About Me

Welcome to Home Sweet Hall’s!

What you’ll find here is a mix of:  a lot of talk about Down syndrome, some parenting wisdom (I’ve grown up 2 kids without killin’ em),  decor and DIY projects that I enjoy and help keep me sane (my husband might disagree).


Down syndrome

Our youngest has Down syndrome.  Before Jessie, I didn’t know anything about Down syndrome.  At first, that was pretty scary, all the unknowns.  Although some aspects are hard, and I share honestly about the struggles, our lives are so full of joy.  We are so thankful God included her in our family; we don’t know who we would be individually, or as a family, without her.

When Jessie was born there wasn’t a local Down syndrome group. A friend of mine (we met during our pregnancies) who lives in my same town had a baby with DS just 3 weeks after me.  To make a long and sweet God-story short, that lead to us helping start F.R.I.E.N.D.S.  Now, when babies are born in our area, they are easily able to connect and receive support from, and fellowship with, other families.

I feel like what I have to say about Down syndrome is a little different.  Some of the common verbiage surrounding Down syndrome just doesn’t resonate with me.  #morealikethandifferent doesn’t feel like our story but #differentisgoodtoo absolutely does.

Here are a few Down syndrome related posts you might want to check out:

Health Related: If Your Child has Down Syndrome This Is What You Need To Know About Sleep ApneaDown Syndrome: Blood Tests We Do Each Year and WhyJessie’s Oral Surgery and How One of Her Doctors Really Blessed Me

Helping Jessie Be More Independent:  Jessie Got an iphone! Pros and Cons, Safety, and RestrictionsTeaching Skills for Independence Part 1 (the WHY)Teaching Skills for Independence (Part 2) Start with Self-Care SkillsUsing Phone Alarm and Timers to Keep Jessie On Track

Some Fun Stuff: This Week’s Sweet and Funny Jessie MomentsJessie’s First Sleepover At a Friend’s House! (And Learning Something New) Painting Ceramics: I Think We Found a New Hobby!

I need to be frugal but I want a beautiful home.

My husband has jokingly called me parsimonious.   As a one income family, decorating our home isn’t an area where I could afford to spend a lot, but making our home cozy and beautiful has always been important to me, even at times when I could hardly spend any money at all. You too can change things up by using items you already own in a fresh way and being a frugal shopper and DIY’er.  I’ll help you!

Here are a few frugal DIY’s you might enjoy:

I’m mama to 3 of my favorite people.

Being a mother has been both the greatest joy of my life AND the hardest job I’ve ever done.  Sometimes we think we’re the only ones who find it to be hard, but that’s just not true. Parenting is just hard, even when it’s full of joy.

By nature, I’m an encourager.  It’s who God made me to be.  I want to encourage you in your parenting journey, to see the beauty of the ordinary day as the gift it really is.

My mom died when I had just turned 6.  My dad, although a very loving and great dad in many ways, was an alcoholic.  The lack of stability in my own childhood impressed on me the importance of creating not only a home filled with love, but one where stability was the norm.  I’ve experienced a lot of loss, and I shared I’ve experienced a lot of loss, and I shared my spiritual journey to wholeness, which really defies explanation.  Our home is far from perfect, but it is stable, loving, God-fearing and full of grace.

I actually enjoyed the years that my kids were teenagers.  Now that two of my kids are grown, I’ve learned that you never stop parenting; you just have to learn how again at every stage of their development.  It’s a major adjustment when kids grow up and begin their lives outside of our home, but it isn’t all bad.   It’s the sweetest reward when our kids grow up to be our friends. Mamas, You Can Look Forward to the Joy of Parenting Adult Children.  

What I hoped and prayed for the most is that my children would know and love God and they do.  Every other good thing is just a bonus!

I’m 53, and a menopausal hot mess of a mama

I’ve shared some of my menopausal issues, because it’s just part of life.  Menopause, needn’t be a dirty word.  Not everything about it is pleasant, but there are blessings particular to this season of life.

Although I’ve been a homemaker for a long time, I’m still learning. 

I’ve been seriously purging and really desiring a less cluttered, easier to manage home.  I’m making consistent progress, but de-cluttering every room is my goal.  Here are a couple of posts Want to Join me in my De-Cluttering/Organizing Goal? and February Progress: Decluttering and Organizing if you desire the same. My progress is slower than I hoped but I am confident I will succeed and you can too!

We need to be content with the person God created us to be.  I can fulfill God’s purpose in my life with the personality I was born with, and so can you.

I often resist structure even though I know its good for meI’ve read ALL  the scheduling books and I just. can’t. do. it.  For years as a homeschooling mama, I wished I could be as organized as this one and up early and at ’em like that one.  I’ve learned that I work and feel my best when I have some structure, a kinda loose framework to work within.  Not too strict, not too free.

It doesn’t serve me well when I wish I was “like someone else”.  And it won’t serve you well either. I’ve learned and you can too, that we can appreciate and admire qualities in others, and learn from them, without trying to be just like them.  

I’ve always enjoyed learning about personalities and most recently the Enneagram.  I think I’m an Enneagram #9. Learning WHY I do certain things the way I do has been helpful.  Keeping inner peace is what  motivates me….therefore I am more motivated to do what keeps my house feeling calm and cozy than I am to run around at a breakneck speed.  And if you invite me to lunch, I will probably go even though I should be home cleaning or working on my blog 🙂 

Ah, homeschooling:

I homeschooled my oldest 2 kids (now 24 and 22) from start to finish and rejoiced like nobody’s business when they each received their diploma.  A little extra rejoicing when I graduated the boy-child. 

Although there are other benefits, what I treasure the most about those years is the time spent with my kids.  It was always a struggle financially, and it has been worth all the penny pinching to live on one income.

With my other two kids,  we were definitely more traditional homeschoolers.  But lots of things are different with Jessie and I wrote about how we became accidental un-schoolers,

My heart is to encourage you in ways that are practical, uplifting, and sometimes funny. 

If you’re in the same phase of life, we can commiserate together.  If you’re in a younger phase of parenting, I hope I can be an encouragement by showing you there is so much to look forward to.