I Solemnly Swear Never to Send You Scary Stories

I Solemnly Swear Never to Send You Scary Stories

September is over.

It’s been a whirlwind month and now that the cooler weather has arrived, I feel like I can stop and smell the….well…dead leaves.  Here in south Texas we pretty much go straight from green to brown.

Since I have been busy finishing up edits on my next book (released in Feb 2017…woohoo!) I have only been posting here on the blog once a week.  There are only so many hours in the day and I can’t write a book, 2 blog posts a week and keep up with homeschooling and my Netflix marathons.  Something has to give.

But I miss y’all when I don’t get to connect.  I wonder what you’re up to and so many of you will reach out to me and ask how I am if I don’t post as often.  You’re just the sweetest and I wish we could all have an afternoon sitting on my front porch and drinking oil infused water over Sonic ice.  Oh I get all goose-bumpy just thinking about it.

Since we can't sit on my porch and talk for hours, come follow my blog and be encouraged!!!

Since I adore you all so much I came up with a fun new way to connect with you.  I have a new service for sending you texts and I am so excited about it!  I mean, I only have 160 characters in the text so it’s short and sweet.  And I am sending them out only once a week, so it won’t use up your data or time.

Don't be the only one not in on the fun! Once a week you'll get a text of encouragement and brightness!  Text the word "pennington" to 31996!!! <3

Also, in case you’re not subscribed, I do have a newsletter.  Just look to the left and sign up at the bottom of my sidebar on the blog.  I only send out a newsletter about every 6-8 weeks because I am too tired.  But they’re fun and full of bonus info, so be sure you’re subscribed.

When they make space phone for the people living on Mars I will find a way to send you a message that bounces off the moon.  I can’t live without you.

I have a peaceful weekend planned.  I am going to read some books, watch some Netflix, hang out with friends and, unlike last weekend, NOT get 78 mosquito bites on my ankles.  I didn’t even realize I was getting bit until I woke up scratching like a flea covered dog at 3:00 in the morning.  I had just gotten a new bottle of Purification and don’t think I didn’t sleep with it under my pillow.  Not because it would give me sweet dreams, but because I am too lazy to get up twice so I wanted it to be within reach in case I woke up scratching again.  The only thing that can get me up more than once during the night is my bladder.  Occasionally it gets mad at me and we argue about who is in charge.  That’s when I grab a bottle of K&B (a little talked about Young Living product) and put it under my pillow too.  (y’all, seriously, K&B is amazing for telling your bladder who’s in charge!)

Now, I am not recommending putting bottles under your pillow.  That’s what bedside tables are for.  But I had a traumatic incident once that keeps me from using my table during the night.  A few ears ago I groped for something on the bedside table in a half asleep stupor, knocked it onto the floor, reached down to the floor between my bed and table to find it, then felt something touch my hand.

I screamed, it ran off and I have never used my bedside table since.  Now its only use is holding a lamp and other things I never need between 11:00pm and 6:00am.

Kids, don’t ask Aunt Lisa if there are really monsters under your bed because she will shout “YES!” and run away crying.

Now that we have that story out of the way, be sure to go get your phone while you’re thinking about it and text the word “pennington” to the number 31996.  I promise not to text you any scary stories like the one I just shared.  I will send be fun things about God loving us and being joyful in any situation (like when a mouse touches your hand, just as an example) and good news.  You’ll love it!!

Have a great weekend!

Be sure to hop over to Facebook and let me know how you’re doing!

Have You Hugged the Sun Lately?

Have You Hugged the Sun Lately?

Oh my stars the weather here has been amazing!  I literally just go stand outside a few times a day and hold my arms out like the sun might actually give me a hug.  I don’t worry about what the neighbors will think as the drive past me standing in my driveway like a sun worshipper; they think we’re weird anyway.  I stretch my arms out and close my eyes to just soak in the perfection, because I know that in a New York minute it will all be over and I’ll be sweltering for the next 5 months.

Spring is my favorite.  When you step out the front door the day just greets you with cheerful excitement.  Sunshine!  Birds!  Flowers!!  And I’m not even an overly cheerful person, so it must be amazing for really happy people.

The change in weather means it’s time to switch the clothes around.  I went through my closet and moved the cold weather clothes to the top where they won’t be easy to access.  And the light, breathy clothing has taken up residence in the prime spot….right in front of me when I walk in to choose an outfit.  There’s no reason for me to need the heavier items now.  I get hot when it’s 60° outside.  I won’t need a sweater again until at least November.

While my clothing needs are taken care of, I do need to find myself a new pair of sunglasses.  My current pair is about 8 years old and showing signs of wear and tear.  Actually, I have been searching for a new pair for the past couple of years.  I am too picky about this, especially since I change everything else so frequently your head would spin.  I switch purses at least every week, I like to wear different shoes each day, I try new hairstyles, new jewelry, I even got a new wedding band that I’ve been wearing for the past year just because I like a change….but my sunglasses I’ve been wearing since 2007.  I don’t even understand myself sometimes.

I don’t want a cheap pair because they slip down and really aren’t pretty.  I want pretty.  But I also refuse to pay $300 for a pair of sunglasses.  I mean, can that be right?  Of course, if you divide up the average amount of time I will likely wear them that’s actually only $3.16/month.  Hey, I like that math!

It will be a while before I have time to go sunglasses shopping again.  We stay pretty busy in the spring.  This coming weekend we have several weddings to attend, so we will be driving around from town to town for three days.  It just occurred to me yesterday that I don’t have a wedding gift for any of these couples.  I looked at their registries and nothing popped out at me so I guess it’s the old cash gift.  People like cash….just go get yourself what you want.  I may toss in a bottle of a favorite essential oil for my own enjoyment, maybe lavender or Stress Away.  In fact, if you’re looking for a great gift idea for me, that’s pretty much what I’d want, a bottle of Young Living essential oil and some cash.  There, now I’ve talked myself into the greatest wedding gift I can think of.

I read somewhere that a popular wedding gift is a KitchenAid Stand Mixer.  Say What?!  Who spends that much money on a wedding gifts?  Probably the same people buying $300 sunglasses.  I’m more of a $25 in a money shaped envelope with a funny joke in it kind of person.

I’ll toss in a sunny day hug for good measure.

Have a great weekend!

I’d Stop to Relax, but Then I Would See the Messy House

I’d Stop to Relax, but Then I Would See the Messy House

How was your weekend?

I decided to spend part of the day Saturday sitting outside feeling the delightful 70° breeze.  Here in Texas we never know when the weather will change so I wanted to enjoy it while it was perfection.  It seemed like such a great idea until a few minutes into my relax time I started looking around on the porch at all of the neglect.  There were cobwebs and bits of trash and I even noticed a random Christmas decoration that had been left behind in the cleanup after the holidays.  It was either go back inside and pretend I didn’t see it or stop relaxing and start cleaning.  I chose the former.  I had already planned to deep clean my bathroom later that day and didn’t feel the need to make any other improvements to my life at the moment.

I was actually looking forward to cleaning my bathroom.  It, too, had been neglected with all of my Summiting and holidays and trips.  I had purchased some Playtex gloves last week for the job because it makes me feel very grown up.  When I was a girl it seemed that all women wore pearls and Playtex gloves when they did their womanly work.  I skipped the pearls, but the gloves just felt right.

I spent almost the entire afternoon chipping away at the dirt and grime until the whole room shone like a new penny.  I didn’t just scrub, I also cleaned out the cabinet and tossed the junk I never used in the garbage and rearranged my essential oils.

I have switched up my oily routine and wanted to have those I am using daily all together in one easily accessible spot, so I did some reorganizing and relocating.  I used two of my little wall shelves for my daily bottles and put my extras in a drawer in alphabetical order.  OCD much?

On Sunday we decided to go worship with some friends in the afternoon and just hang out at home in the morning.  We were chillin’ when there was a knock at the door.  It was a FedEx guy delivering a baby gate I had ordered.  I had no idea those guys worked on Sunday.  It’s kinda sad really.  They need a day off.

But I was excited to get my package.  I had ordered the gate because we have decided to keep our puppy out of the back of the house (someday I’ll write another long post about how I can’t get this dog to stop peeing on my carpet).  We owned a baby gate from the olden days that we had been using to block the hallway, but my daughters and I were having trouble stepping over it.  The boys kept telling us they could get over it just fine and didn’t see what our problem was.  Yeah, wear a skirt and gain a few pounds then talk to me about it.

The final straw came last week when I actually fell trying to climb over it.

I thought about making something that would open easily for us to pass through, but then wondered if maybe they have invented something like that in the 8 years since I shopped for baby accessories.  Lo and behold….they did!  I ordered a gate on Amazon that opens and closes easily….halleluyer!

I gave the FedEx box to the boys and asked them to install it for me.  They grabbed it up, each wanting to get their hands on the new project.  I figured they could handle it so I left them with it and went into my bedroom to do some straightening.  Sounds reasonable, right?  Well after about 20 minutes they came barreling in my room, “Mommy!  Where’s the drill?!”

Me: Um, it’s in the workshop, but WAIT!  Before you go get it, what do you need it for?
Boy 1: We need to drill holes in the wall to put the gate up!
Boy 2: I can’t wait….I have never used a drill before!
Boy 3: We drew big circles on the wall where the holes go like the instructions said!

Uhhhh…….I decided I’d better go check things out before I ended up with giant holes the size of quarters in my walls.

Sure enough, the instructions with no words, only pictures, did seem to suggest drilling holes in the wall.  But upon further inspection we decided that was probably only necessary if the gate wouldn’t stay put on its own.  I suggested they try installing the gate WITHOUT holes, which was an extreme disappointment to them.  It worked.  Crisis averted.

Later that afternoon I decided to surprise James by going through my February receipts and email him what each expense was for.  Usually we go through them at the end of each month and he has to sit there for hours while I torturously try to make my brain remember why I spent $12 at Target on the 4th.  So I sat down and typed it all out and emailed it to him with the subject line, “SURPRISE!”  Later that night he thanked me for the report and said how much he appreciated me doing that.  He said he was only confused by one thing.  After my iTunes purchase of $16.50 I wrote, “Ooops! Sorry.”  “Honey, we don’t have an ooops category.”

All I could say was, “Well we should.  I mean, how does one categorize in-app purchases?”

He didn’t say anything else.  I think I proved my point.

Personally I am feeling pretty good about my semi-productive weekend.  First, no more falling over the hallway gate, my bathroom is shiny clean and I cut my monthly budget meeting time in half.  And all without creating holes in my walls.  I even got a nice nap on Sunday.  It was so great I might even go clean up the front porch now.

I hope you had an equally terrific weekend.  Come on over to Facebook and let me know what you did!

One Rotten Pumpkin Can Spoil the Whole Bunch

One Rotten Pumpkin Can Spoil the Whole Bunch

Where did Monday go?  I think I missed it somehow.  In fact, I somehow missed the entire weekend because when I sat down this morning to recount the past few days I can remember nothing.  Either it was so simple there’s nothing to remember or I blocked out something dramatic.  Or option number 3….I’m old and my memory is shot.

Whichever excuse, I have nothing to share about the past few days.

With the end of October looming, I am doing some holiday prep.  I don’t like these holidays that sneak up and are over before you can think, so I like to plan out some of the tasks early and get them out of the way.  I made a few Christmas lists and Thanksgiving invites and I set the pumpkins out on the porch.  Finally.

I bought 5 pumpkins about a month ago and they have been sitting in a pile at the edge of the porch ever since.  I have so many ideas for what to do with them, but in the end I just plopped them on a bale of hay with some mums and called it a day.  One of the pumpkins had already gone rotten, so I felt like it was becoming an urgent situation.  I didn’t want the rot to cross over to the other pumpkins and ruin them all, so I spent about 10 minutes setting them around on the porch.  I don’t foresee having any spare time in the next few weeks to decorate the porch more than this so I am settling for git-er-done over Pinterest-worthy.  Story of my life.

I also got some mini pumpkins for the mantle, but it’s not looking hopeful that they will get put up there.  It will only get done if I have a burst of creative energy at the same moment I have unexpected free time.  In other words, not gonna happen.  It’s OK, I can use the mini pumpkins for the Thanksgiving table decorations if they’re still sitting on the floor by the fireplace in another month.

In case you’re also doing some holiday planning, don’t miss my Holiday Gift Guides for Men and Women.  I filled them with products that our family owns and loves!

The next few days are filled with being home and working on my next book while homeschooling the boys.  I went to Costco and picked up easy meals (in other words, expensive) and told the boys to be prepared to do their own cooking and cleaning while I am wrapping up this manuscript.  Frankly, they are thrilled since their meals consist of frozen pizza and pre-made burgers.  I recommended they add a salad to their meal at least once a day, but the chances of that are slimmer than me making a Pinterest worthy fall mantle.

At least there will plenty of lettuce and greens for me to have all the brain food I need while writing.

We have worked out a schedule for the rest of the week where I am giving them lessons while I work.  It involves them checking in with me every hour to let me know what they are doing and I can give instructions.  I am writing each boy’s check-in down on a tablet next to me so I don’t forget which boy was supposed to be doing what and when.  If I don’t write it down then 3 hours will go by and I will get up to stretch and wonder where the boys are.  I won’t remember how long it’s been since they came to talk to me or what they were supposed to be doing.  They are getting too smart to fall for that, “So…. what do YOU think you were supposed to be doing?!  I mean, I know what it is, but do you?” routine.

Motherhood ain’t for the weak.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your week with your family and get at least a few pumpkins to decorate with.  Just set it in the middle of your table and enjoy!

Be sure to follow up with the conversation on Facebook!


Good Thing I’m Not Keeping Score

Good Thing I’m Not Keeping Score

In case you’re keeping score in the challenge between me and my messy closet, it’s closet 1-Lisa 0.

A week has gone by since I stepped into the disaster and declared war on the pile.  I have done, oh, pretty much nothing to get it cleaned up since then.  I did pick up a few things and either threw them away or found a place for them.  But then I also moved some more junk into the closet that takes up more space than the 3 things I removed.  So it’s a wash.

And the next 2 weeks aren’t looking promising for getting any closet cleaning done.  Please tell me I am not the only person who looks at their calendar and sees a light schedule, then a week later it’s full beyond what seems humanly possible to accomplish.

I thought I had a few weeks of free time before James and I leave for our second honeymoon.  But, as life inevitably goes, I now have something planned for almost every day between now and then.  Oh well.  for every point my closet racks up, I will throw away two unnecessary items later.  No stinkin’ tiny room with shelves is going to beat me!

Speaking of full schedules, I sometimes long for the days when we were less mobile and less busy.  Although, if that means I’d also have no A/C I might have to stick with the hustle and bustle of 2015.  I’m useless if it gets above 73°.

I’m serious.  When it’s 73°, I’m comfortable.  If it hits 74°, I’m sweating and leaning over the oscillating fan.

James says I’m like the princess and the pea, only with the thermometer.

We had a lovely weekend.  On Friday night we went to a wedding where we were friends with the families of both the bride and the groom.  That makes it fun because there are very few strangers and you get to kick it up with people you haven’t seen in a while.  It was absolutely lovely, we were outside for the ceremony and inside for the reception and, while I am sure there were plenty of headaches going on behind the scenes, to those of us not in-the-know, it seemed to go off without a hitch.

All of us agreed that one of our favorite, so simple, things was the Oreo “cake” that they had instead of a groom’s cake.  It was a fun dessert!  There was a milk station right next to it.


And the great thing about having the wedding on Friday night is that it left the whole weekend free for us to do other things.  My older kids went back out on Saturday to play volleyball with the wedding party friends while the younger boys and I worked on my front porch.  It was entirely too gorgeous outside to be stuck inside my closet, plus I really just wanted some mom/boy time.  So we took it slow and cleaned off everything around the porch and rearranged and added some new plants.  It took us almost all day but we had a great time.


The flowers perk up the whole place!  Of course, with my black thumb they’ll be dead in 6 months.


Sunday was church and naps.  I’m pretty sure when God said to rest on the 7th day He meant to take a 2 hour nap that is so deep you wake up not sure where you are or what your name is.  And so I did.

This coming week we have something happening every day from birthdays to dinner parties to appointments in the city.  Can’t complain about that!

Have a great week!




Summer Home Tour 2014

Summer Home Tour 2014

I just fixed up my porch for the summer, which inspired me to fluff up the rest of the place.  I’ve been so excited for you to come for a visit.

A gorgeous patriotic front porch!

I painted a houndstooth rug to make guests feel welcome, and so we could easily wash the chicken messes off.  Chickens are soooo charming, until they poop on your porch.

A painted rug on the porch! Cool!

Come on through the screen door and sit a spell…..

A beautiful front porch for summer! -- The Pennington Point
With 9 kids, we need a lot of seating and there’s not much space.  It’s not easy to do in this little bitty house, but there’s always an extra seat for you!

A gorgeous summer home tour! -- The Pennington Point

I made the coffee table with a furniture dolly I found at a flea market, some galvanized pipes and the glass top from my old coffee table!  It’s happiness disguised as wood and metal.

A Coffee table made with an old furniture dolly and some galvanized pipes.

I think I’m in love.

A gorgeous summer home tour! -- The Pennington Point

It’s always nice to see things from another angle.

A gorgeous summer home tour! -- The Pennington Point

My painted piano is one of my favorite pieces in the house.

A gorgeous summer home tour! I love this painted piano -- The Pennington Point

This summer I went with an outdoor theme….birds and bugs and butterflies.  I was going for a look of “kids exploring the summer season”.

A gorgeous summer home tour! -- The Pennington Point

I carried that theme into my dining room/homeschool room, which is open to the living room through 2 wide doorways.

A gorgeous summer home tour! -- The Pennington Point

One of my girls found a speed limit sign at a resale shop and snatched it up for me.  She knows just what I like!

A gorgeous summer home tour! This speed limit sign on the mantle is great! -- The Pennington Point

A turn to the left and you see my chalkboard wall.  We change it out seasonally. (And in case you’re wondering….the table is a ping pong table with a vinyl tablecloth over it.)

A gorgeous summer home tour! Love this ping pong table as a dining room table. -- The Pennington Point

I recently added the gorgeous shutters to the dining room from blinds.com and I love them with a passion.  We added trim to them, like we did in my bedroom.  Come back soon ‘cuz I’m gonna show you how we did it!

The long desk is where my kids use their computers (that’s what the little cabinet below holds) and do schoolwork.  It doubles as a buffet when we have parties or holiday meals.

A beautiful chalkboard wall in this summer home tour.

Oh!  And did you see the lights we made?!

Make lights from wire baskets

The chalkboard wall is full of painted jars and leaves and things the kids might bring in from their outside adventures.  I spray painted the mason jars….eeee!  Cute!

A gorgeous summer home tour! Love this kids' summer decorating theme.... painted mason jars and outdoor touches
The other side of the room is where we do school lessons.

A gorgeous summer home tour! This is the homeschool room, very organized. -- The Pennington Point

I keep all of our school supplies in these baskets.  It’s great to have everything right there when we need it.

A gorgeous summer home tour! And organized homeschool space. -- The Pennington Point

Back in the living room you may have noticed a ladder…..lots of people ask what’s up there.

A gorgeous summer home tour! -- The Pennington Point

It’s a loft where 2 of my boys sleep.  But even more importantly, it’s where we keep the Legos.  5 boys and many years worth of teeny, tiny, overpriced, messy….oops…..sorry….I’m getting off track.

There’s a bed on each end of the room with storage in between.  I actually got quite a bit of storage in there considering the room has serious limitations.

A boy's loft and Lego room. Small space with big ideas!

The loft has only one real wall, so we built shelves to fit along the entire thing and boxes to fit on the shelves and voila!  Lego storage.

A boy's loft and Lego room. Small space with big ideas!

The wood on the floor is the door…..so fun!  And there’s a little round window in the wall.  It’s a really cute room.

I used these fabulous metal cabinets from IKEA across the other side of the room so each boy has one for his personal stuff.  On each end we built a shelf that faces the bed so they have a place for their nighttime needs like clocks and books and pieces of trash.

A boy's loft and Lego room. Small space with big ideas!

Then we built a shelf in the center to hold all of the manuals and instructions that my boys insist on keeping.  The whole thing makes one long surface on which the boys can create Lego masterpieces.

A boy's loft and Lego room. Small space with big ideas!

Through the kitchen and out the door, you get to the luxurious poolside lounge.  Last year’s cushions didn’t survive the Texas weather, so I had to change it all up.  I have some plans to improve it even more, but this is what it looks like right now….come back in a couple of weeks for an update on the cushions and throw pillows!

A gorgeous summer home tour! This backyard deck decorated with junk is a favorite! -- The Pennington Point

I found these turbines in my neighbor’s trash one morning when I was walking.  You can bet I grabbed them up and carried them home!

A gorgeous summer home tour! This backyard deck decorated with junk is a favorite! -- The Pennington Point

It’s such a great place to hide from the kids….oh, um….I mean relax.

A gorgeous summer home tour! This backyard deck decorated with junk is a favorite! -- The Pennington Point

On the opposite side of the yard is my husband’s office.  The kids and I surprised him in February with a front office makeover while he was out of town.

A gorgeous summer home tour! Outdoor office makeover. -- The Pennington Point

The last space I want to show you is my little office.  It used to be my son’s Lego room, but as you saw, we moved all of that to their loft bedroom.  Then it was a place where the kids could study, but they didn’t really use it much.  Now it’s my office.  Things change quickly around here.  Don’t blink or you’ll miss something.

The chest under my desk-table is filled with special things for the boys to play with when they are hanging out in there with me.

A gorgeous summer home tour! Love this small office space. -- The Pennington Point

It’s where I sit and try to think of something eloquent to say.

A gorgeous summer home tour! -- The Pennington Point

Well that’s all folks!  Thanks for stopping by!

A gorgeous summer home tour! -- The Pennington Point

You can see last year’s tour featuring other rooms in my house HERE.


How to Paint a Houndstooth Rug

How to Paint a Houndstooth Rug

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point

Last week I promised to share how I painted the rug on my front porch.  And while I often break those promises and truthfully wonder why you ever trust me, I am happy to say that I actually pulled myself together and am doing it.  I know.  It’s as big a surprise to me as it must be to you.

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point

It started with a freshly painted surface.  We cleared the porch, scrubbed it and gave it a new coat of paint.  It’s SO good to have that floor clean again!  If only for 5 minutes.

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point

For the base of the rug, we marked off a rectangle the size of the rug we wanted.  We didn’t tape it off because the last time I did that it pulled up the other paint and it just works better to draw a line and carefully paint up to it.   For this we used some leftover semi-gloss paint from another project.  You can use pretty much any water based paint.

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point

By the way, I keep saying “we” because my daughter Hope helped me a ton with this project!

Next I made a stencil.  I found a houndstooth pattern online, blew it up and printed it out.

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point
Then I cut it out of four pieces of foam sheets in that shape.

How to paint a houndstooth rug -- The Pennington Point
Next, and this is the best part, (I felt a little proud of this idea) I glued three of the foam cutouts together then glued them to a piece of glass (I had from a broken picture frame).  Be sure to put duct tape on the edge of the glass so you don’t cut yourself!  Also, you really must use three layers of foam sheets so it’s high enough to make a nice thick “stamp”.

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point
The fourth piece will be used for spacing.  Yep.  It’s awesome.  You can say it.

We used a foam brush to put black (again, leftover from another project) paint on our handmade stamp.  After a few times we were able to make one application of the paint work for two stamps.

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point
We snapped some lines to keep it straight.  Although, if I were doing it again I would snap a line for almost every angle instead of just the few we did.  It went a little crooked.  But live & learn.  You’ll do it better.

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point

We stamped the first one in a corner then used the “spacer” to guide how far down to put the next one.  That’s why the glass was so great.  We could see exactly where we were placing the image.  If the image didn’t stamp out all the way, it was easy to add a little paint and place it right back down and rock it a little if necessary.  But I wasn’t going for a fully filled in image.

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point

Occasionally we had to peel the black paint off our stamp because it would get too thick and not stamp well.  But it was pretty easy to do.

Along the edges we would paint up/prep the stamp, then lie a piece of newspaper down along the edge so the stamp would only paint the rug and not go beyond that.  Make sense?

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point

I used a pencil eraser (just dip the eraser in the paint and make a little circle) and a clean sponge brush to make fringe along the edges. (sorry for the blurry picture, but if we had to wait for me to take another one then this promised post would not have happened)

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point
The whole project took about a day and a half.

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point

Thanks for stopping by.  Be sure to follow me on Instagram for a steady stream of porch pictures because I can’t help myself.

My Beautiful Summer Porch

My Beautiful Summer Porch

It was past time to repaint the front porch floor, so we painted it last weekend.  That also meant painting over the old painted rug.  Even though I loved that rug, I couldn’t do the same thing again.  What’s the fun of keeping it the same when you can do something fresh and different?!

I really liked the black and white though, so I decided to keep the colors but tone down the pattern a little and move some of the furniture around for a completely different look.  Buh-bye rocking chairs, hello pew.

A beautiful front porch for summer! -- The Pennington Point

The houndstooth rug is painted on….cute huh?!  I loves it.

A beautiful front porch for summer! -- The Pennington Point

I will do a tutorial on how we did it next week, but I couldn’t wait to show you the porch all cozy and ready for you to stop over for a visit!  I’ll have water with peppermint or citrus essential oils all ready for ya!

A beautiful front porch for summer! -- The Pennington Point

I picked up my Relax sign at a roadside stand a few weeks ago.  It’s the perfect message for our guests when they arrive.  I want it to be a place where people can rest and find peace.

A beautiful front porch for summer! -- The Pennington Point

And we got the bunting and flag screens back out….they just make me happy.

A beautiful front porch for summer! -- The Pennington Point

I really wish you could smell it out there.  The vines are to.die.for.  I also put some potted plants in old buckets and added my collection of gas cans that I have gathered over the years.  No reason for gas cans.  I just like ’em.

A beautiful front porch for summer! -- The Pennington Point

I filled my little flea market shopping cart with games and balls to encourage family togetherness.

A beautiful front porch for summer! -- The Pennington Point

 Now that the porch is dressed up for summer I want to have a picnic or something.

A beautiful front porch for summer! -- The Pennington Point

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My Full Work Force and Sore Muscles

My Full Work Force and Sore Muscles

My family gave me the best gift ever for Mother’s Day…..a whole day of work, no questions asked.  They’d just do whatever I wanted.

When they offered this, I probably should have just smiled a sweet southern thank you and let them off the hook.  But I am not that kind of girl.  Oh no.  I made a to-do list the size of War and Peace.  Nothing makes this mamma happier than getting some projects done and the house squeaky clean.


But I have to back up a couple of days to last Thursday night when James and I decided to do something so out of our comfort zone that we might not survive it.  We did the first day of a 6 week program designed to tone your body.  Yes, tone.  Why we decided to do this, I have no idea.  We are not those people who walk around looking all healthy and fit and make other people swoon.  That’s just not us.  And our muscles have cried out in rebellion to the whole idea, leaving us limping and wincing every time we sit.  And you don’t even want to know what kind of howls were happening when we had to climb into our big van yesterday morning to get to church.  Getting into that thing is like climbing one of those rock walls….I always wish I had a harness for safety when I grab onto the handle and heave myself up.

Now fast forward back to Saturday morning when James got up at 6:30 to work outside with the boys because one of the things on my list was cleaning out the beds surrounding the guest house.  These beds looked like something a haunted mansion would have around its perimeter.  Scary, dead and who know what lurks beneath.  And it was only made worse by the frightening wincing noises James made every time he bent to pull a weed.  I felt a little sorry for him, but not enough to tell him to stop.

Busy people were working all over the place.  It’s times like these when having a whole passel of kids pays off.  There were children from the back field to the front porch fulfilling my every wish.  We got a ton of work done and I was so, so happy.  The porch is all clean, deck railing repaired, guest house beds all cleaned up, inside spiffy clean, some shelves rearranged, and so much more!

For fun, here’s a flashback to 4 years ago when the kids all helped me build the deck around the pool….the same deck we spent time repairing rails on this past weekend.  You can click on the picture to read that post.


Sunday we went to church then they took me out to lunch for Mother’s Day.  We only eat out once a year or so considering it costs $125+ and we have to wait an hour for a table big enough.  So that was a treat for sure!  Afterward we went home and hung out for a while then I took the best nap….oh so good!  In the evening I went for a walk with some of the kids and ended the day by watching my least favorite team get eliminated on The Amazing Race.  I can’t think of anything more perfect.

This week I have a full schedule, but since it all involves some version of not leaving Texas or flying on an airplane I am a happy camper.

Especially considering I am now safe to limp to the guest house without fear of being eaten attacked by a dead plant.

A “Friend” Themed Weekend

A “Friend” Themed Weekend

The theme of this past weekend was “Friends….old and new.”

We went to the Forge Conference where we knew not a soul.  It was exciting to meet a whole new group of people that desire to live their lives for Christ.  The fellowship is so sweet and the teaching at the conference was hard hitting….just how I like it.  These guys weren’t taking it easy on us.

Challenge me, Lord, to become more like You.

By the end of the weekend we had made fast friends with several families and hope to grow those relationships. Don’t you just love finding new pockets of people that encourage you and help to strengthen your vision?  Me too!

On Sunday after the conference several of the families came to our house for lunch and some last minute fellowship before getting back to the real world.  It was so refreshing for my kids to be around other people who make the same weird choices we make.  Their discussions centered around what God is doing in their lives, how they like to study the Bible, honoring their parents, etc.  They all hung out together….older ones and younger ones.  Everyone was included and all were welcome.  It is the way our family lives, but we rarely come across it in other families and it was a welcome treat for my children!

In the middle of the conference, on Saturday evening, James and I slipped away and drove to Austin (about 2.5 hours away) to take my parents out for their 50th anniversary.  My sister and I planned a nice evening and we surprised them by inviting 5 couples that have been dear friends of my parents for the past 35+ years.  It was so much fun to walk with them into the restaurant and see their expressions when they saw their friends waiting for them.  My sister and I both cried when we saw Mom crying and it went from there to a perfect evening of visiting with old friends.

The old friends reminded me of where I came from.

The new friends renewed my vision for where I want to go.

Doesn’t get much better than that folks.

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