My Fear is Going to Get Expensive

My Fear is Going to Get Expensive

Last week after spending several days hiding away in deep thought and writing, I was glad to be home to my simple, sweet life and beautiful family.  What I was NOT glad to get home to was the…er…situation that had occurred while I was gone.  You wouldn’t think anything this big could happen in less than a week, but apparently it can.

We have an official M-word situation.

I found out about it after I was doing some laundry.  I was peacefully moving clothes from the washer to the dryer when James came in and said in a tone that was out of character for him, “Lisa, you need to go out of here for a minute.”  It was the way he said it, so gentle and sweet, that sent me into immediate panic.  Like when someone says to you, “Sit down honey, I have something to tell you,” in their most remain-calm voice.  Fear goes up your spine.

And since we were doing things that were out of the ordinary, I just left the room.  I put the wet laundry down and walked away.  James must have been kind of surprised at my lack of arguing because he called after me, “Well look at you being all submissive!”. I could tell he was smiling even though I never turned around to see.  But I wasn’t really being submissive.  I was really pretty sure I could read between the lines and knew there was a you-know-what somewhere in the utility room and he was trying to keep me from seeing it.

Later on after my heart stopped pounding I decided to take the risk and ask him if this was a one time problem or if it had been ongoing.  He laid his hand on my shoulder and in the style of a great politician he answered me squarely, “We have it completely under control.”

Um….. yeah.  That doesn’t comfort me at all.  You may was well tell me that the atomic bomb is not going to land DIRECTLY on top of my house.  Oh well that’s just great.

I didn’t ask more questions.  I really didn’t want to know, but a couple of the boys while overhearing this brief conversation blurted out some disturbing information about things that had happened while I was gone.  I have never seen my husband move so fast as he leapt to put his hand over their blabby little mouths.  “SHHHH!!!!” he said then turned a guilty grin in my direction, “Really honey, we are handling it.”

So of course, last night I didn’t sleep a wink.  I just knew there must be dozens (or more) of those nasty creatures scurrying around in the dark doing who knows what in my house and what if one was in my bedroom?!?!?  I decided that the next day I would have to go to a hotel. Obviously.

And of course, I won’t be able to cook or do laundry since the kitchen and utility room seem to be their favorite hangouts.  We will be eating out from now until either an exterminator ends this invasion or the house burns down.  I am hoping for #1.

I informed James this morning of all of these plans and he laughed like I was being ridiculous.  Um, dude, if you thought I was hard to live with BEFORE this infestation, you ain’t seen nothing’.  In the nearly 30 years that we have been married I have held back the kind of crazy that is about to come loose if we don’t get rid of these things immediately.

I may need to send him a Hallmark card to apologize in advance.

When you are terrified of mice....

Do you think Hallmark makes those?  I mean, I have seen crazier cards.  Once I saw a card that said, “I am sorry you lost your job, but let’s be honest, you weren’t very good at it.”.

Now, I know that some of you are reading this and thinking that I am having an overreaction to a normal life happening and that I live on a farm and should not be bothered by this. Well just because I have horses and chickens and way too many cats does not mean I am comfortable with rodents inside my house!  In fact, what is the problem with my cats anyway?!  Shouldn’t they be helping here?!?!

I know that my fear is doesn’t make sense, but I think we are each allowed to have one irrational fear in our lives.  I am not afraid of flying or heights or germs….OK I am a little afraid of germs.  But this M-word thing is literally an I-think-I-am-gonna-throw-up kind of problem.  My instant reaction is complete hysteria followed by crying in the corner.  I can’t help it.  It goes all the way back to my childhood and watching my mother and grandmother standing on the kitchen table while my 5 year old brother chased a mouse through the kitchen with a broom.

Not that I blame them one bit.  I completely understand their fear and have no doubt that I have passed it on to my children.  There are worse things to be afraid of I guess.  I mean, this doesn’t come up very often in life.  Unless they become missionaries in a place where this is a regular issue, in which case I guess they will have the blessing of learning to overcome a fear.

But I plan to just avoid it at all costs, literally.

And now, to prepare my weekly menu, avoiding any actual time in the kitchen and not doing laundry.  It’ll be a challenge friends, but believe me, I am motivated!  And if you pass my house and see me in my front porch rockers, it isn’t because I have gone all Mayberry.  It’s because I am scared to go into my house.

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Fence Building is Not My Strength

Fence Building is Not My Strength

I am still on my cleaning and organizing frenzy.  In fact, it’s gotten worse since James is out of town for the week.  I always get a lot done when he’s gone because I can throw away whatever I want without him following after me looking in the cans and pulling stuff back out.

He can’t help it.  He comes from a long line of collectors.  His grandmother had a perpetual garage sale.  She would go to other people’s garage sales and bring the stuff home, double the price and sell it at her garage sale.  Me, I inherited a passion for just throwing away things we don’t need anymore.  I’m pretty sure God was laughing through our entire childhoods knowing He was going to put us together.

We have gotten so much done this week that I am going to give the kids today and tomorrow off.  I plan to start a full school schedule on Monday and I think they need a short break before that happens.  Man cannot live on organization alone.

Also when James goes out of town we tend to have more than our normal share of small emergencies.  On Tuesday morning just as he was leaving our horse got out and ran down the road.  After we chased him back in, the fence had to be mended where he got out.  It’s times like these when I wonder why I ever had the dream of a “little farm house with animals”.

I may be able to build a cabinet, but fence repair is one of my weak areas.  Instead of spending hours doing it right, the kids and I spent 15 minutes wiring bits and pieces of different fence panels together and propped them up with a rusty T post.  Yep, classy.

Then the next day I had a tooth situation.  I have a crown that has been bothering me, but I have put off going to have it looked at.  So of course it waited until James was gone to kick up a fuss.  It started bleeding and throbbing and I couldn’t get it to stop.  Of course, at 10:00 at night.

So I called my dentist the next morning and because of school about to start he can’t see me for a couple of weeks.  OK then.  Although I was a little nervous about it, I looked through all of my essential oil books, pulled out what oils I had and started swishing.  I have clove oil, which I’ve also been putting right on the gums around the tooth and it has been incredible.  The other oils I am swishing with (Thieves, Melaleuca and lavender) are going to, I am confident, keep my mouth healthy until I go to the dentist.

Now as long as we can make it through two more days without anything on the house falling apart we are home free.  Once James gets back nothing will happen.  That’s how it always goes.

Have a great weekend!



Never Trust a Cow that Jumps a Fence

Never Trust a Cow that Jumps a Fence

Our weekend was spent visiting with family and trying to stay dry.  Basically we got more rain over the past 3 days than we have in the last 2 years.  Our farm looked like a flood zone.

One thing I love about life in the country is the constant change.  One day you’re a happy farmer with a cow grazing in the field.  The next day you’re a crazy woman wading through mud in your good shoes chasing a cow down the street.

We discovered he (yes he, but we still call it a cow) was jumping over the fence.  We noticed him out on the street wandering around mooing like he owned the world.  Not a care, not a worry.  Then we saw him jump back in.  Not good.

We have a large pen on the back of our property where we used to keep our billy goat, so we decided to put the cow in there until we figured out what else to do.  Have you ever tried to coax a cow into a small opening?  Right.  It wasn’t going to happen.

Jacob and Noah tried various tricks, in the pouring rain, to get him go in.  But every time they would get close to the pen the cow would bolt, leaving my poor, wet boys to figure out another plan.

Since James was gone for the day, I decided to go out and help.  At one point we were trying to discreetly tie the cow (Jacob had managed to get a rope on him) to a post he was standing near.  Noah and I were hanging onto the rope when he decided to run.  It was a split second after Jacob got it tied to the post, so the cow couldn’t go far, but Noah and I found ourselves in a muddy heap.  Fortunately we were not hurt, but we both made a firm decision after that not to join the rodeo.

Then I got an idea.  We could chain the cow to the tractor.  I would lead him with the rope and every time he moved Jacob would move the tractor a little more toward the pen.  We kept the chain shorter than my rope so he couldn’t get to me.  (To be clear, we weren’t pulling him with the tractor, he was just anchored to that so he couldn’t run off as I pulled him with a rope) It took an hour and a half to move him about 50 yards, but we did it.  And he was so hungry by the time we got there that he went fairly willingly into the pen where there was a delicious pile of dry hay waiting for him.

But here was the problem.  In order to get him in the pen and get the chain off of him I had to lead him in with the rope.  That left me inside the pen with the cow, who was now between me and the gate.  Not a good position to be in.  He was happily eating while Jacob and I weighed our options.  I could try to scale the 5.5′ high fence.  Not.  We decided to tie him with the rope (which was still around his neck) to a post so he couldn’t get to me as I slipped past him.

Now, picture me in my long skirt trying to go slowly past a hay eating cow.  No sudden movements.  I almost made it.  I was right near him when he gave me a quick BUTT in my behind.  He couldn’t do much being tied to the post, but he managed to get my skirt hooked on his small horns and there I stood, with a bull up under my dress.

I moved as quickly as I could, feeling sorry for Jacob’s full view of my panties as I made my quick escape.  I was willing to let the skirt rip, but thankfully it slipped off of the horns.  I leapt out the gate and I was free.

Lisa – 1

Cow – 0

Jacob – scarred for life

I can now check “getting butted by a bull” off my bucket list.

And being a rodeo clown.

And playing in the mud with my boys.

My hands were the cleanest place on my body.

Life on a farm isn’t easy.  But the truth is, while it wasn’t easy, we had a great time and made some funny memories.

Slow Days and Possums

Slow Days and Possums

We’re heading into a busy weekend with the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival.  All day for three days.  My older kids like to stay late and do every last session.  Mamma wants to sleep.

I’ve been getting myself ready by taking longer naps and drinking plenty of water.  I tend to get a little dehydrated when I’m running around and not paying attention to my water intake.  It’s just one of the many delights that age has added to my life.  Wisdom, maturity and bladder issues if I don’t drink at least 4 glasses of water every day.

Speaking of aging, my Poise giveaway is still open so head over and enter to win that $100 VISA gift card!  You can bet I will have my Roll On Cooling Gel with me at the festival.  My new motto is “don’t leave home without it.”

The past few days have been pretty quiet here.  We did school, played outside, cooked…..all at a nice, slow pace.  I love being in no big hurry.  It makes me want to go rock on the porch with Aunt Bea and my banjo singing old mountain songs.  I miss Mayberry.

Where everything is black and white….la da…la da da da da…..

Rascall Flatts.  Gotta love ’em.

Great.  Now I’m stuck on the Mayberry song.

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting in my recliner minding my own business when I heard a scratching kind of rustling sound coming from the ex-nursery (we are trying to come up with a new name for it).  I knew no one was in there but still I called out, “Hello?!”  No reply.  I heard it again.  Scratch-scratch-rub.

So I got up and walked in there and sure enough there was no one, but I could hear the sound.  Louder and definitely not small.  It was coming from the far corner of the room where there is nothing but a twin bed.  It sounded like something was rolling around under the bed, maybe struggling.

In that flash of a second between sanity and insanity I decided…for certain…that there must be a possum under the bed.  Why a possum and not a cat (since we have several outdoor cats and I have never even seen a possum here) I don’t know.  But I froze.  In 2 seconds all of this flashed through my mind, “How do you get a possum out from under a bed?!  Will it bite?  What’s the procedure for getting myself to the emergency room after it bites me?  How long does rabies take to set in? Or should I just back up and close the door and leave it alone?”

You might not want me to be with you when there’s a high pressure situation.  I don’t think clearly.  I chose to inch my way toward the possum and see what happened.  The scratching sound got louder as I got closer.  “Hello!” I called.  Maybe it was a friendly possum.  The sound stopped.  Uh-oh.  Whatever it was it heard me and now we have reached the point of no return.  It’s me or the possum.

After a second the scratching started up again.  I was in a hill country horror movie.  Kill or be killed.

From 4 feet away I sort of got down on the floor to see if I could figure out what was under the bed without risking my life when all of a sudden a big CRACK sound startled me.  The window!  It came from the window!  Turns out Jacob was trimming limbs on the bush right outside of the ex-nursery and that bush is so overgrown that it was scratching against the window.  HUGE RELIEF!  I don’t have to wrestle a possum after all!  Trip to the emergency room averted.

This is my life.  Day after day I face death in some way or another.

It could be why I need so many naps.

The Great Pumphouse Makeover

The Great Pumphouse Makeover

In going back over my old posts, I realized that I never showed you a BIG project we did last summer.  How could I have missed it?!  I showed you my front porch makeover, the little deck makeover and when we fixed up the back of the house for $25.  But this is probably my favorite project of the year.

We have an old, dumpy building in our backyard.  We call it the pumphouse.  We call it that because it houses our water pump.  We are clever that way.   It has always been an eyesore in the back.  It’s an ugly, drafty, makes-me-crazy building.

It’s so ugly that I never took a picture of it.  James and the kids decided to start the project while I was gone, so we didn’t take any great before pictures.  This is one from when I was taking pictures of the pool (the red building on the left is the horse stall).

Let’s zoom in, shall we?

Both doors are falling off, the roof is rotting, nothing matches, it looked awful!

We couldn’t afford to tear it down and build a better building.  But we needed something to house the pump and all of our animal supplies.  So we decided to reface it and replace the rotting wood.  After they tore off the front James started rebuilding the wall support.  While he built, the kid carried scraps from our wood pile and laid it on the ground in order of size.  That way James could easily grab the length he needed.

We used all recycled wood from old projects or scraps that friends had given us.

Noah and I built new doors.  The only materials we bought new were screws and the metal for the doors.  I wanted to use metal to add another texture.  Otherwise it would have looked like a wood wall.

And here is the finished pumphouse.

It looks SO much better!  I’d been collecting old, rusty tools for a while just waiting for the day I had a place to hang them.  Now they are home on the pumphouse wall.

My goal is to completely cover the wall with old tools.  It’ll be fun to be on the lookout for them at flea markets and junkyards.

The whole project cost less than $100.  Most of that was for screws.  You’ve gotta attach it all together somehow!

I’m completely thrilled with how it turned out.  No longer do I walk out the back door and cringe over the ugly building I see.  It’s charming, simple and cost hardly anything.  If we can’t build a whole new barn….this is the next best thing.

I’m kinda glad I waited 6 months to show you.  This way I can tell you that it still looks great and we are enjoying having such a cute little building in the back instead of the ugliness that used to be there.

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An Animal Themed Weekend

An Animal Themed Weekend

The theme of my weekend was animals.  Well, it starts with animals and ends with animals, with a middle of various other activity.

I’ll just start with the saddest thing that happened a few days ago.  One of our miniature horses died.  He was acting funny the day before so we planned to call the vet the next morning, but when we went out to feed him he had died.  I had to gather the kids up and tell them the sad news….many tears.  Then James had to figure out what you do with a dead miniature horse.  Our city upbringing didn’t prepare us for this possibility.  A goldfish, yes.  Horse, no.

He figured it out, but it wasn’t easy.  It was absolutely heartbreaking to hear the other horse crying all day.  He misses his friend.

On Saturday James and I drove a few hours to the other side of Austin for a meeting he had to attend.  I sat in the lobby of a hotel all day while he and a dozen or so other people made important business decisions. You don’t want me in those kinds of meetings.  While someone is showing a chart of the income from last year I just look around and think about straightening all of the crooked pictures in the room.  My attention span is equal to that of a 2 year old.  Except when it comes to the crooked pictures.  I can’t stop thinking about the crooked pictures.

After the meeting was over I somehow convinced James to take me to IKEA, which was only half an hour away.  I sealed the deal by telling him that we are 4 chairs short for Thanksgiving and I thought we could get the cheapest chairs there.  That’s his love language, saving money.  If I said anything like, “They have the cutest Swedish Christmas trees made out of cardboard that you assemble yourself,” he would have driven right past IKEA with me hanging out the window crying.

The problem, however, was that his back was hurting.  When James’ back hurts he can’t stand still…he has to keep moving.  I had to glide around IKEA without stopping.  I’d circle tables and Expidit shelving…..pace back and forth past the glassware….all to keep him from noticing we were actually shopping.  If I let his back start hurting it would all be over and we’d have to leave.  I felt like a shark that can’t stop swimming or it will die.

We did find some $9 folding chairs and a few other little things.  I made it all the way through the store before his back started to hurt.  Score one for my expertize in constant motion.

Sunday morning while we were having family breakfast the unthinkable happened….we heard a little clicking sound in the kitchen.  Click-click—-clickclick.  My radar signals immediately started going off.  I knew what it was….the thing I hate the most about country life.  The thing that sends me into a frenzy of sleepless nights and terror.  A mouse.  James and the boys investigated and sure enough that’s what it was.  Don’t doubt the power of my radar.  It never fails.

I rushed to my room to hide while they set traps.  I considered dipping into my coveted truffles to help the sounds of the clicking get out of my head.  Thankfully, within an hour there were rumors that it had been caught and the hole where it was getting in had been covered.  It turns out that mice don’t have little rounded shaped “doors” in the floorboards behind which they build teeny furniture out of your old spools and matchboxes.  They are just gross, creepy, nasty little things and we will have no more discussion about it.

I spent the rest of Sunday sleeping.  Well, sleeping and/or watching movies and hanging with the kids.  I just decided it was time for a day off.  It was a much needed rest after the drama of the weekend.  That’s just too many dead animals for me.

Let’s have a better theme for next weekend.  By the sound of it my next weekend theme will be, “shopping for bargains at 4 in the morning.”  My four girls have Black Friday on the brain.  That may be just as tiring, but much more pleasant.

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A Time for Mourning and a Time for Dancing

A Time for Mourning and a Time for Dancing

I have so much to tell you about our weekend.  It started pretty rough.  I had a full day of adventures planned for Friday.  I was going to take my 3 little boys to the Witte Museum, out to lunch (a rare treat), do some shopping and maybe…if Mommy could stand up long enough, get some frozen yogurt.

We never got yogurt.  It was all too much.

We planned to leave the house at 8:30 Friday morning.  We prepped the night before.  Baths given, clothes laid out, breakfast ready to grab and go.  It was all going OK and we were headed out the door when Patience ran to me from the backyard.  She and Hope went to feed the dogs and they (brace yourself….this part is upsetting) found that our dog, Andy, had died unexpectedly during the night.

It was awful.  The girls were crying and the little boys, oblivious to the whole thing, were excitedly rushing out the door to get into the car.  James and Jacob were gone.  I was all dressed up for my day in the city and ready to leave.  {sigh}

Patience was really upset, poor thing.  I had to leave her with Grace while I figured out what to do.  I led Hope and Noah out to the backyard.  The 3 of us stood on the patio while I told Noah what had happened.  I handed him some gloves while I put gloves onto my own hands.  We discussed the options.  It was decided that we would wrap Andy in a tarp and put him in a place where other animals couldn’t get to him.  Then when James and Jacob got home the next day they could help us bury him.

While Hope went for the tarp I talked quietly with Noah.  He’s 13 years old.  He is bursting into manhood with the speed of a bullet and having some struggles.  I sensed this was a time God was giving him to step up and do something hard.  I quickly prayed, “God, help me get out of the way for you to do what you want with Noah.”

It was going to have to be Noah doing the heavy lifting.  Hope and I would help, but the weight of the job would fall to him.

“Can you do it?” I asked him seriously.  He took a deep breath, looked over to where he knew the dog was lying and paused.  I silently prayed.  After a minute he turned back to me and simply said, “Yes ma’am.  I can.

He’s always had a father or older brother around to carry the burden of these things.  It’s never fallen so completely on him before.

And he did it.  He never hesitated or winced.  It was a terrible job and yet, so good for my boy-turning-into-a-man.  He needed to know he can do something really, really hard and unpleasant if he has to.  Once, when it got really rough I stepped forward to help, but Noah said, “No Mom, I’ve got it.”  I was proud of him.

45 minutes, many tears and a gallon of sweat later, the boys and I were in the car and headed to the museum.  The rest of the day was busy and HOT.  We played some Tom Chapin in the car and danced while we drove.  We were late to the museum event, but still had a great time.  After the Witte we went to Freddy’s for lunch….that was really fun.  Just me and the 3 boys talking and eating and giggling over silly stuff that boys like.  Someone tooted and that sent the whole table into peals of laughter.  Boys.

By 4:30 the heat started getting to us and we headed for home.  I realized I’d had enough when I noticed I was holding my head in the cooler at Sam’s a little longer than necessary just to get a package of cheese.  Sorry boys, no yogurt.  Mommy is wiped out.  I let them all decide on one special snack-ish thing to get at Sam’s.

That’s the way we do it.  Everyone agrees in 2 minutes or Mommy decides.  And if Mommy decides there’s no guarantee it won’t be something no one really wants…like apples, or nothing at all.  After a little deliberation they chose Cheetos.  The backseat of my car is now is orange, but they were happy.

The rest of the weekend was spent working on the girls’ room makeover and cleaning.  The room is taking oh-so-much-longer than expected.  None of us can figure out why.  We’ve been at it full steam ahead for a week.  I hope this doesn’t turn into the project that just won’t end.

I am not a patient person and a week on one simple project is my limit.  I need the house back; I need the girls to stop sleeping on the couch; I need some frozen yogurt.

Sunday night made up for the rest of the long, hard weekend.  We cooked hot dogs on the grill and the whole family went swimming.  We do this fairly often and it’s such a delight for James and I to hold hands in one “corner” of the pool watching the kids all play and sing and drag each other around laughing.  The pool is full of activity and silliness and I marvel that this is my life.

My favorite part is how the boys and girls naturally separate.  At first everyone is kind of playing together and then, about 10 minutes after the rest of us, Jacob comes out.  As soon as the other boys see him getting in the pool it’s like a magnet.  Within minutes he’s pushing Levi in his little boat around as fast as he can with the 3 other brothers hanging onto his back.  Levi is shouting delightedly, “Go faster Jacob!” while the other boys try to take Jacob down.  Jacob’s laughing and I just watch; my heart melts.  In the middle of the pool, away from the wild and splashing boys the 4 girls hold hands and sing songs, taking turns singing lead, giggling and dancing around.

My family.  A blessing I never could have imagined as a girl growing up in the city.  It’s a life I couldn’t have dreamed for myself, but God knew it would bless my socks off every day.  Every moment, even the hard ones, bring swells of gratitude.

Despite the sadness of the loss of our sweet dog there was a joy to the weekend.  A story of a boy growing up, some rare Mommy time for Adam, Elijah & Levi, the girls’ room getting closer to the goal of being finished and the whole family together in the last moments before a busy week.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

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Don’t Let the Little Things Get You Down

Don’t Let the Little Things Get You Down

It was a weekend of little things, stresses that weren’t really anything important and me being sleepy.

It started on Friday morning at 6:30.  Jacob needed to take his driver’s test so he could (finally!) get his license.  See, we have some weird phenomenon going on over here, none of the kids really care about getting their driver’s license.  I finally had to put my foot down and insist.  So we went up there and dropped Jacob early and he waited in line until they opened their doors at 8:30.  Around then I drove back up there to leave him my van to take the test in.  Makes sense so far?

At 8:30 I drove back up there, squeezed through the crowded DPS office, found Jacob, handed him my keys and said I’d be waiting for him at the bakery across the street.  Then I walked to the bakery and set myself up for a few hours of quietly working on my computer while Jacob waited for his turn to take the test.  A few hours later I got a text from him, “I passed!!!”  I did a little dance in the bakery then replied with, “Wahoo!  Go get your paperwork and drive yourself over here to get me.”

About half an hour later I started to wonder why it was taking so long.  Then my phone rang.  It was James, “Um, are you OK?  Because Jacob just got home.  He forgot to bring you home with him!”

He just drove himself home, leaving me at the bakery in town with no car and nowhere to go.

I started laughing SO HARD.  I was laughing so much into the phone that James kept asking me if I had lost it completely.  “Honey, I can’t tell if you think it’s really funny or if you’ve gone hysterical.”

Maybe a little of both.

After Jacob came back and picked me up I took a nap.  I was exhausted from all of the excitement.

On Saturday we worked to fill orders in the shop.  We got all caught up and even created some new products.  My new scalloped chalkboard labels are already a new favorite of mine.

Then yesterday was the big stresser of the weekend.  We woke up to NO WATER coming out of the faucets.  For a few weeks our pump (we have our own well) has been acting up and the boys have been jiggling it and messing with it, trying to keep it running.  Then yesterday it went out completely.  No amount of jiggling or rigging with coat hangers was going to fix it. Yes, we do things the redneck way around here.

James called the pump people and they came out with huge equipment and spent a couple of hours pulling the looooong, 64′ to be exact, pipe out of the ground.  Thankfully, it was just some part that had rusted at the bottom and once they replaced that it worked again.  Whew!  That could have been a major situation.

I’m not sure why, but the pump thing and all of the little disasters that take place around here every day all threw me into feeling unusually upset and irritable.  I was feeling pretty grumpy.  James had the great idea to make it all better by taking us all out for dinner…a rare treat around here.  A little Mexican food can fix any bad mood.

And now that it’s Monday I feel like we have a fresh start.  Jacob has his license and I am home from the bakery.  Orders are filled, water is running and all is well with the world.  My mood is better and I am planning to spend some time with the kids….just being together.

Have a great week!

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It’s Been a DIY Month Around Here!

It’s Been a DIY Month Around Here!

There’s been a veritable DIY craze going on a my house for the past month.  Now that it’s too hot to actually work, it gives me a chance to slow down and take a few photos of the projects.

One of my favorites has to be the front porch.  Our front porch was looking pretty raggedy.  The floor boards at the end were all rotten and had big holes in them.  The paint on the floor was rubbed off from being pooped on by chickens then scrubbed.  So if you think having chickens is some kind of dream fantasy, remember that they don’t use a toilet and they eat the cat food.  Just sayin’.

Anyway, the porch was pitiful so we removed all of the furniture/toys and got the floor all clean.  Then we replaced the rotting boards, which was not as hard as I expected and makes me wonder why it took us so long to do it.

I changed the color a little.  I’m a change girl.  If I’m going to paint something I’m going to change the color.  It is my way.

So I went a little more gray.  After I painted it the kids kept calling it baby blue which was making me mad because it was supposed to be gray.  This would never do.

I thought maybe adding a rug would distract from the slight blue-ish tinge.  I had some black paint leftover from the back door makeover, so I painted the shutters on the front porch and some trim on the front door.  I love using leftover paint.  It makes me feel so thrifty.

Then I used same the paint to make a rug in the center of the opening from the front.  I like it….it adds charm.  And it was free.

You can see how I did it over at Life Your Way.  I’m sharing some of my home/DIY tips over there a couple of times a month.

Speaking of Home/DIY….I have something so exciting to show you.  I’ve put all of our top home and DIY projects all into one place.  There’s a new button in the “At the Point” sidebar or you can access it right here.

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you’ll pop over and check out my new Home/DIY gallery.

Great Summer Kid Activities

Great Summer Kid Activities

This week I’m mixing it up. I’m showing you some summer ideas for kids plus a couple of greats from my friends Gina and Andrea.  Don’t you just love blog friends?  They ROCK!

Now that we’ve heated up I need some fun things for the kids to do.  They can’t just swim for the next 3 months…or can they?

I am definitely going to try this game from The Taylor House.  It’s simple and the kids will LOVE it.

How about water balloon games? has some great ideas!

Oh we all need a snake….this strawberry shortcake snake from Disney’s Family Fun would be a huge hit around here.

For those long trips in the car, I love this coloring case made out of a DVD box by handmade by stacy vaughn.

For more GREAT summer ideas hop over to The Shabby Creek Cottage and see Gina’s outdoor light fixture she made.  I am amazed!

And my sweet friend Andrea at The Cottage Market has 25 outdoor ideas that will knock your socks off.

If you need a Pinterest invite let me know.  I’ll be happy to send you one!