Newtown as I know it

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and writer at Steady Mom

I never intended to write about my current location here, or in any online space. I crave privacy and am tiger-mother fierce about protecting that of my kids. But when you see the town in which you live and love plastered across national and international news, the time has come to open up.

I make my home in Newtown, Connecticut–scene of last week’s 2nd deadliest school shooting in US history. If we had not chosen to homeschool, all three of my babes would have walked through the doors of Sandy Hook Elementary on Friday morning.

Who knows if all three would have come home again.

This tragedy hits close, shockingly close, to our home. Within walking distance families currently nurse a private grief that I find unimaginable.

What disturbs me, though, is that most of you are hearing about Newtown for the first time. Please know that there is another side than the sheer horror of what you’ve seen.

There’s the truth–what life is really like here. And though we’ve only lived in this town for a year and a half, this place will be part of our family’s heart, and history, forever.

This is Newtown as I know it:

I fell in love with this small town over two years ago. My kids attended a week-long summer camp here. After dropping them off I would wander–finding a place to write or take a walk–until time to pick them up again. Driving these country roads birthed a new dream for my family–a different type of life that would include fields and farms, refuge and freedom.

A safe place for my children to love, learn, and grow.

It has been that–and much more. You could say that Newtown was the answer to our prayers.

A stereotype holds that New Englanders keep their distance, but this community welcomed us warmly.

After Hurricane Sandy, when we lost power for four days, neighbors on both sides called and visited–inviting us to shower at their house, sleep on their floors, and borrow their camping stoves.

My children roam freely and play loudly for hours everyday outside our house. Once I noticed Elijah laying on the grass for several minutes, gazing at the sky.

“Watching hawks,” he said, when asked what captured his attention. I’ll always remember that moment. It struck me as exactly what a child should have the time and space for.

And it happened here. Newtown–a remarkable place to raise kids.

Though not exactly your typical family, I have never encountered even one rude look, glance, or comment about our uniqueness and diversity.

When checking out dozens of books recently, the librarian looked up at me with a warm smile and kindly said, “You must homeschool.” She went on to tell me of her positive experiences with other homeschooling families in the area.

Once my kids ran out to eagerly greet the oil man who had arrived to fill our tank. I walked out also, and he spoke up.

“Your son said you homeschool?”

As I answered yes, I wondered what would come next. But instead of questioning the validity of our educational choice, he opened up in my front yard about the learning struggles of his son. Turns out he and his wife had wondered about homeschooling themselves. He left that day with one of my cards for this blog, and an invitation to email me with any questions.

Our experience has shown us that Newtowners live and work with passion. I’ve been genuinely surprised to find that almost anyone hired to come to our house–from exterminators, to chimney sweeps, to tree choppers–exudes an excitement for their chosen line of work. My kids have come away thinking that “loving your job” is just what folks do.

Like I said, there’s something special here. A spark. Please remember that as you watch footage of terrified children running from classrooms and of lives irrevocably changed. That spark may be dim with sorrow, but it has not been extinguished in this courageous community.

Continue to send your prayers this direction. Not for us, who still have the privilege of tucking our little ones in tonight–but for those down the street and around the corner with empty beds and shattered hearts.

As for me, I will wake up tomorrow morning, look out the window at the field in the back, then do what I always do–thank God for sending us here. I will change my mind’s channel when images of horror and violence play on its screen, and replace it with images of what I know to be true about this beautiful community.

Treasured and cherished safely in my memory remains forever Newtown…as I know it.

Now you know it, too.

Further reading & resources:

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing. At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me.” ~ C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

Comments now closed. Thank you for your kind words, thoughts, and prayers.

About Jamie Martin

Jamie is a mama to three cute kids born on three different continents. She serves as editor of Simple Homeschool, and blogs about mindful parenting at Steady Mom. Jamie is also the author of two books: Steady Days and Mindset for Moms.


  1. Heavenly Father, I pray that your grace and peace and comfort would surround the residents of Newtown as they slowly recover from this tragic event. Our whole nation is hurting and mourning and grieving this loss. May we not live in fear, but may we draw closer together and closer to You.
    Jill Foley’s latest post: {pretty, happy, funny, real} and extra!

  2. Jamie,
    Thank you for sharing. I am praying and will continue to pray.
    coleen’s latest post: mourning

  3. Jamie,
    Newtown sounds like a lovely place to live. The kind of place I have craved for my own little family.

    My heart cries for the families and friends that lost precious loved ones so dear to them. I also weep for the town as a whole that has been so deeply wounded.

    Praying for all those affected. Thank you for sharing your town with us.
    Stacy @ A Delightful Home’s latest post: Delightful Links

  4. What an eloquent portrait of Newtown and its spirit. It sounds like a wonderful place. I cannot imagine what you must be feeling to know your children could have been in that school. I homeschool as well and I know it could be us invaded at our home as well someday while other children are safe at school. You just never know and I am thankful my children and I are ready should the worst happen. But that would not ease the heartache of losing them. My heart is so so so heavy since this news broke. Tears just keep appearing on my cheeks. God bless Newtown and your family as you all deal with such sorrow so close to home.

  5. my heart is saddened by little lives lost, warmed by courageous teachers who tried to protect their kids. may God comfort all the families in newtown.

  6. Thanks for sharing your experience, I’m better in french but your text is so inspirational so I really want to write a little word for my appreciation. Thank you

  7. Newton sounds like a lovely place to raise a family. My heart is breaking for those mama’s who won’t hold their children again. I cannot imagine the ache in their hearts. I will continue to pray.
    Barbie’s latest post: Fresh Brewed Sunday: {Prayers for Sandy Hook Elementary School Victims}

  8. I knew you were local, but I didn’t know *how* local; I suppose it’s a testament to your success at keeping your location private. I grew up in New Milford and I have family and dear friends who make their homes in Newtown now. None of you has been far from my mind or my heart since Friday morning, and I’ll be holding you close there for quite some time, I suspect. xoxo
    meghann’s latest post: speechless

  9. Thank you for this post Jamie. I also live in a small quaint town that I love and have found myself asking “what if?”. I am so very saddened by the current events as well as those of the not so distant past. I hold my children tighter and closer and with more thanks than ever. There are no words to describe the pain and loss that is being felt there in Newtown. All I can do is send my love and prayers that direction. May everyone affected soon find comfort and peace.

  10. Now this post was a breath of fresh air. Your pictures are beautiful and your courage to share is very appreciated. The weight of sorrow can only be lifted by hope and faith and I pray that all of the people affected, in any way, in your town and across the country will be comforted and strengthened. Only God can understand and know all things and we must trust in Him.

  11. Brianna Preston says:

    Oh, Jamie. I feel conflicting emotions–so glad your babies are safe and so sorrowful that others are not. I will remember what you said about your beautiful town–thank you for sharing it’s beauty, and the beauty of its people. May the Lord minister to your heart as you reach out to minister to others who are hurting.

  12. They are, SURELY, with you now, Jesus. Thank You, Dear Lord for taking it from here… In Your Precious Name…Amen
    John 10:28-30 NIV
    “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.””

  13. Thank you for sharing. It had to be very hard for you to do. I’ve been considering home schooling for years now. I don’t want to start because of a knee jerk reaction to this tragedy, but honestly, this could be the beginning of a new way of life for our family… I’m just not quite sure where to start..

  14. I am so sorry this happened in your town… happened in any town. Thank you for sharing these words about Newtown.
    Jamie’s latest post: tragedy and sorrow and Christmas and hope

  15. From a regular reader of your blog…all mothers are thinking about your hometown these days…and holding our own children close.

  16. Thank you for sharing more about your community. Everyone talks about how these kinds of incidents make them lose faith in humanity, but I just try to remember that there are infinitely more stories of goodness, love, and hope that are just aspects of everyday life and not the sorts of things that get reported.
    I am sending many prayers for healing and ease in this terrible time.

  17. What a beautifully written post. After such a devastating event, it’s hard to imagine the beauty in such a place. But thank you for reminding us all that these little angels had a beautiful home to grow in, during their time here on earth. Praying for all the innocent’s lost!
    Vanessa (Mom’s Menu Planner)’s latest post: Homemade Hamburger Helper – Cheeseburger Macaroni

  18. thank you for sharing Jamie –

  19. What a lovely, beautiful place to live. We are praying for those families and your community.
    Johanna @ My Home Tableau’s latest post: In the wake of tragedy

  20. Beautifully written. And exactly my experience with Newtown, as well. Thank you so much for sharing the beauty of this town in this space.
    JessieLeigh’s latest post: How to Help Sandy Hook (Newtown)

  21. A beautiful portrait that makes me want to visit.

    I know Friday’s events weren’t typical; for Newtown or anywhere. So I don’t judge this place based on that at all. Instead, I see love, compasion, community in large measure. And I refuse to linger on the horror that introduced me, but rather the beauty that is rising.

    Lord bring mercy and grace and greater love.

    Robin Dance’s latest post: Collateral damage in ten parts

  22. Thank you for speaking up. This reminds me of how I spoke about my home after 9/11; it will help many more than the empty words currently playing across TV screens.

  23. Thank you so much for sharing. It is good to hear about the town and people in the midst of all of this sadness. Thoughts and prayers to Newton.

  24. I am so just sorry.
    Thank you for showing us Newtown.
    Katherine Willis Pershey’s latest post: Something to Ponder

  25. Jamie,
    Thank you for sharing this. I am also a very private person and, if I were a blogger, wouldn’t like to share where I am from. But the gift of sharing with others another face of this place where something so horrific has occured is a great gift.

  26. So beautiful. Thank you for opening up and sharing that.
    shelli : mamaofletters’s latest post: Inspire Kids: Amazing Insects made from random junk

  27. Jaime it’s so nice to meet you and your adorable family. Thank you for sharing your little corner of the world with us. The world is so full of prayers for those in pain in your area – I add mine to the chorus each day.

  28. Jamie, thank you for sharing this. My prayers go out to all affected by this tragedy, and in hope that the Light of the Lord will shine through.

  29. I am glad you wrote this because this has been on my mind and heart. This tragedy could happen in any town or city…it is just that this is too scary a thought to hold on to for very long. But it is true. There is nothing unique about Newton or Sandy Hook Elementary that holds the answer to why this happened. It could happen anywhere.
    We are praying for all who are hurting in Newton.
    Phyllis at All Things Beautiful’s latest post: All Year Round Blog Carnival: Winter Begins

  30. Jamie – I’ve admired you for years. Thanks for sharing your Newtown with us. It makes it that much more personal. You ALL are in our prayers.
    Courtney’s latest post: Papaw’s Bird

  31. What a beautiful tribute. God Bless you all.

  32. Thank you for sharing what your town really looks like. It’s sad that this is the first and lasting impression that many people will have of Newtown, but it is with hope that we join you in prayer. That God would surround this town with love and a peace that passes all understanding. We love you and your town.

  33. Thank you Jamie. A wonderful perspective, and one I personally needed. Prayers for everyone in Newtown.

  34. Thank you for this beautiful post and the words you have shared about Newtown. Sending my prayers to all Newtowners.
    Vinita’s latest post: Cheesy Spicy Corn Muffins

  35. From myself and all my fellow mothers in my bi-monthly bible study group, our prayers have been going up for all of the families and the city of Newtown. Our hearts ache as we pray. We will continue to pray for strength for all in your town.

  36. I’m so sorry to hear about your community. When I heard the news, I actually thought of you, thinking you might live around those parts…but I didn’t know how close.

    Thank you for sharing this, as it does for sure show another side to the story.

  37. As I was reading your post , the thought came to me that this could have happened anywhere. Because this happened it was an evil act, but we as a nation have obviously found that we don’t need God. It’s not Sandy Hook’s fault, it’s all of our fault really. We have become so busy that we ARE not teaching our children, loving our children. We have become complacent. As I watched the memorial service last night, you know God will allow things to happen to show us we need him, He desirees our fellowship, and I know these we’re innocent children that we’re killed, but he needs our fellowship, the Bible speaks of teaching our children as we rise up and lie down about him. If we don’t have God the answer to these tragedys, we have nothing, He is showing us we need him. We as parents whether we are HSing parents or ps parents, we have to pray for our children, their safety as we live in a society that would love to snuff our children out as they did these children. The evil that lurks out there, this could have been my town, But we need God. We need to pray for this nation to turn back to God. We need Him!!!

  38. Jamie, I want to first tell you how very sorry I am for your community in Newtown for the loss f such precious lives. My heart aches for you as you all grieve and try and go on with life. I appreciate your courage to show us your town as you know it. It connects us in a way that is so much more personal than what the news can show. You are all in my thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. I pray that God will hold your community in the palm of his hand and give you peace even in this difficult time. God bless you and God bless Newtown, CT.
    Amy Avery’s latest post: Tender Thoughts

  39. Simply beautiful. Thank you for taking the time to write this.
    Omaira’s latest post: Teach because you want to learn.

  40. Thanks for sharing. I see Newtown as a quaint and idyllic little New England town that experienced an awful tragedy. This may have put Newtown on the map for many, but it doesn’t have to define it!
    This is the first time I’ve come across your blog and I love that you call your family a mini United Nations!! So fun!! We have lived in various places across Europe for 13 years, adopted one in Czech Republic (she is Roma) and birthed twins in Prague (through IVF, in that foreign country). If you asked my kids where they are from they will tell you they are from Prague, because that is were they were born. =) They’ve only lived in the US for short stints here and there and have lived in 2 other countries since their birth (Spain & Austria) and will make a third in February when we move to England. We hope it to be a more permanent location, but only God knows that for sure! =)
    Thanks again for sharing!! Many thoughts and many prayers for your community!!
    Tina @ Girl Meets Globe’s latest post: Hug Them Closer

  41. Jamie, Thank you for sharing your heart and home with us today…lifting my prayers with so many others to cover your town with other-wordly peace.
    Lisa’s latest post: When it is all too much to bear…

  42. Mikki Parkhill says:

    Prayers for comfort, peace and harmony continue for everyone.

    From Coweta, OK

  43. I don’t often comment, but I wanted to thank you for sharing. no words can put right the wrongs that have happened, but it is important to remember that a community does not have to be defined by it’s tragedies, and that goes for humanity too.
    hoping peace comes to you and yours, and the people so deeply hurt by this.

  44. My heart has been so broke since this tragedy happened, yesterday I saw my 7 year old granddaughter for the first time since before Friday, I held, hugged and kissed her and told her how much Grammy loved her, I think that’s all we can do! Prayer is going up for your beautiful town and for the families…it can happen in any town too!

  45. I’m glad you wrote this post, Jamie. Newtown sounds like a lovely place to live.
    emily freeman’s latest post: an attempt to put words on the heartbreak

  46. I am holding all of the people in your town in my prayers. Your loss has affected the entire world – we all lost those innocent children and the courageous staff members who lost their lives trying to protect the innocent.

  47. Jamie, thank you for sharing such a beautiful portrait of your home town with us. I will picture your words in my mind as I continue to pray for your town and all the families affected by this tragedy. “Man’s inhumanity to Man makes countless thousands mourn” no truer words were spoken, but I serve the Living God, and I know He has those precious souls with him, and I pray that His comfort will continue to pour out on Newtown as a nation we cry out to Him. God Bless you and your family.

  48. I am so glad to read this today. Newtown deserves to be known for more than this heartache. I am glad to know that the Littles we lost on Friday had this sort of life before it was cut short. Thank you for writing it.

  49. Nice post…I am glad I read it b/c of the Incourage blog….there is so much TV coverage and dare I say hype over the shooter, the gun used, the events leading up to it etc…I just wish we could all turn off the TV and news and focus on the kids and families …focus on Newton. Thanks for your perspective. 😉

  50. My family’s prayers are with your community and our great world we all share.

  51. Thank you for sharing. Peace and healing to all touched by this tragedy.
    Jules’s latest post: the flood

  52. Thank you for sharing your Newtown – you are right, we do get a very distorted view from the media. Praying.

  53. Deb Wostmann says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this horrible time for you community. I can’t imagine the grief and sorrow you all are feeling. Please know that you have a nation there for you and that the light of all your precious angels will shine forever in our hearts.

  54. You, your family and your community are in my thoughts.

  55. this is beautiful, Jamie. Thank you for honoring your town with this piece.

  56. Beautifully written. Praying for your community. It sounds lovely.

  57. Thank you for sharing. Our family will continue to pray for the families, for your town, for peace and understanding, and hope for healing. You know God brought you and your family there, in His timing, & He will use you in this. We will pray for that also.

  58. Please know that our hearts here in Mississippi are broken for all of you in Connecticut who are suffering such tragic loss. I am praying for you.

  59. Thank you for sharing. Our prayers go your way. I’ve gone through my days since this happened and then a sick, sadness comes upon me and then, yes, this immense tragedy comes like a giant wave to envelope me in its shock and horror. My children are grown and my grandchildren are healthy and I thank God every day for my blessings.

  60. Praying for your community.
    Myah’s latest post: I’m out of memory… but here’s a glimpse of our December!

  61. My heart breaks for all of our children, and for my teacher husband today as he goes into his classroom to do what he loves to do everyday, but today with a terrible sense of grief. Thank you for writing about your town. May God bless all of you with peace and comfort in these days. The light always overcomes the darkness.
    LisaZ’s latest post: I broke up with Facebook for Advent

  62. I’ve known of Newton for a long time now, in 4th or 5th grade my best friend moved to Newton, I haven’t been able to find her since growing up as we lost contact. From the letters and pictures I received I imagine a beautiful little town, one I would gladly visit. Thank you for sharing and I’m thankful that your little ones are safe at home.

  63. Oh Jamie, I had no idea. I’m sending thoughts of love and healing to your bereaved community. So many people, all over the world, feel the loss and sadness too; you are all in our thoughts.
    Emmalina’s latest post: No Words

  64. Our dear friends lost two boys in a boating accident this past summer. Our prayers, love and thoughts are with your community and those you have lost a loved one. May you all find comfort in His love during this very hard time.

  65. Kathleen Langridge says:

    Thank you for sharing your town with us. A place of peace, beauty, where all are welcomed. Though I now live in Latvia, Portland,. Oregon is my hometown. This too has been shattered by random violence just the day before yours. I don’t pretend to have answers but I do cling to the One who does. You are part of His restoration work in Newtown. May you know His blessing.

  66. Thank you for sharing about your hometown! We all know that your town was more than the tragedy that happened there…but it’s good to hear about it! It sounds like the spirit there will tend towards healing and care. I know I speak for many mothers across this nation…we wish we could take you all in our arms and give comfort…even those of you who did not lose someone for you will need to be strong for your neighbor who did.

  67. Praying for you all in California…

  68. A beautiful reflection amidst such tragedy. Prayers for you all.
    Southern Gal’s latest post: Multitude Monday

  69. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Thanks Tsh for recommending I read this post. Hug those kids tight and God Bless you, your family and your neighbors.

  70. Wow, so close to home. Praying for your whole community….

  71. We used to live in a little town referred to by it’s residents as “Pleasantville” . The only time it made the news was during the anthrax scare post 9/11. Thank you for your wise words. (((HUGS)))

  72. Thank you for writing this. I needed this change in perspective, what a great town to live in! I am praying for your community.

  73. Thank you for sharing your perspective. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in your town, and especially the family members who have lost a precious loved one, whether an adult, or one of the beautiful little children. We cannot imagine the loss, but our hearts are with you.

  74. Thank you Jamie for your beautiful post.

  75. Thank you so much for sharing Jamie. Our thoughts and prayers are with your community.

  76. Dede@DesignedDecor says:

    Beautifully written! It is a shame that most home towns are only ever talked about for the bad or a tragedy. It is the wonderful people that make a hometown what they are. I know in my heart that your town is no different than all the many other hometowns out there, made up of good, kind, loving people. I pray for strength and healing for all those in your town and more. Many prayers!

    Dede@DesignedDecor’s latest post: Go Visit a Birthday Bash!

  77. I’m sorry. That’s all I can say.

  78. Thank you so much for sharing this story about your community. Please know that we are praying for all of you. My heart is broken. I wish I could do something, anything to help ease the pain.

  79. Thanks for your perspective. This is beautiful.

  80. Thank you so much for a beautiful post! May God grant you His peace and wisdom as you minister to your friends and loved ones in your special town!

  81. Thank you for sharing a glimpse into your community. praying for healing, stength and peace that passes understanding to flow from the Father. praying for His hand to be seen and comfort felt through the pain.

  82. Thank you for your observations on your new hometown. I have been to Conn. and I have found it to be the lovliest state I ever visited. This horrible tradgedy does not diminish this special town – the one you chose for your family. I will continue to put your friends and neighbors in my prayers.

  83. Thank you for sharing about the Newtown that you know and love. During this difficult time, please know that we are holding up all those affected by this tragedy in prayer.

  84. I’m so sorry for you and your community. This has hit home to us too, in Milford, OH. We see ourselves in your community and know it could have been us. I had just left my boys’ school just a 5 minute drive down the road, if stopped by the traffic light when I heard the news. Thank you for sharing what a beautiful place Newton is and will be, just a little closer, a little more aware as the rest of our country is. As our principal said in a letter about continuing to work on safe guards for the school’s security, “…through knowledge and preparation they are empowered…”. Let’s pray it ends here.

  85. My heart is grieving with you all in Newtown. The start of another school day hit me especially hard today, and I cried as I dropped my 3 big kids off this morning. We used to homeschool, and I won’t lie, I missed the safety of it this morning. Thanks for sharing your perspective on your town. It sounds like a wonderful place, and still IS a wonderful place, despite the tragedy. Many prayers for peace and comfort this morning for all families affected.
    Jen in MN’s latest post: brave

  86. Thank you, Jaimie. Wishing I could say something profound — we all are so sad for your community and will do anything we can to support you.
    Melissa Taylor’s latest post: Put On Your Oxygen Mask First

  87. What a heartfelt post – and one that had me in tears the moment you said your children ‘could’ have been in one of those classrooms had they not been home in your care learning. I pray the peace that was once surrounding your town return and create an even more closely knit community. Thank you so much for sharing….
    Susan’s latest post: Weekly Household Quick Tip

  88. I’m so sorry that your beautiful town had to experience this horror.

  89. Thank you for this perspective. Hugs!!

  90. Thank you for this post. I haven’t been watching or reading much about this story in the news because my heart simply can’t take it and, as a former anxiety sufferer with a very vivid imagination, I have to be careful about what I let in. I very much appreciate reading your story and perspective on this. I’m glad to have come to your site and look forward to reading your e-book. Thank you for the work you do and for sharing your heart today.
    Tabitha’s latest post: Starting a blog in 2013?

  91. Thank you for this post, it was beautiful. I’m praying for you and all of those around you today.

  92. Thank you for sharing your beautiful town with us – what a lovely place for the little children whose lives were so brief, to have grown up – God’s gift of earthly beauty. We have been praying for the dear families who lost someone, and for the love of Christ to shine through His people there, that in His own mysterious way, He will redeem the suffering.

  93. Thank you for giving us a fuller view of your town. I pray that comfort and His steadfast love will be felt in there.

  94. You will find that while people will remember your town as the place where a horrific shooting occurred, they will also remember the remarkable stories of love and heroic acts that are shared when something like this happens. I am an employee at Virginia Tech, and while our fairly peaceful campus will forever be different (there are every day reminders as simple as new doors that were put on our building entrances that cannot be chained shut), there were so many lives that were positively touched by what we had to go through. Prayers for your community and the healing process.

  95. Puyallup, Washington is praying for your community. Thank you for sharing, we are all in this together~

  96. Your town is beautiful. May you all find limitless peace and healing there. We are all sending you so much love. Thank you for this post.

  97. I loved reading about your town, Jamie. Tears in my eyes as I pray for those around you who have experienced such heartbreak.
    Nicole’s latest post: our home

  98. Miranda Pacchiana says:

    You have captured the essence of our community with your elegant words and poignant pictures. Thank you, Jamie!

  99. Your entire town and community has my thoughts. We are all shocked by the lack of the ability to “do” anything to help. How do you help a parent or family who has lost an irreplaceable treasure?

    I am glad that the town is so close, though. I hope that this helps the victims’ loved ones to find peace sooner rather than later…
    tracey’s latest post: New Traditions…

  100. Jamie,
    I thought of you when I first heard of the news. I remember talking about being from Connecticut when we met at Allume, it was nice to meet someone from my home state. I am still sitting here in shock. We will be driving past Newtown when we head up to visit family for Christmas and I know it will be heartbreaking just driving past. New England is beautiful, Connecticut is a wonderful place to raise a family and I often miss living there. Thank you so much for sharing a picture of the beautiful life that the children who were lost enjoyed. We’re praying for you and the whole community in Connecticut. Thank you so much for this post!
    Donna S’s latest post: Clean Your Hair With Baking Soda and Vinegar – Confessional

  101. Thank you for sharing the positive! This is a terrible tragedy but there is always hope, always something good. I choose to look for the good!

  102. I have no special words to offer really, but our family’s hearts and prayers are with everyone in Newtown. May those who are suffering so deeply right now eventually find new meaning and purpose in their lives.

  103. Wonderful piece on our community, Jamie. I am with you in love and grief. Hope to get together with you soon as we planned so our children can get to know one another. xoxo
    Eileen’s latest post: Look for the Light: A Story of Goodness

  104. Thank you for sharing.

  105. Thank you for sharing this side of your community, Jamie. It sounds as though Newtown is a place full of kind souls, ones full of courage and commitment to family. I’m sending all of the healing thoughts I can to your community.
    Cookin’ Canuck’s latest post: A Day of Silence & The Only Things I Could Think To Do

  106. As a mama of a 1st grade son, I’m really struggling with sending my son to school this Monday morning. This tragedy has hit so close to home even though I’m on the other side of the country. Jaime, please don’t ever feel the need to “defend” your decision to others about homeschooling. You are doing what you feel is right and a lot of us mamas applaud you. My prayers are with your beloved town.

  107. Thank you, Jamie. Healing will come.
    marian woman’s latest post: day 3

  108. Thank you for that post.

  109. I still can’t wrap my head around what happened. I’m praying for you and your community and for those who lost loved ones.
    Amy @ Living Locurto’s latest post: Elf on the Shelf as Elf the Movie

  110. I Just moved to Maine, after living in CT for 36 years, I am heartsick about what is going on right now, and sending as much love as I can.

  111. Thinking of everyone in your community and prayers for all those hurting. My heart hurts for you all!! May you continue to be a shining light to those around you during this difficult time.

  112. Thank you for allowing us to see a light in your little community. Your community will be in our prayers. News of this has even shaken my children which do go to a public school. We don’t live in a small town (wish we did). We prayed this morning, gave extra hugs and sent them off to school. My 7 yr old daughter has especially prayed for everyone in your community and was the top prayer before we ate lunch yesterday afternoon. Just know we are continuing to send our prayers for comfort, warm thoughts, hugs and our love to everyone that has been affected! May God continue to wrap His loving arms around everyone that has been affected as you mourn and start to pick up the pieces! Much love!
    The Buchanan Family

  113. Dear Jamie,
    I read your post today. My heart goes out to all those families who lost children in this senseless tragedy. I have gain a new appreciation for Moms/families who chose to home school their kids since finding your blog and others that give me a new perspective. Thank you. This is your way to spread love in this world. Best Wishes to you and everyone in your Newtown.

  114. Well done. Simply well done. Prayers in abundance.
    Gretchen’s latest post: The Cure for the Ho-Hum Christmas

  115. I never would have blamed the town. It sounds like a lovely places. Praying for all affected. Only a loving Heavenly Father can ease their burdens.
    Lisa’s latest post: Dealing with the Guilt

  116. memory eternal to those lost!
    priest’s wife (@byzcathwife)’s latest post: praying

  117. Thank you so much for sharing this. I enjoyed visualizing this community as it really is. We are praying for these dear families and your community at large. Only God Himself can bring healing to this situation.
    Kathy Jensen’s latest post: Your assignments for this week!

  118. Auntiepatch says:

    I’m sending love and blessings to you and your neighbors from So. Calif.

  119. Jamie, this is a wonderful post and it’s evident how much connection you feel to your neighbors. I live in Blacksburg and work at Virginia Tech (as well as being a VT alum), so I can empathize with what you and your community are going through, although our indvidual struggles are so deeply personal. We absolutely LOVE living here and, ironically, feel like it’s one of the safest towns on the planet and a special place to raise our son. Although the journey to recovery and “normalcy” is long, you will continue to be amazed at the true sense of community and pride of place that will follow. Our entire community is sending love your way. Take care, Ginny

  120. Jamie,
    Thank you so much for your beautiful words about your town. I am praying for your entire community. My heart and prayers stay steadfastly focused on praying for the grieving parents, families, and community. I was a member of the community where the shooting was in an Amish schoolhouse. The cloak of grief may put a damper on the joy and spirit of children for a time, but the love, peace, and arms of the community will sustain the children and continue to ensure peace for their hearts as they grow. <3 Prayers, peace, and love. Sitting in grief with your community here in Pennsylvania. <3

  121. Beautifully written. So glad I was able to read this. I’ll share on fb. All should be seeing how wonderful this little town is.

  122. They say that beauty can always be found if you look for it. Thank you for sharing the beauty that is found in Newtown. I, like most of the world, is grieving for the precious beauty that was lost. I pray that the citizens of Newton continue to wrap their arms around one another and know that they are loved, thought of and prayed for. I pray that the town will gather strength that it didn’t know it had to help guide it through the difficult moments and days ahead that will be endured.
    I pray for peace and love for all.
    Laura Ingalls Gunn’s latest post: Unwrap Hope: Winter Wonder Cloches

  123. After the darkness, comes the light. Thank you for being that first spark (for me) to come out of such hurt and pain. Happy to see the “other side” as you talk about it. Mainstream media are so focussed on the negative, that your post really shines a beacon on all that is good, and THAT, is GOOD!

  124. Dear Jaime,
    Your beautiful words are such a bright light on a town that will be know forever for this tragedy. I couldn’t help reading this and things I don’t know anything about Columbine except for the horror, but now forever I will always think of Newtown, CT as an awesome place to homeschool, a town full of loving and dedicated workers, and the place where you live a woman I love to hear talk to Tsh on podcasts. May your holiday be full of joy in a troubled time.

  125. Thank you for posting this. We lived in & around Middlebury, CT for over 10 years, moving to Illinois just last year. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven to or through Newtown. My heart is broken to know that this has happened to a community that I’m so familiar with.

  126. Thank you for sharing your heart. Praying for God’s comfort and peace. Very eloquently said and I will definitely have your images in my head. You are all in my heart and prayers.

  127. Hi Jamie, Thank you so much for sharing the beauty of Newtown. I live on the border in Brookfield and because we also homeschool, we are very connected with your town through friends and activities. We spend every Friday with a lovely group of homeschoolers in Newtown for our performing arts classes. I wish you and your neighbors peace during this difficult time.

  128. Thank you for sharing this. Please know, I don’t think anyone is looking at your town as an unsafe place. We all know that monsters lurk. They lurk everywhere. In the heart of a metropolitan city, in the homes of the suburbs, and in quiet, beautiful spaces like Newtown. Thank you, again, for sharing. May you all be able to heal and move on from this tragedy.
    Amy’s latest post: What If…

  129. Thank you for sharing the beauty of Newtown. It sounds like such a lovely place to live and raise your family. My heart and prayers are with you and your neighbors and the whole community. God bless you all!
    Vicki’s latest post: When God Speaks

  130. Thank you for giving us an inside look into your beautiful community of Newtown. Sending lots of love and prayers to the victims and their families.
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl’s latest post: A Day of Remembrance

  131. I’ve been reading this blog for a couple of years now. You and other contributors have taught me so much about homeschooling! God brought you to Newtown for His purposes! My prayers are with you as you comfort the broken-hearted and as you reach out to those in need. My prayers are with your close-knit community as it-and all of us-struggle to understand and heal.

  132. Christina Y. says:

    Thank you for sharing the beauty of your community! Words cannot express the deep sympathy my family feels for your entire town, especially those parents who have “empty beds and shattered hearts”. May the victims memories be eternal and may the Lord comfort their families and friends! God bless you all!

  133. Jamie-I’ve been reading and been inspired by your blogging for quite a while now. Never would I have guessed that the beautiful idyllic home you have so often written of was the one where such devastating tragedy occurred last week. Sitting here reading todays post I found myself in tears because it put such a different perspective on this horror-that the families who have lost so much likely felt as you do about your lovely place in the world and never imagined such a thing could happen in such a place. I cried for them and for those children afresh. There will never be enough words, enough tears for those lost, those left to carry on, and those who live and love surrounding them in the community to hold them all close in their arms was you all walk through this devastation. All of Newtown continues to be in my prayers. Thank you for stepping out your privacy to offer the world this post today.

  134. Events such as this are one of the many reasons we have chosen to homeschool.
    May peace and joy return to your beloved town soon.
    Emily’s latest post: Check This Out: Homemade, Beautiful Organic Clothing

  135. I’m sending prayers for your beautiful community, Jamie. Thanks for sharing with us. You are loved!
    Heidi @ Mt Hope’s latest post: “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep.”

  136. Thank you for sharing your beautiful town with us. Praying over you all.

  137. Thank you for sharing your love for your very special hometown with us.
    All how live in your community are in my prayers.
    Lollie ~ The Fortuitous Housewife’s latest post: Great Gal Pal Gifts for Under $25

  138. Thank you for sharing your heart!

  139. Thank you!

  140. Thank you so much for sharing, and I’m mourning for your neighbors and your town right along with you. I was shocked to see this in my Google feed, as I have followed you for awhile now. It’s a small world. I have no doubt the town in which you chose to raise your family is beautiful and full of love and life, it is obvious by the stories of the helpers on that tragic day. Prayers coming your way.
    Olivia’s latest post: mourning

  141. Thank you for sharing! I have been crying since Friday, unable to imagine how devastated the families are, and so thankful that my babies are safe. I have thought about homeschooling many times, but now I am seriously considering it. Sending love to all of you!

    • Please take heart for courage. You are very sweet. And I am thankful I home school and for many things. Our being strong now is in order so we may give EVERYTHING to those suffering!! Thank you for your heart, Bridget.

  142. Thank you so much for sharing. I can identify; I went to college at Virginia Tech, a wonderful school in a beautiful, small, safe little town. Now, I can’t mention where I went to school without it calling brutal violence to mind. I spend time reminding people that there is so much more to Blacksburg, as there is so much more to Newtown. It is so important to focus on what remains that is good instead of what this person did. It is so important to remember those we lost, instead of focusing on the crime itself. Thank you.
    Michelle’s latest post: It’s Not too Late for Cute Teacher Gifts!

  143. Therese Green says:

    Beautiful, thanks for sharing ♥

  144. My cousin lives in Sandy Hook and we recently stayed there for Thanksgiving. The area is lovely and we will visit again. Thank you for sharing and my prayers go out to everyone and their families.

  145. God bless you for writing this! I have been writing the same all morning. Please know that we should not even speak of this unless it is in encouragement of God. This was meant to scare us and put us off track. Nope. Not on my watch. Not being manipulated not even for political gain. Guns did not do this. Please stand up, everyone, and push the horror away by replacing it with thoughts of truth. As we have seen, the media lies. Do your independent research. And step in to give love to those who require it, and sober those who are afraid. Be NOT afraid. Perfect love casteth out fear.

  146. Thank you for sharing the good things about your community. My thoughts and prayers are with those families who lost their children, and loved ones. I can’t think of anything more horrific, but God always prevails, and healing will begin.

  147. I grew up in a similar town . . . I just had that feel that Newton was like ,y all- American town of NorthCanton Ohio . . . and I grieved for the total shattering of innocense and peace you once possessed. Our church had an amazing prayer time on Sunday in which we embraced you as if you were our own town and we had the hope that Jesus was visiting there . . . in evey home, in the midst of every grief. It makes the TRUE meaning of Christmas stand out in gold to me this year because He came . . . that is the only way there will be a difference . . .

  148. Keeping every single soul in Newtown in my prayers.

  149. What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing.
    Mary’s latest post: Third Grade Weekly Wrap Up – 12/14/12

  150. Thank you for sharing your experience. I will always think of your town as idealic…this horror won’t change that. You are all being prayed for.

  151. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, and I do think is is so important to not define a town completely from one horrific and tragic day. Prayers your way all day. <3
    Debbye’s latest post: 10 Must-Have Bedtime Books for Babies and Toddlers (Just In Time For Christmas!)

  152. Thank you for sharing your story! Newtown and its people are amazing. Please know we hold you in our thoughts and prayers. We are mourning your loss with you and will help carry the sorrow to lighten your load.

  153. Jamie,
    I am praying for you, all of Newton, and especially the families who are grieving the most today. My heart breaks with you.

  154. Thanks for giving us some insight into this community. We’re all having “what if” moments these last few days and I’m sure yours are all the more gut wrenching. Peace, love and prayers to your community as you all process this tragedy and eventually heal.

  155. Erin Goodman says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this post, Jamie.

    Sending love and prayers to your beautiful community and all of us who mourn with you.

    Love + Light…
    Erin Goodman’s latest post: Words that heal

  156. Beautifully written, as always. Thanks for giving me something uplifting to read today.
    Jen’s latest post: Homeschooling–one month in (part 3)

  157. Oh dear, I actually thought about you this weekend, recalling that I thought you lived in CT. My husband grew up in the next town, and we still visit the area. It is so true, it is like villages out of a storybook. I am so sorry for your neighbors’ losses and trauma, and also for every parent who has to tell their children about this horror. I can’t imagine how children must feel, growing up with lockdown drills, security guards, metal detectors…. I remember feeling terrified of having tornado drills! My sympathies, Jamie.

  158. Beautiful post, thank you.

  159. Hi, A friend shared your blog with me today. I was so pleased to read it. My grandmother spent the last 20 years of her life in a senior citizen community in Newtown so I have been in the town hundreds of times. When this all happened, I was not only blindsided as a parent of a 7 and 9 year old, but as someone who just adores the community. My family lives a couple of hours from Newtown, but we always felt so comfortable having my grandmother lived there. People knew her and they watched out for her. We LOVE you’re community and we will continue to pray for healing and amazing life lessons to come out of all this hurt.

  160. With heartfelt thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing…

  161. Jamie,
    I have been thinking of you guys and of other friends in Newtown. Your words are beautiful, as always, and we too have been looking there specifically to relocate. It is a wonderful place and I hope that the world will continue to support and pray for families, yet leave your town in peace ~ as the community needs its freedom to grieve.
    Stephanie’s latest post: A Perfect Moment ~ New Art

  162. Dear Jamie, Our pastor yesterday challenged our small congregation to write or email the first responders and/or school district in your town, to let them know of our prayers and care. Could you let me know some addresses that we could use? Thanks so much. Your town and neighbors are in our prayers.

  163. Thank you Jaimie for sharing your home town – it truely sounds like heaven on Earth. I’m a first grade teacher in a little country called New Zealand and my heart breaks for the families who have been so cruelly hurt and the lives taken so young. I pray for your community to find the strength to move through the coming days, weeks and months and the wisdom to take this terrible event as a season of life. All my love Niki

  164. Thank you for sharing another side of Newtown. I imagine it is a beautiful town and a beautiful community. My heart breaks for all of you in your town. For all of you whose sense of security has been shaken to the very core. This is absolutely beautiful.
    Kim’s latest post: To my Daughter on her 10th Birthday

  165. Thank you for sharing your post about Newtown. I can only imagine what it is like to have things shaken so much, and so close. We continue to pray for the community.
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  166. Hi Jamie
    My Uncle lived in Newtown for many years and I loved driving your lovely town on my visits to him. I have the same thoughts as you when I watched (for a very short time) the news reports…this is not the beautiful NE town I had visited. As a mom of twin 11 yo girls, I sent them off to school today with a catch in my throat, and I can’t wait to get them off the bus this afternoon!
    Thoughts and prayers for you and yours

  167. Andrea Smith says:

    God bless you. I’m sorry.for the grief that hit your sweet hometown. Thank you for sharing.

  168. Hi Jaimie, I am emailing from Seaford, Victoria, Australia. Please know that even though we are half a world away, we are thinking of everyone affected by this tragedy and hold them close in our hearts and prayers. Our local parish of St.Annes Seaford
    prayed for the community of Newtown and all of the families affected. May God give strength, hope and love to support all of the families and extended community. As an Early Childhood Educator I feel a special bond to the teachers and children and will continue to pray for strength for those impacted by this. A tragedy like this has certainly put Christmas and life into clear perspective. My grandson was given an extra hug and kiss last night as he was tucked into bed. Please know that though the distance may be miles apart you are all close in our thoughts and hearts.

  169. I am praying for all of you grieving in your town. And no, we would never think badly of your little town. Evil is everywhere and doesn’t stay outside even the most picturesque of places. In fact, sadly it is often in the places in between the city and wilderness, that these tragedies take place

  170. Jamie,

    I would never have wanted you to be the one to write about what happened in Newtown from the vantage point of someone who lives, learns and loves there – but I am so, so thankful that it is your voice and your heart sharing these words with us. Your eloquence and generosity of spirit here at Simple Homeschool has been inspirational in my mothering and educating, and it’s your steadfast boldness with which you’ve shared your life that you bring to sharing about this horrific tragedy as well – sharing not only as someone praying and mourning but also as someone who is a part of the fabric of community that has been torn apart by this hideousness.

    Jesus came to overcome the world, and I praise Him that even though man may be able to hurt our vulnerable bodies, NO MAN can destroy our souls. We are His children and in His hand are we eternally held.

    Thank you, again, for sharing these words, Jamie, and joining with so many who are praying for the entire town, especially the families and loved ones of these precious lives who have have ascended to Heaven.

  171. Thank you for reminding us all of the other perspectives possible, and for publishing a picture with the names of two of the victims. We do not need to glorify the perpetrator with any more attention, it’s the victims and helpers who need and deserve it.

  172. Thank you for writing this. This is close to home for us as we live in Northeastern Pennsylvania. I spent the first seven years of my life in Stamford, CT and my husband lived in Newtown for a short time during his college years. He describes it as very similar to the area where we live now. So sad that it is known by most of the country for this horrific tragedy. We will remember it as the town you describe instead. Praying for your whole community, especially those who lost little children.

  173. Jamie, I grew up next door in Southbury and I know how idyllic this part of the world is for kids. The past few days have been brutal, haven’t they? But, with time, we’ll see that the community’s strength endures. Peace.

  174. Thank you, thank you thank you for this post! As I live nowhere near Newtown, I am one of those who had never heard of it until this terrible tragedy. As a Mama to two young children, I have had a very hard time stomaching what has happened. Every time I watch the news or talk of it with others, I get very emotional because I cannot stop thinking about the parents who have in essence lost their hearts. I have been following your blog for a few years now and draw lots of inspiration from it. I am especially touched at your bravery to talk so openly about your living in Newtown. This is a tragedy that has touched parents across the country. Thank you again for this post. Your community has touched my heart and is in my thoughts and prayers.
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  175. Your blog encouraged me to do what God was calling me to do even if I had to “do it afraid.” You’ve been a source of encouragement for me over and over again in the last ten weeks of my short homeschooling journey. I credit you to helping me get the courage I needed to actually follow through and to homeschool. Thank you! Today I am ever more convinced that I am on the right path.
    And now I am praying for you and for each and every neighbor of Newtown, CT as you grieve and mourn as a “family.” As you learn to pick up the pieces and turn tragedy into triumph. As it sounds this will be something that happens for your hometown. What a great, great place you call home!

  176. Sherrie Mullane says:

    Our hearts and prayers are with you and your community. From Union, KY

  177. Kate Jerdan says:

    I was born in Danbury and lived in Newtown till I was five years old. Six of my siblings grew up on our farm on Brushy Hill, thus I feel a kinship to Newtown folks. My sister now lives in Larchmont, NY and my brothers live here and there throughout the US. I know names of two families that my family knew: Manz and my cousin Charlie Haden who would be about 65 years old. When my aunt and uncle, Elizabeth & David Haden, died years ago, we lost touch with their children. I have memories of Mrs. Manz heating water so Mama could bathe me in a big sink in her kitchen…I suppose I was about three years old. My heart is so heavy for you folks. I wish I could remember more of Newtown. Love to all of you.

  178. Thank you for your beautiful post. I live in the UK, and I will be praying for your community that in the darkness, God will shine His light, and bring His comfort and His peace.
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  179. Jamie, thank you for this so sensitive post. Though a first-time reader, I can feel your love for your town and its people! Keep the light glowing!
    Remember that you people are in our prayers, and that God is the same distance from there is He is to here in our hometown. He loves us all, and He’s grieving along with you.

  180. we live in a small island community & your description reminds me much of it – people all around the country and all around the world are praying for your community – God bless. Thanks for sharing.
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  181. Thank you Jamie for sharing openly about your location and the beauty of your community. I would have had no idea of how it is being from Texas, living in Portugal now, and we’ve chosen to not view the news of the event to keep our minds at peace. What a gift to live in such a wonderful town, and I believe its greatness will not be swallowed up by this attack. ALL things will turn for good–redemption is coming for Newtown.
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  182. Thank you for sharing your view of what sounds like a beautiful place to live. The tragedy that happened last week is beyond comprehension. I am so sad for all those involved. I will continue to pray for the families and community of Newtown, CT.

  183. Peace to you, your family and your community. God bless.
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  184. Antionette Robinson says:

    Thank you, not only for this post, but for being a great encourager for homeschooling moms. I can’t tell you how many times you have been a source of strength and encouragement to me in the first year of homeschooling. I am so sorry that this tragedy has struck such a beautiful place, the place you call home. I am praying with you for your community. God will shine through the darkness…

  185. I have read you blogs for some time. And I can relate to your privacy concern… as I try to be just as protective of my location as well. But thank you for sharing. It must of been hard after years of not telling anyone where you are. I pray for your town. But I also pray that you still feel the security that may be lost right now… and also for all in Newtown. God bless!
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  186. Oh Jamie, I am so glad you are living in Newtown and can share these insights with us. I know you were taken there for such a time as this. Many blessings as your town grieves, we are praying for this to be as gentle as possible and for peace to be restored.
    Tracey’s latest post: Nicholas Adam Sprovtsoff, Semper Fi

  187. Thank you for the beautiful words. My heart is broken with grief and sadness.

  188. Janine Dinkelmann says:

    I am a year 2 teacher as well as a mother on the Gold Coast in Australia. Thank you for painting a different picture to what we have experienced so far through the news. I will just keep on praying that God’s comfort and peace that surpasses all understanding will stay with everyone in your beautiful town. We just have to trust God that He will work this for His good, because we love Him.

  189. Bethany B. says:

    Thank you. I currently live in Texas, but my Aunt lives in Newtown and my cousins all grew up there (My mom was from Bethel and we also spent quite a bit of time there when I was younger). I remember it fondly and enjoyed every second I spent there. My heart breaks for the families of those lost, the first responders and for the people of Newtown who are now left to pick up the pieces and deal with this tragedy happening in their own backyard. Hugs to you and your sweet family.

  190. simply beautiful … thank you

  191. Thankyou for sharing your story. We are heart broken right along with all of you in Newton, but we have the privilege of tucking our children safe in our arms and in their beds. Please extend our sympathies to all the parents, siblings, spouses, of the beautiful and brave souls who lost their right to have a full and happy life.
    I have mourned many family member’s but never a child or spouse, it’s unimaginable.
    Love and deepest sympathies. ON Canada.

  192. I just want to say thank you for sharing this. It helps so much to put it into a real context. I am sure that you are light to those around you. We are praying and sending so much love to Newtown.
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  193. Thank you for sharing the Newtown you live in and those of us in CT know as idyllic and safe-feeling. It’s one of those places about which people say they can’t imagine it happening here. I live near Bradley International and grew up here. When I was in school, when my now adult children were in school, there were no security police, no lockdowns, we felt safe, as all of your town did until Friday. You’ve all been in my prayers and will continue to be, I can’t begin to imagine….
    With His Love,

  194. Thank you Jaime for this beautiful tribute to your town and community! It sounds like such a lovely place — I really appreciate seeing your perspective! My thoughts are with you all!
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  195. I grew up next door in Oxford and attended Chase in Waterbury. Many of my classmates were (are) from Newtown and I spent many days romping around the town, trying to avoid that flagpole while learning to drive, and otherwise spending time as a carefree youth. Despite having left when I was 18, Connecticut will always be my true home and it breaks my heart to see it hurting so.
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  196. Your town is beautiful. I have been avoiding the news and cannot even read the blurbs I see on the internet. It hurts too much. I don’t need to see the faces of the children and know their names to grieve for the families. Media is a remarkable thing but I prefer the happy stories to the sad ones. I was so pleased to see this. I have turned to public school after two years of homeschooling this year. Hearing about Newtown’s tragedy spooked me into wanting to homeschool again, but it would not be for the right reasons. Thank you for this post and I do send prayers to all the families for a tragedy I can’t bear.
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  197. I have heard many people say, “We never thought it could happen here”. Watching the footage, reading your post, I CAN imagine it happening here where I live. Our town, like yours, is one of those Anytown, USA communities. And our community churches have been praying for you all. Praying for light to come from the dark and for God to bring good from tragedy. Please know we grieve with you and pray for Hope and Peace to be restored once again.

  198. I was just recently thinking “I wonder if there were homeschoolers in Newtown? It seems the schools are so great that even homeschooling inclined families wouldn’t mind sending their kids there…” Thank you for giving us this glimpse on Newtown from the perspective of a homeschooling family. It sounds like an ideal place to live and raise children. It’s just heartbreaking how it all played out.
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  199. Beautiful post.

  200. Jamie, thank you for your heartfelt post at such a difficult time. To the contrary of what some might think I am one of those who thought Newtown looks like a place I would love to live. We have been searching for an area in CT to relocate to for awhile and Newtown was never on our radar. I had not heard of it. After seeing how your town came together, and the love and support I can see why you love where you live. I am homeschooling my son this year and I am so happy I found your blog. I have to admit I have have had both negative and positive reactions when I tell others we are homeschooling him ( I did not homeschool my three older kids.) It’s good to know there are places that are accepting of other parent’s choices. My thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by this unimaginable tragedy.

  201. Jamie- Thanks for sharing this. If anything, I think the world has seen Newtown as a place full of a great police force, wonderful neighbors and friends. The tragedy was not Newtowns fault. But Newtown has certainly shown grace under dire circumstances. The world’s prayers are with you.

  202. Having homeschooled our son (now a Sr. @ Johnson Univ in TN) one of my thoughts went to the fact that we never had to worry about him being away from us @ school all day, or at having to send him after any tragidy such as 9-11 when he was 10. God bless you! This post was so amazing and touched my heart. I have been posting that we can see God in the midst of the tragedy in the teachers/staff who sacrificed their lives for the children and the people that showed up in the community to help and show God’s love. Your post reinforces that for me. I live on Long Island, close enough to feel like it is almost our backyard. We also know of business associates who lost their son. God is there in the midst of the tragedy and the evil that caused it to happen. Continuing to keep you and all in the community in prayer as time moves forward and God moves among you. May his presence be evident to all who lost loved ones be they the children or the staff at the school. Thank you for your post…I will be sharing it on my FB page.

  203. Thank you for sharing the joy and happiness you’ve found in your town over the past year and a half.

    I will hold the pictures of happy children in my mind to balance out the tears that spring to my eyes whenever I think of Newtown’s tragedy.

  204. May God bless you for this word – may He bless you so much that it simply and naturally pours out of you and into your hurting community.

  205. Keith Ruby says:


  206. All parents throughout the world can only imagine the pain and suffering in Newtown right now. My friends on FB are global and everyone is praying for you all. I live in Australia via the UK and Cyprus and even though we are so very far away, it feels like you are family friends just around the corner. We pray for you and with you, and can only imagine the sorrow that our Father in Heaven feels too. Continuing our prayers for you I recall these scriptures and pray many blessings upon all of Newtown.
    ‘I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.’ Psalm 40:1-2(NKJV).
    ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.’ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4(NKJV)

  207. Bless you for writing something positive. I read somewhere that in tragedy, look for the helpers. Focus on the support, the love, the community. If we continue to sensationalize these moments, the mentally ill murders get their moment of fame. I pray for you and your town. Bless you

  208. Thank you for sharing. I know it’s hard to release this private information to the world, but there is some hope in knowing you and your blog are a powerful tool for good in your town. My God bless you with many opportunities to share and continue to bless those closest to you. You and your family will be in my prayers.
    Rebecca’s latest post: Nothing is working!

  209. I come from the Philippines and have two sons, both are 7 and 4 years old respectively. I will tell them about this & we will have mass said for all those children that suffered. We will also offer one attendance in mass specially for all their fellow children and their families. This more that breaks my heart, though far away, i cannot imagine this happening to anyone.
    May God’s Angels lead all the children who suffered in fright and death back home to heaven where they deserve to rest. Love, Peace, Prayers and Light + Eternal Rest Grant unto the poor souls oh Lord and let Perpetual light and shine upon them, May they rest in peace, Amen +++

  210. What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing the good, the very good in your town. Prayers for all those who lost a loved one. I cannot imagine their pain. I am praying for them and hoping they can feel the prayers of so many.

    The Domestic Fringe’s latest post: Trash -2- Treasure: DIY Pallet Wall Art

  211. Hi Jamie. Firstly, my heart goes out to the families and the community in Newtown, and it’s hard to imagine the grief you’re all feeling as you mourn the loss of loved ones and a community changed forever. Secondly, thank you so much for sharing your passion for the people and township of Newtown, and for giving us an insight into a community who before Friday didn’t exist for many of us. The news in Australia is full of the tragedy, but sadly this is now being overshadowed by updates on, and comments of the power of the gun-lobbying activists. In particular the gun culture in Newtown. It appears that even the police have had deep concerns in the past about the ready access of assault type weapons, and the lack of shooting restrictions close to houses. It’s hard to conceive, from this distance, that people can actually discharge bullets within a 20 feet radius of a residence! Your picture of your son, and others children, playing safely on the streets in Newtown, paint an altogether different picture from the one the local police are portraying it to be. It’s hard to separate the two images – an idyllic childhood watching the eagles overhead vs the gun-toting, trigger happy hunting community where even gas cylinders have been shot at for the thrill of seeing them explode! It does make me wonder whether things will change. Will another community, somewhere down the road, or on the other side of the country, have to suffer the same fate? How many communities have to be shattered forever before something is done to prevent this from happening again? My heart and thoughts are with you all as you come to grips with the horror that unfolded last Friday. May God give you the strength to rebuild your community, and to replace weapons with education and dialogue. Hx

  212. Donna Lovelace says:

    I had the priviledge of spending a week in Newtown to assist witha Franchise Store opening in th 60’s. Yes, it was and still is a beautiful town, with beautiful people. My prayer is that the most recent tragedy will NOT change your values or your good intentions. As parents and grandparents, and just plain folks, words can not express our sorrow for the families and community. Hang on to your children, to your faith and to each other and you shall survive, though you will no doubt be ever changed. Our prayers are with yiu Newtown. Jim and Donna Lovelace

  213. Thank you for this post, for your sharing. It’s good to know a bit of “the rest of the story.” God bless you, your family, and your town through this heartbreaking time! My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  214. Thank you for sharing this… we live in Putnam Lake, NY and often drive through Bethel and Newtown, I guess that is why it feels so close and real. The area is just beautiful and I always got such a wonderful feeling driving through there. I think people can see between the cameras and reporting to find the heart of the town and the wonderful neighbors and tightnit ways. Sending my hopes and wishes to your entire community. “There is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.”

  215. Funny… I watched the constant news reports……I thought to myself…what a lovely town and amazing people. I am so glad to hear that my impressions of your home and neighbors was spot on. My heart aches for your neighbors who have seen such unthinkable acts up close. But my heart is happy for them that they live in such a supportive and faithful community that will lift them up during this sad, dark time. Thank you for your open heart….

  216. We live in a small community on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia. This could have easily been our town. We mourn with you and send our deep sympathy to you folk in Newtown. May healing begin as you little town moves forward and just know that even though we are on the other side of the world, we care and are praying.
    May you all be blessed and know God’s comfort.

  217. shannon conner says:

    Your sweet community are in my prayers, just wanted you to know from Anniston, Al

  218. My heart weeps for these families. It could be any one of us. I haven’t even been able to turn on the news–it’s too much. There are no words. I am crying with you and your town, but I know I have no idea of the depth of pain.
    Charity’s latest post: Rhythm of a Year: Holidays

  219. Thank you for sharing this. Praise God that your family is safe!

  220. Jamie
    Never once have I thought Newtown was anything but wonderful! I’m so very sorry for the dark pain that has blanketed that beautiful town and it’s sweet people!
    Praying….begging God for comfort!

  221. Thank you for this warm and heartfelt post. It’s sad that a community is labled forever as a place of tragedy when something this horrific happens, but to those of you living there it is your home. Any one of us could have our community shaken and turned upside down like this, but it’s still the place we call home.
    Our family along with the world are praying for your community and the families that have lost loved ones. My heart breaks trying to comprehend why this happened, and how the parents are coping with losing their precious children. The only hope and comfort that anyone has is through the Lord, knowing that those sweet babies are with Him now. Our prayer for Newtown is that the Lord’s grace and strength will be poured out to the people, and the world will see how He can take such a horrific event and use it for good.

  222. The people of Newtown have been in my prayers and will continue to be, Jamie. Thank you for sharing the beauty of Newtown in the face of the unimaginable horror and sadness that the world has seen these last few days. It is my prayer that the strength and grace of the community that the world has also seen will help hearts to be healed and grief to be comforted for those who have had to endure the unthinkable. Praying for you all.
    Kris @ Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers’s latest post: Weekly Wrap-Up: No Words

  223. I had never read your blog before. Thank you so much for sharing with us the images of your beautiful town. Your description makes me want to move there! I’ve heard Newtown described as idyllic and close-knit several times over the past few days. I hope all the residents will continue to lean on each other and on God in the days to come, and that it will again be the lovely town that it was, and not just a place marked by violence.

  224. Thank you for this enlightening post. The town and school are all over the map because of this horrible event that tends to make us tear up at soft songs of Christmas. (Me). But I go on and know that God is in the midst of the hurting in Newton. Thank you for sharing the reasons you wanted your family to move there. It will take time to feel safer again. We home schooled our children in the 1980s to 2002 and so enjoyed them being here at home. We had knives in our school….in the kitchen! We continue to pray for the families that lost their children and the community that was touched by this event. It will take time to heal, if ever for some, but know that there are caring, praying, loving people around the world that wish you well. Hugs and have a blessed Christmas season. Look for His mercies that are new every morning. Lamentations 3:22-24
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  225. I grew up in Newtown and loved it. It IS everything people say it is and that you see in those hopefully soon -ending news stories. I carry a piece of iNewtown with me wherever I go. Your kids will thank you for moving there :)
    This incident just breaks my heart for many, many reasons. I know it won’t change the town in any drastic ways, but it will be felt forever. Having just gone through this type of tragedy less than a year ago in my current home, near Chardon, Ohio, my family cannot stop praying and thinking of everyone there. It is too fresh. Kids so youmg. Much sympathy and many prayers to a loved “home town.”

  226. Where was God?
    God is right there!

  227. Andrea Jones says:

    We are praying for all of Newtown… thank you for sharing. Beautifully written… it reminds me so of my childhood days, when times were much more simple, it seems. God Bless!

  228. This is the most beautiful post I have read. I live and teach and raise my internationally-adopted son here in Newtown. You have captured so much of what I feel about Newtown in this post. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I wish you many blessings and peace.

  229. My family and I lived in Newtown for a year, back in the early 1980’s. We lived in a very old farmhouse on Pine Tree Hill Ln. It was beautiful. The town was beautiful and so were the people. I am deeply grieved for everyone’s loss and everyone did lose even those of us who don’t live there. I pray for God’s strong comforting arms to be wrapped around all of Newtown, to whisper into each ear that He is near.
    “Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders.”

  230. Jamie,
    Thank you for so bravely sharing this with us. It is no small feat to find and share beauty in the wake of tragedy. I for one, am grateful to get a glimpse of the real Newtown.
    While we are grieving and trying to understand this tragedy all over the world, I can not imagine what it is like to experience this in your own back yard. While I am able to shelter my kids from the media covering this event, I know you must be dealing with hard questions from fraught little ones.
    My heart goes out to all of Newtown. To the families of the victims, and to families like yours,
    I hope that you will all find some peace.

  231. Great blog post! Newtown is a special place! We live in Oxford and we always find ourselves in Newtown! I appreciate your thoughts and well written perspective on the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. Our thoughts and prayers are with our communities as we all find a way to heal.

  232. Gay Boston says:

    Never for one moment did I think that Newtown was the cause of this tragedy. It is sad that the actions of one sick individual can bring on the media blitz (and blight) that may make some people think this is all there is to Newton, Columbine, or other places. I pray for those who lost loved ones that they may find healing in the support of those who did not. Your post shows that it is there. Blessings to you and your family, as well as all those in Newtown who now have a new reality to deal with.

  233. Thank you for sharing your joyful pictures and Newtown life. Your friends and community are in my family’s prayers.

  234. Jamie – Thank you for sharing with us about your wonderful town. We started homeschooling in August, and this is my favorite blog. You really do make a difference in so many lives. We will continue to keep you and your neighbors and friends in our thoughts and prayers during this terrible time of tragedy.

  235. Jamie ~ Thank you so much for sharing your heart and your town with us! Blessings to you, your family and all of Newtown.

  236. Wishing you and your family and community much strength and hope during this difficult time.
    Nina’s latest post: Santa and kids: balancing imagination with reality

  237. Elizabeth McDonald says:

    I am so thankful that you took the time and thoughtfulness to write this post about Newtown, Ct.! My dear aunt and uncle lived there for decades, and I always felt that Newtown was a special town, a wonderful welcoming place for my cousin to grow up and flourish. The terrible tragedy that broke the peacefulness last Friday is an aberration, not a definition of Newtown. People all over the country, all over the world are shedding tears for Newtown, appropriately. You are all in our thoughts and in our hearts.

  238. Thank you for that wonderful tribute.

  239. Wow. On so many levels. Cannot help but cry as I read this. And feel comfort that you are there in the community, to speak for it, and help it to heal. So many mixed feelings, as a homeschooling mom myself, and mostly just sending many prayers to you all.

  240. Sigh…I understand and hear your heart. Our sweet little town got a horrible reputation from one movie called The Changeling which spotlighted a crime that happened in 1928…such a long, long time ago.
    Praying for your town and your families, for the hearts of those who lost children and loved ones, and for the Lord to use this in the beautifully unique ways only He can. Many blessings.

  241. My heart is hurting everyday since it happened… I cry and hope this is the LAST tragedy ever.. Thank you for this post and please send all this families a big hug and tell that Monica from CA is thinking and sharing the pain. I have 2 little ones and we homeschool. I cannot even think about loosing would kill me…I am very sorry that horrible thing happened.. Is there an address where we can send a letter to those families? Thank you go the post. Monica
    Monica’s latest post: Overhead Projector Ideas

  242. Beautifully written! I know your hope is a light in your community right now. Your town is in the prayers of The Christian Church family in Myrtle Beach, SC and we send our heartfelt sympathy and love!

  243. Although my family and I now live in southern California, this event struck close to home; Mrs. Sherlach’s daughter lives in Salem, NJ which is where we lived before coming here. Know that our hearts rejoice for those who willingly stepped in to try and protect the babies, while we shed uncountable tears at the loss. Blessings to you, your neighbors, and friends as you come together at this time. God keeps His wings around you all. With love, Andree’ and Christopher Neal
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  244. Thank you for your words about our beloved little town. I also live in Newtown and am a homeschooling mother of three. When we first moved to CT, my husband stumbled upon Newtown quite by accident, and knew immediately that this picturesque, family-oriented, Norman Rockwellian town was where we wanted to live. During our 11 years here, we have found everything to be as you described. Newtown is a little, tranquil piece of Americana. We will get through this senseless tragedy because we are \”Newtown strong\”. May we all draw closer to God, as He can pull good out of bad. May our precious families find healing, comfort, and peace. (Would love to meet you sometime, by the way.)

  245. My heart goes out to your town and to the families who are grieving this holiday season. Thank you for sharing the truth of your town.
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  246. Sending thoughts and prayers to your community from our small town. God bless, and Merry Christmas.
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  247. jen chenoweth says:

    We had the priviledge of moving to Newtown probably around the same time as you! A friend from the homeschooling community told be about your article and I said “I know that mom”, we were a part of a local homeschool group together a few years ago. It was so refreshing to hear your perspective a,nd to see how you are focused on the greatness of this town. I too have been trying to live on the outskirts and stay away from all of the media and news. Although my children know of this tragedy we are trying to shelter them from anymore unnecessary hurt. It would be great to get together and reconnect. Email me when you can!

  248. Pam Romano says:

    Hi Jamie, I had the privilege of living in Newtown as a child and yes, it is a wonderful place to live! Thank you for sharing this. It truly warmed my heart. Enjoy your years there; I’m jealous. :)

  249. I know Newtown. I grew up in New Milford, worked and went to college in Danbury. My husband and I got married in the Meeting House in Newtown in 1996. We LOVE that little idyllic town and have been hurting for the families and the community there. We are in TX now, but I can picture the streets and the gorgeous New England charm so easily. It’s been so surreal thinking of such a tragedy happening “back home.” Thank you for opening up to share. People need to know that Newtown is “everytown” not some scary place that you could ever imagine something like this happening. The unfortunate reality that this has had is that if it can happen there, it can happen ANYwhere. I am praying for healing and peace the families and the community and everyone this has affected.

  250. Thank you for choosing to embrace the beautiful and positive! And, while this tragedy is absolutely horrendous, focusing on all of the evil in it only empowers the enemy. For, he would like nothing better than to be in the spotlight. After all, it distracts us from the love and beauty of our Father! You are right, there will be the correct time to plan protection from future tragedy. But, for now, thank you for the peaceful and innocent images.


  251. As another local homeschooler, I know Newtown. I grew up near Dodgingtown. We are often at the movie theater , the dentist and the library. It is a wonderful town, and the tragedy just doesn’t seem real. I am blessed that my children are all home with me, and I that do not know anyone directly, who has suffered a loss . But tears come to my eyes every time I think about those families. We had considered moving to Newtown, but we haven’t found the right house, we would have put our two youngest in that school since it came highly recommended. My 6 soon to be 7 year old said that those kids went to God’s house since he has plenty of room and they will celebrate Christmas there, their parents will see them again, when their hair gets all white and it won’t be too long. (Her words) Not sure what she was trying to tell me. Ha ha, my kids have pointed out a random white hair or two that seemed to pop up from nowhere. But overall I like her view point. With every drop of rain, I am also crying for the survivors and the pain they are feeling. I pray for them as they grieve. We are still considering Newtown as we search for a new home. It is a great town. May God Bless you.

  252. Beautiful post. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing with us Newtown as you know it. As a mama I am praying for all those mamas there whose hearts are aching. Christmas blessings to you and yours!
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  253. Thank you ! It’s so good to remember the picture as a whole — and not just one corner. My heart has been grieving so much for these families — and for the communities nearby who walk with them. Praying still …

  254. I homeschool too but this article rubbed me the wrong way. My first thought was “fear mongering”. I think you have to be careful not to try to scare people into homeschooling. My sister pulled her child out of public school on Friday (the day of the shootings) and I think she made a foolish choice out of fear. Homeschooling is VERY difficult for some people (due to personalities or other reasons) and should be done for the right reasons. Not because you are afraid your child’s school will be shot up.

    • Mothering4Him says:

      First, I didn’t feel this article put the fear into anyone. It was trying to take the fear OUT of people and look at the good! Second, people think that if they (or others) decide to homeschool it’s an “end-all” decision. You could homeschool for a week and change your mind (although it’s a lot of work for mom…ha ha). Third, Mom is almost (notice I said ALMOST) always the best teacher, as she loves her children more than anyone and will find a way to meet their needs. If someone is unselfish enough to take on this HUGE task (& unless you’ve done it…you have NO clue how hard it is!), then they either quit or become devoted. Does it look like a brick and morter school…NO! But it doesn’t have to. Please don’t impose YOUR goals on HER children! (and then blame this sweet blogger, to boot.) I bet there will be a LOT of moms pulling kids to homeschool after this. Homeschooling is already growing 25% a year without a tragedy like this.

    • That’s actually the complete opposite of what I’m saying here, Sydney. Fear was not at all a reason for why we chose to homeschool. Newtown is a wonderful and safe community, which is what I’m trying to say in this post. But I can’t deny that the fact that we homeschool might have saved one or more of my children’s lives last week. I don’t think everyone should homeschool and certainly not because of a random act like this one.

      In the past I’ve written about your very point–that people should not homeschool out of fear. I still believe it with all my heart. You can find that post here:

  255. I grew up around drug dealers, murderers, pedifiles and crazy people of all sorts. My mother ran a biker bar in a very rough redneck community. I went through the public school system that to say was inadequate would be an understatement. I was verbally, emotionally and physically abused my entire life. I put myself through college and returned to that neighborhood as an educator. I taught first and second grade at my elementary school. Many of the parents of my students remember me from the neighborhood and come to say hello. It is still the same community. Rough in every way. I am happy I returned to be that one teacher for some child in need. What made the difference for me was a mother who took the time to sit down to look me in the eyes every day and ask me how I was. She talked me through my problems. She cheered me on through my battles and did not try to fight them for me. She held me tight when I needed comfort and held me accountable when I needed to be straightened out. My mother never sat at the bar that she ran but she never condemned those that did. She taught me that when you become a mother you make the commitment to being present in the moment, every moment, good or bad. We are all homeschooling our children. Teach them to be fearless but empower them to protect themselves no matter where they live. Teach them how to live outside the constraints of their social environment. Then listen…really listen.

  256. Amen, Cindy! There is only one Hope.

  257. thanks for talking ybout your sweet little town which has to see so much sorrow now ♥
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