Dwellings...Our Parade of Ten Homes in Twenty Years

6. Walnut Lane

I'll never forget driving slowly down the hill off the main road and up the winding tree-lined lane leading to this lovely brick house secluded within a circle of trees. I couldn't be sure where my quest would end but I felt the appeal of the serene, private setting quite keenly. I have to admit, I was enchanted by it immediately. Nothing fancy. Just a simple, solid, stately structure close to town but with a woodland feel. It was exactly what I was looking for!

Truth be told, what lay hidden behind the house had a draw all it's own! That first spring, the children couldn't wait to be allowed to jump into the water. They were growing up so fast and not at all the dependent babies of yesteryear.

A delightful pleasure for all of us, but especially the children. They spent many happy hours learning to swim, then jump off the deep end, and finally dive off the diving board. They both learned to swim and be comfortable in water during the summers we lived at this place. It was a gift from God. They were the perfect age to learn to overcome fear of water.

Jacki and the neighbor lady's granddaughters had fun making caterpillars of themselves with tubes! Some of our favorite memories here are pool parties with cousins, etc...

It was a large house to keep up with, but we loved all the extra space. During this time we had the youth to our house frequently. Our basement had a pool table and foos ball, which they used a lot. We had a Christmas party for them one year.

Getting instructions for the mystery supper!

Winter Wonderland

One of our attempts at a family photo!

Jacki began to show an interest in sewing at a young age. She cut out pieces of fabric, took needle and thread to it, and hand stitched her very first dress for her doll. She must get that ability from both grandmothers because it's certainly not from her mother.

A major change occurred during this time. I felt it was time to pull the children out of public school for several reasons. Julian wasn't doing so well at the new school in town, to which he had to transfer due to our move. I needed to work on things at home with him on a daily basis. The influences at the new school were much more negative for Jacki as well. So after much prayer and discussion with Dale, we made the decision to homeschool.

In the fall of 2004 we made the switch. His speech therapist still came out to the house once a week for a year or two. I wasn't a fan of homeschool, to be quite honest, but felt God was leading me in that direction, so I was willing to give it a try. Actually, we did a charter school for a few years first, then switched to ACE paces after that. The children have never wanted to go back to public school!

It's all too easy for me to feel like a failure as a mother, much less a teacher. It was a bumpy road, but we loved the freedom to come and go at any given time, to take our own field trips/family excursions, and to learn at the pace each child needed. But most importantly, I was walking in obedience to what God put in my heart. There is great fulfillment in that!

Julian and his grandma make a great team of puzzlers!

Jacki loved to sit on her dad's lap and listen to his tales of the many adventures in his youth!

Our little guy is picking up one skill after another and becoming quite the little helper.

The kitchen...so sorry about the poor photo quality throughout these posts. I'm not so good at taking photos of photos and my scanner is defunct!

Jacki wants to learn to bake...if only I can have the patience to teach her despite the messiness!

Family Room - I was tickled to have a fireplace!

Decorated for Winter!

Before photo of Jacki's bedroom

After painting walls and trim.

All her dolls and precious possessions. I found out years later that she used to go around and bid them all good bye when she left her bedroom in the morning! Sweetness!

Before - Master bedroom and bath

After removing wallpaper and painting walls and trim

Treasured moments with my Montana family around the breakfast table

Cute cousins drink hot chocolate around the coffee table!

Jacki reads stories to her cousins

Julian gets a training session from his dad on how to be a man and use his tools properly. Even just tying on the tool pouch was a tough process for him.

Anyone want to take a guess as to what Dale is saying? The expression says it all!

Julian felt like so proud of himself when he could do things with his dad. Dale is showing him where to hang his hammer.

Yes, we had happy years together at Walnut Lane, right along with the usual ups and downs of family life. We all agree, though, that this was our favorite house of all! It was as if God gave us green pastures to feed and nurture us for a time so that we would be prepared for the next step in the journey of life.

The time came, all too quickly, when we saw we needed to sell this place due to our financial situation with Dale's business. Pressures were great enough that God made us both quite willing and ready to sell. We knew it was the right decision and were at peace with it. We lived in this house for about 3 1/2 years.

I am so thankful for God's patient guidance day by day. I was ready for the next phase, whatever He chose that to be. In His presence is fullness of joy!

To be continued...


  1. This is actually the first house that I have clear memories of you living in :) Holds some good memories! ~ Annette

  2. Thanks, Annette, I'm glad you think so :) It sure does for us!


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