As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Monday, September 1, 2014

On Blogging (and Other Stuff) // Part 2

Before I begin chatting about blogging again, I must first say thank you to so many of you who took the time to join in the discussion! 

I read each answer...several times. (I am still responding to your answers via email or blog comment when possible. I am behind as I was away from the computer a good bit last week. This week promises much of the same.) I have read Vee's recent musings about blogging and the many reader comments furthering the discussion. I have prayed about the role of blogging in my life. I have pondered and mused and considered. 

I love blogging and I am not contemplating leaving. 

I enjoy having a creative outlet, a place to share my musings. I love the interchange of ideas, sharing my own projects and thoughts, and learning from yours. I find inspiration. I love the friendships that have formed, and the sense of community. I enjoy learning about other parts of the world: rural Texas, south Florida, British Columbia, Lake Gitche Gumee, Maine, Lancaster County, Seattle, New Zealand. Not because I have been there, but because I know someone who lives and shops and eats and explores those places. I am often encouraged by your blogs, and I hope to do the same for you.  

Yes, I will continue to blog. 

But I am going to make a couple of changes. 

The first change involves time. 

If you read and follow a lot of blogs, then you know how much time it takes to make thoughtful comments. And so, although I will continue to make comments on the blogs that I read, it just won't be as frequently (as in not on every post). I am absolving myself of the obligation to always say something. I keep thinking of the wise words from Karen Andreola when a reader apologized for "lurking" without commenting. Karen said, 
"I think it is fine to peruse a public post like people used to relax with the newspaper - without necessarily sending a letter to the editor. The 20th century term "lurk" which I am most familiar with, makes the new 21st century blog definition seem a bit harsh and ill-fitting to me." 

I love that analogy! I will still be reading as I have time ("relaxing with the newspaper"), but I won't be sending quite as many "letters to the editor."

The second change concerns the purpose of my blog.

Not a big change really. I will continue to talk about my home and my family and celebrations and hospitality...and how I serve the Lord by serving in my home.

A part of my purpose when I began my blog was to offer encouragement to homeschoolers and to young mothers. When I started blogging five years ago, I had recently completed my second two-year term as editor of our local homeschool newsletter. I had enjoyed writing articles for the newsletter, and I wanted to continue to offer experience and encouragement to homeschool moms, and I planned to include these things in my blog. 

Now I know that many of my readers are fellow grandmothers! And the grandmothers may not be excited about homeschool talk. But over the last several months, I have felt an urging to share some rudimentary principles, some very basic tips that I have found vital to a successful homeschool. I may even chat about some of the nuts and bolts. So if you're a "grandmother," feel free to click away on those days and come back another day when I'm sharing a recipe or talking about a party or a house project or just plain musing! 

Now for the "other stuff"...

Four years ago, we had just ended the summer birthday season and the calendar had just barely turned over to the next month, when this little girl came and made our world more precious. Today, Alaine is four!

Yesterday, we gathered at Kristin and Brian's house to celebrate Alaine! Pink was the theme and happy was the mood. (And hot was the weather...but not as hot as the day she was born!)

Bekah took this picture of the birthday girl and loves it. She asked me to crop it in order to zoom in on that pretty little face. She was especially smitten with the lips. 

A few peeks at the party...

Ron is off this week and it is a get-things-done kind of vacation week. Our main project is a makeover of the computer cabinet. 

It is a cabinet that we designed together and that Ron made to house our desktop computer. But we rarely use aged, s-l-o-w Henry (the desktop) any more and so we're converting the cabinet into a china closet! I am so excited! I'll be storing The Grandmother Dishes there, as well as various and sundry dishes, mugs, and trays that are all over my house. Hopefully, this will eliminate the treks (Ron's treks) up and down the attic stairs with heavy boxes of seasonal dishes. There may still be a need for culling the collection, but we're hoping to make some sense of it all. The goal is to keep our house tidy, rid it of excess, but make room for the things we really love. 

Feel free to continue the conversation in the comments...OR just "relax with the newspaper" (see above) and leave a "letter to the editor" some other time! :)

There is still time for you to Gather the Moments of August.
The link will stay up through Saturday.


  1. Happy Labor Day. I'm glad to read that you are going to continue to blog. It's nice to cut yourself some slack, too, and not to feel obligated. Blessings!

  2. This all sounds wonderful to me. I guess I did that a while back too without realizing that was the plan, lol. It is hard sometimes to keep up with it all. But you will find that this gal comments MOST of the time. Just "too chatty" I guess. Enjoy your day Cheryl.

  3. I might be a Grandmother, but I'm still interested in the education of children. We have several families who homeschool in our Church. I'm always interested in what they are saying and doing.....for instance a young girl's remark that she can go to school in her PJs. I admire people who homeschool and will be most interested in your posts about it.

    I feel the same way as you about commenting. I always think that the person took the time to write a post...then I read it....and then I comment on it. Not always a long comment, but something that they know that people are reading.
    Have a wonderful Labor day.

  4. I think that is a great solution! I think we need to give each other freedom!

    I have had many of the same thoughts about homeschooling posts as you. I've not done many because like you, I've moved into the grandma stage. However, I find that this is a huge part of my life and I want to share it. I am thinking of doing a separate Homeschooling blog, I'll message you about that. I have big ideas!

    Alaine is one darling girl! Bekah's photo is great!

    What a wonderful idea for your hutch! It will be so great to not have to send Ron to the attic. They will be at your fingertips!

    Love you, and glad you'll be sticking around these here parts!


  5. I will love seeing what you do with the cabinet. Have fun on your projects this week. I would enjoy anything you share about homeschooling as I'm often encouraging my young homeschool friends so any tips are welcome to be passed on.

    I find the blogging discussions interesting. It just enforces my conclusion that when I am thinking about something, or experiencing something, I'm never the only one. We all share a lot in common. Blogging may have reached a point where we all are having to think it over again. I love the letter to the editor metaphor. I think your idea is a good and well thought out one.

  6. As our lives change and adapt, so do our blogs. I don't have children or grandchildren (lots of nephews and nieces). But I shall not mind reading about your homeschooling posts... not all all.

    I really liked the picture that Karen Andreola painted about we blogger feeling free to read blog posts as people used to relax with a newspaper. Yes! We need to give ourselves that beautiful, delicious freedom to let blog reading (and commenting as desired) be one of enjoyment all the time. No sense of obligation.
    Whether we're writing them or visiting someone else's.

    Thanks for sharing these posts about blogging. It helps to chat about it and to clarify what we want our blogging to be about.

    Happy first day of September...


  7. I can hardly wait to see how the cabinet turns out! It is sure to be a beautiful home for your treasured dishes.

    Your little sweet grand-daughter is such a darling.

    Your experiences as a homeschooler are sure to be an encouragement to a group of people who need it so much. It can be a tough job, homeschooling!

    Blessings to you as you adjust your time and apply your talents in the way you feel led!

  8. This week I am reading select posts and rarely commenting. Yes, we need to give ourselves the freedom to blog, read, and comment without obligation.

    Your little granddaughter is a darling. Happy Birthday!

  9. So glad you are going to "keep on blogging". You are one of my favorites. One thing I especially like about your blog is that is continues on one page. I am not encouraged to read a blog if I have to go on another page (same with magazine articles). I like to be able to continue the whole article in one spot. Love your blog, your "Walton" home and family, and your faith which shines through your writing. Keep up the good work. Blessings, Sharon D.

  10. Another thought I have had about blogging...have you noticed how many young mommies are out there blogging advice about things they have barely gotten their toes wet doing? And they are so popular. I find that sad and for me personally I feel a caution about it. So I say that because the thoughts of experienced, older wise women in the blog world is such a valuable thing. Many may not see that because it often doesn't make a cool television show or even be worthy of selling lots of books, but when I look at the blogs I read almost all of my more personal, women blogs that I comment on are of women who are a good decade older than me and who have something to offer in enriching my life with godly thoughts, ideas and experience. And, you are one of those women! <3

  11. I certainly am glad you are continuing to blog, I just found you! I have enjoyed reading your post and getting to know you!

  12. Good grief, Alaine is a beautiful little girl! Sweet family photos. I have a word to say about blogging. When I read a post, I often want to make a comment on it and can't when comments are closed. I have taken a new attitude toward blog comments. I don't always respond to them, but often instead will leave a comment on that person's blog. But I do like to have the option to leave a comment on a blog when I want to. What if I want to write a letter to the editor and they're not allowing mail? ;-)

  13. Cheryl, I am so glad to know that you will continue to blog about homeschooling. I have been homeschooling my 13 year old and 10 year old from the beginning but last year I joined a classical community and took on a role of Tutor (Teacher) for the 7th grade. I had to learn Latin and 5 other subjects & teach them each week for the entire year. It became OVERWHELMING. I was praying the beginning of this year for the Lord to bring me a gentle Mentor to help me refocus my heart back home and to help me relax with this homeschool thing. I was always comparing and feeling inadequate. By chance one night I found your blog and I found a kindred spirit. Reading your blog brought so much needed perspective to my homeschooling as well as my re-prioritizing of my family. I have gone from stressing to loving learning. My kids are enjoying school. I have read all of your past posts and made as many notes as I could on your homeschooling choices. We have incorporated your morning hour and love it! All this to say Thank You! You are an inspiration. I wish we lived closer - I'd love to just spend a day with you and your sweet family.

  14. This Grandma who's still homeschooling 4 of her own is thrilled you'll be sharing posts on homeschooling, and recipes and homekeeping, and beautiful images. Thank you, Cheryl, for your sweet spirit and willingness to step out and encourage us.


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