Home Can Be A Heaven on Earth

  In one of my favorite hymns I have learned, "home can be a heaven on earth, when it is filled with love."  My hope for this blog is to help others love their homes and feel of its duty and pride to shelter the family it holds.  The feeling inside is more important than square footage and decor.  If anyone needs reminding of this, it's me!  Scuffs on the walls and well worn floors are a testimony of a happy, active family.  I love the giddiness I feel with the vision of a well designed, clean home.  Magazine photos and Pinterest posts often make my heart skip a beat.  But the reality is, living isn't always clean or perfect.  And I've got plenty of crayon drawings on the wall to prove that!

When I was a year old, Mom and Dad built a house.  It was their dream home.  Dad was a builder and Mom an interior designer, so naturally they made a great team.  Mom dreamed of a victorian home on the east coast, but we lived in the desert.  She thought it up, and he made it happen.  It was beautiful.    A lot of hard work and sweat went into the building of this home.  My dad and many of his brothers and friends helped him create a custom masterpiece he would live in and raise our family for the next couple of decades.

 This pic was taken in 1984.  The home was about 3 years old.  
(I love that you can see my Mom's shadow taking the pic!)

A few years later, Mom decided to paint the home yellow with white trim.  She added some country touches, hanging planters, a dinner bell on the porch, and the flagpole. 

Then about a decade or so later, the home was repainted a brighter yellow with a green door and the cement walkway was replaced with vintage brick.  This picture was taken around 2000.

 Mom and Dad have both passed away (you can read their stories here and here)  and my husband and our 5 children now live in the home.  Its a bitter sweet experience to renovate a home you were raised in.  So many memories came with the tearing down of walls and stripping wall paper.  For me, my home is my haven.  Its where I spend 99% of my days.  Its the place I want my children to run to for peace and protection.   

  Lots of memories and life's lessons were had in this home.  And now it's like the home is getting a second chance, another family to hold.  I am enjoying the process of making it my own, our own.  When we have moved walls or stripped wallpaper, we often find penciled measurements under it all in my dad's handwriting.   It was always a dream home to my parents, but I never really thought it would be mine one day.  I just sort of thought it would always be mom and dad's.  When my mom was sick, we went for a drive just she and my brothers and I.  We talked about future plans, things we loved about each other, and she shared her testimony of Christ with us.  When I told her we wanted to keep the home in the family she was genuinely pleased!  I like to think they would like what we've done with the place.  It still has a lot of the charm they built into it, and I've added my own modern touches, but I like to think the home still has it's same soul and holds the same love for the family within it's walls.  My brothers feel like they are coming home whenever they come in town to visit, because in a way, they are.  We still have the same snack drawer in the kitchen that they all rifle through upon arriving.  We still stay up late sitting on the kitchen counter just talking.  The kids slide down the banister railing, the way we used to when we were young.  We sit on the porch swing during thunderstorms and watch the lightning.

  Over the last 30 + years, the house has changed, but the feeling inside is just the same.  

And this is how the Homestead House looks now!

The roof was redone before we even moved in.  I miss the charm of the shake style roof, but we had leaks and problems that needed fixed. 

We removed the old porch railing and had the beams wrapped in columns.  The exterior was given a fresh coat of Swiss Coffee paint with bright white trim.  We wanted to replace all the windows on the house, but the quote definitely not in our budget, so for now we had the painters freshen up the windows by painting the frames black.  It really makes them pop!  We also replaced the front door and had it trimmed out.

 The ferns are one of my favorite touches.  I have seen them in so many inspiration pictures.  The porch ceiling was painted a light blue as is customary in many southern homes.  

With each monsoon season, the pine trees made us nervous.  They were very close to the house, particularly the boys bedroom and two of them were leaning towards the house.  It was a sad choice but we had all 4 of them removed.  They served this home well and provided lots of shade all summer long.  My brother who is a genius creator had all the wood milled and has built dining tables and benches with it.  I have lots of ideas I would also like him to use the wood for!  Eventually we would like to plant some new trees and redo all the landscaping, but again, not in the budget for now.

I think she looks like a pretty happy home.  What do you think!?

 "Home can be a heav'n on earth
When we are filled with love,
Bringing happiness and joy,
Rich blessings from above—
Warmth and kindness, charity,
Safety and security—
Making home a part of heaven,
Where we want to be.

 Drawing fam'ly near each week,
We'll keep love burning bright.
Serving Him with cheerful hearts,
We'll grow in truth and light.
Parents teach and lead the way,
Children honor and obey,
Reaching for our home in heaven,
Where we want to stay.

 Praying daily in our home,
We'll feel His love divine;
Searching scriptures faithfully,
We'll nourish heart and mind.
Singing hymns of thanks, we'll say,
"Father, help us find the way
Leading to our home in heaven,
Where we long to stay."

(LDS Hymnbook)

lanterns Ballard Designs
porch swing Ballard Designs
porch chairs Ikea
front door Home Depot

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