Dryer is humming.

Lights are on; it’s 5:30, very gloomy, and raining.

When cars go by they splash up rain off the road, a lovely sound.

I made chicken and dumplings for dinner.

Seth got mad at Sarah because she started to give him a candy and then took it back.

The coffee table is covered in books and toys.

I finished a book today, and started another.

Sarah acted so guilty as she walked by me that I asked her what she had in her hands.  It was a package of crackers, a package of fruit snacks, and a granola bar.  “I’ll drink some water after.”

Caleb watched numerous youtube videos of football clips when he got home from school.

Seth liked dinner for the second day in a row and gave me a hug.  “I’m on a roll this week,” I tease.  “You’ve been on a roll with me since I started eating your dinners,” he replies.

I tried calling Rich but he didn’t answer and then he called me back later to make sure everything was okay.  Practice is cancelled so he might take the boys for haircuts later.

I took David to the orthodontist this morning, and then drive-thru breakfast.

Then to high school—–HIGH SCHOOL!

I found a vintage fiesta teacup (no saucer) for 50 cents today.

I took a newly hatched butterfly outside.

Seth and Sarah are busy running a bath, for their stuffed animals.

This was after I said “no” to washing the cat.

They are calling it the Shower Pet Shop.  

There is a pile of shoes and backpacks by the door.

Mail on the counter.

I heard from Grace today, briefly; she had a quiz in math.

And Ethan got an “A” on a paper.  He had interviewed his Dad about being a Manager.

Rich says it’s his first college “A”.

I think Caleb fell asleep in his room.

I know David did.  I took his picture.

I normally don’t allow 5:30pm naps.

But today it just seems right.



merry christmas and a happy snow day


I love my home,
I love my nest,
In all the world,
My nest is best!

Good news!  Sherlock the cat is back home recovering from his ordeal.  We are all thankful to see him in the old familiar places…..and are fervently praying that he never again forms crystals to block his urinary track.

All the second guessing and questions were gone as soon as I witnessed the love and gentleness in the way the children cared for their pet all weekend long.


He received much petting.




Well, it’s our first snow day of the school year.  There was speculation all weekend as the children wondered if it would happen and checked the weather frequently.  As soon as I woke up this morning, I felt around in the dark for my phone on the table by the bed.  Rich left for work as soon as he possibly could as I was announcing to him, “It’s a snow day!  Stay home please stay home with us!” He was like, “bye.”

No matter, the children are currently still tucked in their warm beds, sound asleep, and I’m in my room typing away………….enjoying what will probably be the quietest hour of the day.


On Saturday, Rich was away for a wrestling scrimmage with his team (he is the HS head coach) and I had a leftover roast chicken in the fridge so I set to work making homemade chicken and dumplings with a big pot of fluffy mashed potatoes.  The only reason I got the camera out is because Seth was amusing me.  He had helped roll out the dumplings and then ended up on the counter for a good half an hour playing in a cup of flour…….

Messy….but harmless fun for a boy in the kitchen.


And a warm comfort food was enjoyed by all for lunch that day.


When Rich got home from wrestling, he took a quick nap on the couch and then took the boys for haircuts…..



The reason why Rich completely spoils and worships me is because I gave him five sons and two daughters who look just like him.  (okay, that is maybe just one of the many reasons).



“Sarah get off my cat! Mom tell Sarah to get off my cat! No don’t take a picture of Sarah with my cat, that’s my cat!”  ~David is very possessive.


Rich and David moved this little couch (dog bed) into the other room to make a spot for the Christmas tree.  It was about 28 degrees on Saturday afternoon so he could only get Caleb and Sarah to go with him to the fire department to choose the tree.  I could tell he was starting to get tired and not in the mood but after a little love-spat we got the decorating done.  It certainly wasn’t the same without Jacob and Ethan helping us and Grace saying things like “I probably won’t be here next year to help decorate the tree”.  sigh.  Not only that but the Heisman’s Trophy was going to be awarded at 8 and it was 7:55 so we were in sort of a time crunch.  (Caleb is a passionate football fan).



Little by little the nest is getting festive.  Yes, those are legos.


The painting from Aunt Colleen, vintage yellow fiestaware, a strand of lights, and my cookbook collection.


While searching for the decorations they found their old board puzzles.


A beautiful moment after the children were in bed…..a purring cat on my lap, candles, Sangria, and the lovely tree.


(Caleb just came in here asking if it was a snow day.  After he heard the news he climbed up, “I want to snuggle with you.  Can I see your phone?  I want to see who won the game last night, I went to bed after the third quarter just in case it wasn’t a snow day.”)

So Sunday morning was blessedly relaxing.  Rich was watching a movie and after a while I noticed him doing sit ups on the floor.  This man works out EVERY DAY so I got a little bossy and said, “If you have energy I have something you could do instead.”

(Seth has appeared)


And then later on, we were getting ready for church and Rich captured this special moment.  “When Moms do their Daughters Hair.”  Sarah needed two tissues to get through it.


And when I showed her the photo of the final result she said proudly, “Is my hair really that long?”  so I knew she wasn’t scarred for life.

Merry Christmas and a Happy Snow Day!  I’ll blog tomorrow about all the things we did with our surprise vacation day from school.  (Meanwhile, Seth is asking if he can open one of his presents)………


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


back home


Sarah’s first day back at home after surgery has been a gift.  Things like this always make me appreciate the little things in life even more.


When we arrived home, I noticed differences right away.

The morning glories are inches further up the sunflowers.
Gypsy moths are flying around.
My gardens and hanging baskets are dry and need watering.
Raspberries are ripening fast.
The grass was longer.

I know my house, my land, my gardens.  My roots go way down.


How to heal a little girl; with snuggles, stuffed animals that fit just right in a small hand, books, back scratches, ginger ale, movies, smiles, brothers and a sister, games, rides in a wheelchair, naps, words of encouragement, leaving the hospital as soon as possible, pain medicine, a nest on the couch, getting clean with a shower, soap, and combed out hair, tempting foods like fresh garden peas and wild raspberries picked by a loving sister and mama.




When your big brother comes in the house with a visitor.


And when your mom and dad leave, just for an hour, to go to a library used book sale.


The top six were for her.



















self control

against such things there is no law.

Good evening, my friends.

Today is a wonderful day.  I am finally feeling more like myself.  Thank the Lord for doctors and modern medicine.  After I got the kids out the door for school, my oldest son Jacob got up and showered.  When he came downstairs he told me that he didn’t have to go to college today so I mentioned that I was going to go shopping in about an hour.  I had some photos to pick up and some things I needed to get.  He right away showed his willingness to go along with me without even being asked…he said, “Oh, than I can show you those legos at the mall that I wanted to get the boys for Christmas.”  It made me smile that he wanted to go with me.

He drove me after I said I would give him gas money.  Gas money is very important to 18 year old young men.  He talked to me the whole time we were together.  And if he wasn’t talking, he was singing along to his music.  He and his girlfriend share a spotify music account now, isn’t that romantic?  They also did community service together yesterday by picking up litter along some of the main roads in our area.

Jacob LOVES music.  He has quite a varied collection, from classical to Christian metal.

We went to several stores, including Starbucks and Five Guys (burgers) for lunch.  Then he drove us to his school so that we could pay for his next semester.  He walked me around and showed me the library.  He loves his classes, his professors, and the campus.  I’m so thankful for the way he is adjusting and becoming independent.  The place he works for originally hired him for the Holidays, but recently asked him to stay on full-time.  He loves his job and the people he has met.


The chickens get bowls of old leftovers and they love it.  It looks sickening to us humans, though.  I always have to laugh when I hand a bowl over to a child and say “run this down to the chickens” and they do, while gagging.


Just beyond the hens, in that spot that looks like briars, is a small little pond nestled down a bank.  I love that little pond, and so do the chickens.  They make their way down and drink from it.  Beyond that (the building you see) is our garage.


Holiday FIESTAWARE display!


precious children coming home off the bus


Dear teachers, your students notice everything you do.  The other day I told Sarah she would make a good teacher someday and after sitting there thinking about it she said, “No I don’t think so.  It’s such hard work!  And I don’t know how to make a star!”

Tis the season for gingerbread men.  She brought another one home today.  It’s a paper plate painted brown, with a circle at the top of it for a head and oval arms and legs decorated with glitter.  Only it looks more like a brown turtle then a gingerbread man.


Saturday morning these guys went to a wrestling practice.


Grace brought her rabbit inside for a little while and we had such a time watching funny Gentleman Gray visit with him from the top of the cage.



I put a small box inside of her cage yesterday and she had a great time chewing it up into a bed.


beauty in an apple core


beauty outside the door

Going back to the aloe vera plant.  Just a few months ago the planter contained one big “mama” plant that was so big that it was tipping the whole planter over unless I balanced it against the wall.  The appearance was beginning to bother me so I cut it right off and threw it away.  It has been a delight to see so many baby plants grow up in it’s place.  I hope to divide it soon and share with friends.  I’m sure there is a parable in there somewhere.

Tonight I am picking my dear friend Hannah up from the airport and I cannot wait.



when I taste your goodness, I shall not want

“Though the fig tree may not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines;
though the labor of the olive may fail,
and the fields yield no food;
though the flock be cut off from the fold,
and there be no herd in the stalls–
yet I will rejoice in my Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.”
Habakkuk 3:17-18

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:4-6

“Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you.  I do not give it as the world does.  Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.”  John 14:27

“But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”  Isaiah 43:1

“….Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9

“Tell everyone who is discouraged, Be strong and don’t be afraid!  God is coming to your rescue.”  Isaiah 35:4

“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet!  Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”  Mark 4:39  (He does this to the storms in our souls, too)

Unless the Lord has judged our fears to be a great evil, He would not so often have forbidden them, or have prepared such a heavenly quietus for them.  Charles Spurgeon

“Permit me to say there is nothing in the Bible to make any man fear who puts his trust in Jesus.  Nothing in the Bible did I say?  There is nothing in heaven, nothing on earth, nothing in hell, that need make you fear who trust in Jesus.”  Spurgeon

“The Lord may be very close to thee, dear child, when thou canst not see Him, perhaps closer than ever he was when thou couldst see Him.  The presence of God is not to be measured by the realization of it.”  Spurgeon

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, the weapons we fight with have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  2 Corinthians 10:4-5


You see, dear friends, I have a daily struggle with anxiety and have very unwisely held on to fears and allowed them to grow.  I have allowed exhaustion to grow, too, until life itself seemed too much to bear.  And indeed, it was too much to bear.  How very thankful I am for Mother, who called me during her work day to simply listen to me cry and cry and talk it all out, and the wisdom she spoke to me.   “You’re exhausted.  You need to rest.  Don’t do anything during your free times but rest.  And then when quiet time is over, get up and bake something for your family.”

I am ashamed of my weakness when I think of many others in the past and present that have a life much more difficult than mine.  But the truth is, God is almost certainly going to gently allow EACH ONE OF US to sink to our lowest, our breaking point, to show us the comfort and delights to be found in Himself.  No matter what your life situation, there will be times of difficulty, and if you are a believer and a lover of Jesus, it is during those times when you will find yourself on your knees and know that your faith is not in vain.  It is a true faith, a simple childlike faith, in a God so big and loving that it truly does bring a peace that passes all understanding.

I pray my most desperate prayers in the bathroom.  I lock the door and turn on the ventilation fan so no one can hear me, and I kneel down by the bathtub and pray.  I tell Jesus exactly what is making me fearful or anxious.  I tell Him that I cannot control the anxiety and that I need Him to take over and do the work inside of me.  I tell Him of the verses I know that command me not to worry and that I trust Him.  How grateful I am when I pray it all out and find my spirit restored once again.  It truly does work, and not because of anything I have done, but because of Christ and His provision.

It’s been AMAZING.


In between the prayer times, life has been relatively peaceful again…..true, the children are all getting sick over and over….but, ONLY BECAUSE I’m learning to let go and get through it the best I can without freaking out inside!!!  Life is not an emergency.

I’m trying to be more like my cat.






Grace and Jenna taking tickets at the play we went to a few weeks ago.





Jacob and David, I think they were playing smashy road….Dave is using my phone.





“This home is a shelter for those we hold dear, wishing peace to all who enter here.”








David followed a youtube instructional video last night and made gummy candy out of jello.


Here it is before he cut it.


Sarah’s library book which was not intended for the highly observant child (the kittens were slightly different throughout the book but supposed to be the same three and she kept asking me who was who.)



I colored her hair slightly with hair chalk, as per her request.  There is a small green streak on the left and a small purple streak on the right.


Seth showed me his tricks while waiting for the bus.  He was kicking the football and then trying to catch it with one hand.   Hilarious


Thank you for the beautiful plants, Amy!!!!


If you’re anxious about anything today, find a quiet time to pray and let your burdens go to His capable hands.  Jesus is more than conqueror of all our fears and no one understands what men and women go through like He does.  We all have such unique and challenging lives, but in Him we can live them peacefully and calmly, with thanksgiving.  He will take those worries and destroy them!

And gosh darn it, slow down and get your rest.

Eat properly, too.

Drink water.

Get some sunshine.

Onward and upward.

You are loved.