Welcome to our family’s blog, House of Joyful Noise!
If you’re interested to know who is behind this blog started in 2008, with hundreds of home, garden and art projects, ideas, tips, recipes, general sharing and inspiration for you (we hope!), along with 1000’s of photos of it all, we’re happy to tell you a little bit about us.
We are the Richard Family, a Catholic family of 6, creatively living in southern New
England, in a historic colonial town, right on the southeast coast of Massachusetts.
We really enjoy this life we have created, the house we have built into our home, our
lifestyle, deep faith, creative and homesteading endeavors,
and all of the time we spend together as a family, focusing on these
Don’t get us wrong. We can be a hot mess sometimes. If not one, than another, or the whole dang family! Life tends to present it’s challenges to everyone, right? (Because that’s life!). But when it does, we handle them the only way we know how – with faith
and trust in God. (Note: Not always with patience.) While we’ve been through our own share of hardships and worries, we couldn’t ask for more in life, at the same time. We truly strive to embrace and focus on the joys we find in our blessings, the most. We have so much to be thankful for, each and every day!
Michael, and I (Laura), met in art school, graduating in 1989 and 1990. We married in 1994. In subsequent years we had our first child, and then came triplets! God is always full of surprises. We worked for many, many years in our perspective professions, running our own businesses: sign making and truck lettering for him, and commercial art and photography for me. In more recent years, Michael took a great job offer with our Roman Catholic parish as the Director of Building and Property Maintenance, and he has loved it there. All of his work there is right up his alley. It’s like a second home to him, where he also puts his heart into maintaining. Although, he never could get himself to give up his truck lettering business. So….he is a very hard-working man. After 13 years, I gave up my photography business in 2012, in order to focus even more on our four growing children, their education and busy schedules, and our home, with continuing the blogging on the side.
But our blog’s focus isn’t about us so much, personally, as it is about all of the things we do!
Our projects – whether the simple ones or the great big ones, our lifestyle, creativity, and the many ways in which we are inspired. We document much of it on this blog, all in the spirit of sharing with you, and passing along some inspiration. Blogging is just another creative outlet for our photography and writing, as well as another source of income for our family in an authentic way, and always with as much integrity as we can muster.
All things farm-ish is definitely our style!
The area we live in is considered coastal colonial farmland, so there is a real pioneer feel in many areas here. It’s a beautiful place to live, rich with much history of early America. It’s easy to pretend we live in the country, in our big farmhouse-style home mostly finished by Michael, with our chickens and gardens, on our little dead-end road, on a (too) small piece of land. And then we have the ocean, which is only footsteps away.
Thankfully for us, Michael is a self-taught man of any and all trades. There is nothing he isn’t able to do, and that has been a true blessing in financial savings, for our family. The greatest example of his work is the home we live in!
About four years after giving birth to our triplets, we felt we needed a bigger home to grow in. Rather than moving, we decided to add on to our current (very small) house, in a big way, by expanding out on two sides, and going up a whole story. The construction we paid for was merely to have it all rough framed, and so we moved back in to plywood floors, and bare insulation walls. (Yes, with 4 year old triplets, and their older sister.) Over the course of the following years, Michael finished all of the rest, with his own two hands, and true craftmanship.
If you love seeing home make-overs……
You can see our whole home transformation starting HERE.
Together, we have really enjoyed the process of finishing the inside of our farmhouse-style home, using our collaborative brainstorming to create custom build-ins, and unique features. We are major DIY’ers, and always have big projects going on around here! We have already shared so many of those projects with you all here on our blog, in various posts, and we will continue to do so, because there is always more to share!
We are a veteran homeschooling family, beginning in 2005.
Our oldest daughter is away in college now during the school year, double-majoring in Communication and Theology. Our triplets, two boys and a girl (in the middle), are just beginning their high school courses. We have loved every bit of homeschooling. It’s a lifestyle that has fit just right for our family, and we couldn’t imagine it any other way.
You all will find that we love our chickens . . . . . .
and the chicken coop we designed and built ourselves. The chickens free-range, but we’ve managed to keep it all fairly predator-proof as well. At this time, each chicken is a different breed. We love to share photos of them, and share our helpful ideas about chicken-keeping.
We have an in-house art studio . . . .
also built by Michael, where we all love to be creative; drawing, painting, crafting, sign-making, etc. Having my own art studio was a dream since my childhood, and Michael made that dream come true, too, for us all. Plenty of photos, crafts and tutorials flow from that space, to you, on this blog and where ever you follow us. As well as the many places on the internet that share our creations.
We love to make food, grow food in our gardens, and especially love to eat it!
Well, some of us love to cook, more than others. Michael is an awesome cook, or triplet daughter has been able to cook any meal there is, since she was probably 11. And she bakes. And I….well, I can really get into cooking with great music and a glass of wine. We eat pretty healthy, avoiding most anything processed, and sticking to non-GMO and organic food as much as possible. Some of it we grow ourselves. Gardening seems to be another activity that is good for the soul, and it’s rewarding in so many ways; from see the fruits of your labor to nourishing your family with wholesome food. We’ve come to find too, that everything always tastes better, when we are gathered around our table, as a family, to say grace and eat together. And that is something we never fail to do, every single evening, for dinner.
Our Catholic faith and relationship(s) with God is the foundation of our family life.
It’s our source of strength, comfort, joy and hope. We make good efforts to live the Liturgical year as a family, and practice our faith as faithfully as we can. We love to connect with others walking the same Christian road, in the right direction. Everyone’s spiritual journeys are different, of course, including each one of ours, and most all of us still have a long way to grow. We try to encourage others, and point them to the love Christ has for them, as much as we love others to remind us of the same. We hope His light shines on and through all that we do. We believe in encouraging and lifting up others! Every single person, every single life, everywhere, is equally valuable in God’s eyes. The One who made us. With lots of prayer, petition, and hearts full of will and desire, always seeking His guidance, we will all get where we’re going, with His grace!
Basically, we try to share many of our projects and ideas, with you, here on our blog. You’ll always find plenty of tips, ideas, projects, tutorials, some encouragement, as well as lots and lots of photos of it all.
We do hope you find inspiration for the comforts of your own home and family, creativity in the various arts, and a sense of real connection with us, through your visits and correspondence with us, here at our blog, House of Joyful Noise, as well as all of the social platforms we are on! We make an effort to reply to your comments, and most especially questions on projects, and such.
So go ahead and connect with us, or just follow us, at all of the following social media!
You are always welcome to email us any time, with your thoughts or questions, as well.
We also encourage you to subscribe to our blog, so you get our new posts delivered right to your email box! We do have a variety of niches, so if on occasion a post comes up on a topic that you don’t happen to be interested in, you can just skip that one. But by subscribing you’ll be sure not to miss the ones you are interested in!
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Thanks so much for coming by to meet us, and see what we’re all about!
We very much hope to connect with you.
Pax Christi! – The Richard Family