My real name is Susan. I’m happily married with 2 grown sons and 8 little grandchildren (and one on the way!)
    I have read your blog for many years and look forward to your beautiful words and photos. You are a wonderful photographer!
    I appreciate your honesty and understand the “down” days. How blessed we are that we have a loving Father who understands and comforts us.
    I live in the mountains in southern Virginia but I am a transplanted Texan and work full time in a busy veterinary clinic. Like you, I enjoy the outdoors and can’t wait to get home in the evenings from work and walk around to see what new birds, plants, flowers, or bugs I might find. It’s one of my and my husband’s favorite things to do after a long day at work!
    Thank you for allowing me to continue enjoying your blog after so many years!

    • Hi Susan, I’m so glad you’re here! I LOVED your note here, it’s just so wonderful to hear from other women and share the ups and downs of life. Do you ever take photos of the things you see? It can be a fun challenge! Thank you for continuing to follow the blog! Love, Shanda

  26. HI Shanda ….I have been looking at your blog daily since before Sarah was born …I just love to see all about your amazing family ..your photo’s delight me …My name is Janet ..I am British and come from an English island called Guernsey , it’s just off of France on the north/west coast…I found you on the internet so long ago ..I mainly didn’t comment before as I am a little shy of sharing my thoughts ..but maybe you have freed me to start commenting …I am a potter,I sew, I craft, lovingly tend my yard, an old fashioned Wife, blogger (, very content to daily put lots of love in our home and a mother of two amazing men..I am going to be 64 on July 11th …I came to Alabama when I was 43 as I met this amazing man on the internet (so taboo in those days) I followed my heart with permission from my sons and have been in total married bliss now for 20 years ..I will comment on your blogs and continue to enjoy your writings are amazing thank you for letting me read your blog ..many blessings XX

  27. Hi, I’ve been reading since xanga days. I have an 8 year old girl and a 12 year old boy. I live in Virginia. Love to hear about your family life. Always sounds like lots of love there. We are a Christian family also.

  28. Hi Shanda! This is Kati from church. I started reading your blog a little bit ago, and have loved it ever since! You are definitely an inspiration to me of a loving, caring wife and mother who is involved with their family and one who actually enjoys being around them. Too often I see the opposite and it pains me. It’s wonderful to see such godly womanhood from you for a young mom and wife such as myself, and it is a delight seeing you and your family at church on those occasional Sunday’s. I know we don’t know much about each other, but through your blogs, I share a lot of common interests — older movies, books, God’s marvelous creation, writing, family, etc. and reading your posts, particularly those of family life, uplift me to cherish these moments I have with my own husband and son. As for the weather, it’s rainy and gloomy here in North Brookfield Mass. as I lay here with my napping son, but even on these rainy days I remind myself that the sun is always behind the clouds, just hiding temporarily until the right moment to peek and shine through. Why do I follow you? Because you are a joy and encouragement to me. – Kati

    • Kati, Rich got the cutest picture of us visiting in the parking lot after church! I’ll send it to you. I’m so so glad we have this connection through the blog and in real life. Have you found the archives? I’ve been blogging since Caleb was a baby. It was raining here this morning, too, and it was so peaceful sounding. I’m glad you took the time to write and glad you are here!! Love you.

      • Aww! I would love to see that picture he took! I have browsed through the archives and find the “dear old lady” questions quite interesting, if I say so myself, lol. I’m actually thinking of making a digital journal blog so I can record the memories of Nathaniel when young. Yes, I am glad we do too! I love talking with you! Love you too! (By the way, I changed my username to katijaneh if you’d be wondering).

  29. I have enjoyed your writing and photography since Xanga days. I have enjoyed watching your children grow up, nature walks, and pond adventures. I think of you every time I see a stack of fiesta ware at an auction or antique store. Blessings ~ Brenda

  30. Hello Shanda! My sister is Eli from Whidbey Island , WA ( I am Beth of, formerly of xanga. I have been reading your blog since forever. I have always been a lurker. I was devastated when you went private. I am always encouraged, inspired and refreshed when I come away from your pages. Thank you for taking the time to post. I am sure you will never know what a blessing you are to many souls. Keep posting! Love Always, Beth in California.

    • I remember you from xanga days! Thank you so very much for the comment, Beth. I’m so glad you found the way to get back here to read and enjoy friendship with me and others here through the blogging-world. Much love!

  31. Hey Shanda, I have been reading you since your zanga days as well, back when you were homeschooling and we had the same amount of kiddos. :). I’ve sent you a private email or two but got scared to talk futher.- don’t really know why except for intense shyness. You’ve already ok’d my access but I’m catching up on you and your wonderful family and saw this.

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