They say our homes are a reflection of who we are, and that is certainly true of the Hale household.
While some people’s homes announce nothing more than an affinity for antiques or a fondness for French country, virtually each detail in every room of the Hale house tells a little something deeper about one of the home’s occupants.
In the great room is a print of an old man, looking sun-chapped and tough as nails. The family received that picture from a photographer who shot the set of the film “Lonesome Dove,” which is Blaine Hale’s favorite movie.
In one of the children’s rooms is a pair of leather chaps, a number of trophies and camouflage prints – all a reflection of 6-year-old Blaine Jr.’s favorite things: cowboys, sports and all things Army-related.
Sallye, the oldest of the three Hale children at 9 (youngest daughter Gracie is 3), “is cheerful nine out of 10 times,” says her mother, Millye. “Her favorite scripture is, ‘A happy heart makes the face cheerful.’”
Not surprisingly, the walls of her room are painted a bright, sunny yellow, and her room is filled with colorful fabrics, prints and hearts.
“Our house is a reflection of all our personalities coming together to make a home,” Millye says. “The creativity in my children’s room is all about who they are.”
And, of course, there are some parts of the home dedicated to Millye and her likes and hobbies, not the least of which is bargain hunting.
“I’ve been an avid garage-sale person for the past 10 years,” she says. “I started this habit with a friend from church and quickly became hooked. It was a time away from all my responsibilities at home, and yet I wasn’t taking time away from my family because we usually go from about 6:30 until about 8:30 a.m., and my husband and children are still in bed.”
Though she loves the deals she finds, she says the time is really about “fellowship, fun and refueling.”
“I love spending that time with a friend,” she says. “You’re always guaranteed a lot of laughs, and almost always you acquire some sort of treasure for your home.”
One of her favorite finds is a 250-year-old dough trough that she bought at an estate sale and now serves as a toy box.
“I personally lean more toward older things,” she says. “I love an old distressed piece of furniture, because to me it has character and somebody else has loved it. To me, it gives your home a more warm and homey feel.”
And though she loves to comb garage sales and flea markets for bargain-priced buys, she’s not opposed to investing money in key pieces as well. Her huge dining room table and an old German trunk in her den are examples of some of the family’s more costly belongings.
Despite the beautiful décor, one of the Hale family beliefs is that “the most important things in life aren’t things,” a conviction that Millye has on display in her home. In fact, spend any time in the home, and you’ll find pithy sayings everywhere, many taken from the Bible.
It’s another example of how Millye has put her stamp on the house, both as a way of asserting her love of scripture and as a way of raising her children up right.
“I was reading the Bible one day and came across several passages in Deuteronomy telling us to, ‘Fix these words of mine in your hearts and in your minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children…Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates,’” she says. “Because it was in Deuteronomy, I thought to myself: Just Deu It! So I had a lady come and paint verses that I liked over the doorframes.”
For example, on the fireplace mantel: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Or, in the kids’ bathroom: “This is the day the Lord has made…”
“I felt we could all use reminders as to how God calls us to be as Christians,” she says. “Hopefully, because my children see these words every day, they will draw from them. I know I do.”
The Hales, who have lived in their home for four years, will likely be in the neighborhood for a long time. According to Millye, they have the perfect setup.
“The greatest part of living in Lake Highlands is that we live two doors down from my mother- and father-in-law. We are all so blessed to live so close to them. They are both so committed to being at various sporting events, school functions or just an invitation for last-minute cookie baking. They definitely are an active part of my children’s life,” Millye says.
“But we also love the Lake Highlands community as a whole and will hopefully live here for a long time.”
Is your home ready for its close-up? If you’re interested in showing neighbors what you’ve done with your home, please send a brief summary, along with non-returnable photos if you have them, to: The Advocate, Home Features, 6301 Gaston, Ste. 820, Dallas 75214, or email them to email@example.com. Please remember, though, that due to space limitations not every home submitted will be selected for a story in an upcoming magazine.