A Little Makeover & Other Stuff

A Little Makeover & Other Stuff

There’s been a lot going on around here in the past week.  I have things to say.  Important things like the fact that I have a headache from jump starting my diet again.

I was on the plateau from you-know-where for the whole month of February.  I figured when it lasted more than a week that I needed to do a little jump start, so I went back to the beginning on Monday.  I am watching my food more carefully and not veering one bit.  Apparently I have been eating little cheats that I didn’t realize ‘cuz I’ve already lost a pound and I’m climbing the walls wishing for a snack.

I have to keep reminding myself that it will pass.

The good news is I figured out how to maintain without trying.  The bad news is I still want to lose about 25 more pounds, so I need to cut the snacking out.

Did I tell you that I am doing a 5K at the end of this month.  I know, it’s crazy huh?!

Speaking of short marathons, last week while James was in California the kids and I worked out some big surprises for him.  We gave the front of his office a budget makeover.

His office is a garage that we enclosed a long time ago.  It was in desperate need of some TLC.  I mean it was sad folks.  So sad.  I’d walk out there every day and wonder how he could stand it.  But he’s a guy.  He didn’t think much of it.  Sooo maybe the makeover was more for me.  I’m starting to see that now.


a little budget makeover

We built a deck across the front with old lumber and made a small awning for above the door.  We painted the door and touched up the wall, cleaned everything and added accessories.  It was such fun to work on it all together!

a little budget makeover

Oh, and we made him a new sign.  The whole thing was a graduation gift for finishing law school.

a little budget makeover

He was so surprised when he got home.  I managed to miraculously keep it all hidden for the whole week.  I had to hold back complaints, questions and my general excitement at doing this project without his help.

I am a pretty good secret keeper, except from him.  Him I tell everything.  Even when his eyes start to glaze over I just keeeeeep talkin’.

Thanks for listening.  Have a great week!

Babies, IKEA and Archery All Rolled Into One

Babies, IKEA and Archery All Rolled Into One

As each quiet summer weekend passes behind me I feel myself getting more and more  relaxed into just being home and hanging with my peeps.  It’s so delightful.

On Friday I headed for Austin early so I could go meet my new niece…less than a week old.  I went all alone because, frankly, I wanted to go to IKEA while I was there and this is my kids’ least favorite place in the entire world.  Or the dentist.  It’s a toss up.

I met my friend Lindsay who blogs over at Makely Home and we had a ball walking through the store talking about how we could alter the pieces and where we would put them in our houses.  It’s my favorite thing to play…..I call it The New Furniture Game.  What you do is pretend you could have furniture that actually fits in your house with plenty of storage and it looks nice too.  I love this game.  This may be part of the reason my kids would prefer to skip it.

Then I headed over to see my sister and her new baby and got my snuggle on for a few hours.  I held that baby as much as possible since the next time I see her she won’t be teeny anymore.  Enough about that or I will start to cry over the loss of all of my babies and how mad I am at them for growing up so fast.

I did at last give her back to my sister and drove home pouting.

Since Saturday is our regular cleaning day, I announced at breakfast that the whole family would be washing their sheets and we made a sheet washing schedule.  With 10 beds I tend to lose track over the which beds have been changed and I get all paranoid that someone will be sleeping in weeks worth of grime so I make myself crazy trying to wash them all in 2 days.  I picture myself outside with the birds singing while I hang laundry on the line, but really it’s more like a military operation with me at the helm threatening 50 push ups for the person who can’t keep up.

It’s even more fun than the New Furniture Game.

After a day of cleaning we were all ready for some family silliness, so we had a pool party after dinner.  Just the 11 of us splashing around.  Actually, James and I tried to keep hidden in our little corner of the pool while we watched the kids make up racing games and targets and all kinds of activities that I am almost certain were invented purely to torture nervous mothers.

On Sunday after breakfast we got out the archery equipment and the whole family sat in the shade taking turns shooting at the target.  My son Noah is really the archery guy, but the rest of us each participated and enjoyed some time outside.  I took my turn with the bow and was doing pretty well until my release hand pulled back and I hit myself in the face.  I don’t care enough about archery to walk around with a black eye, so I stopped.  It’s not for wimps, and I am definitely a wimp.

The rest of Sunday can be summed up in two words: Nap Time.

Don’t you love a relaxing family style weekend?  Me too!  I can’t think of a better way to wrap up summer.

Have a great week my friends.




I can sum our weekend up in one word: satisfying.

On Friday we finished the bathroom makeover and what a relief to have the bathroom open for business again! Being on bathroom short for a week was cramping my style.

You can go here to see all of the pictures….it has been transformed from disgusting to darling.  So far the boys have actually kept it clean, although that could be credited to me following them around barking reminders about closing the lid and putting away their toothpaste.

On Saturday morning we had a family meeting to discuss everyone’s job for the day.  My guys were driving back from their week at school and I wanted the whole place to be spic and span for James’ homecoming.  I know how much I like a nice, clean house to come home to when I have been away, so I wanted the same for him.

We divided the chores and I decided that I would mow the yard.  I had already taken my morning walk and for some reason I was feeling especially tired.  But this was for my sweetie and nothing was going to stop me from making a big welcome home for him.  So I mowed, Noah cleaned the yard, Adam cleaned up the front eating area and porch, Elijah cleaned the back patio and decks, Faith cleaned his office and washed windows and the other girls cleaned the house.  I’m not kidding when I say we worked like crazy people.

After a couple of hours I passed the mowing off to Hope so I could do some work inside.  When I saw how cute she looked on the mower I knew I should have given her the job earlier.

At last the house and yard were perfect.  That meant one thing: NAPTIME.

Saturday evening after the boys were home we enjoyed some family togetherness.  We all listened to their tales of adventure and funny stories from their trip.  I just love listening to my boys talk.  That night I slept.  I never sleep better than when all my chicks are together.

Sunday was what I like to call a glorious nothing day.  It started when I got home from my walk.  It was so nice and cool so I decided to lie in my hammock before going inside.  Within 5 minutes…yep…I fell asleep.

I think I was out there for about an hour before one of the kids came to ask me if they could have some cereal.  Oops.  Sorry kids.  I guess you need food.

The rest of the day was spent sitting, reading, talking, sleeping, talking some more.  It was a little piece of heaven.

Speaking of reading, I just finished reading “Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health” and I was riveted by this book.  Let’s just say that I may have frightened my family by making them listen to me read excerpts all afternoon.  I think I saw Jacob cringe at least once when he realized that he may never eat another biscuit.  This book has opened my eyes.

Having been off of all wheat (or any grains) myself for the past couple of months has made such a difference in my life that reading this just confirmed what I already have discovered.  If I hadn’t made this change there was no way on Saturday I would have been able to take my morning walk then mow then clean and still be able to hang out with the family that night.

All in all I’d say it was a perfect weekend.  A whole day of work followed by a whole day of rest.  Doesn’t get much better than that.

Have a wonderful week!

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10 Random Topics in One Post (or Something for Everyone)

10 Random Topics in One Post (or Something for Everyone)

Our weekend was a smattering of activity.  I did everything from going to an open house at my friend Sara’s to sleeping for 2.5 hours in the middle of the day.  That’s a long nap, even for me, the nap princess.

Saturday we did our usual cleaning jobs in the morning.  While the girls did the bathrooms, the boys straightened the game cabinet and I worked on a new verse for the chalkboard in the living room.  I like to change it every month or so, but it takes me about an hour so I try to have the boys doing something in the same room.  That way I can keep them moving.  They would otherwise tend to forget they are supposed to be organizing and start actually playing the games.

Here’s a look at my chalkboard now.  I’m not great at it, but I do like doing it.  It will probably stay this way until the end of the summer since I have a few other projects up my sleeve that I want to get started.

After that was done we worked on the pool, which has been getting increasingly green and we can’t figure out why.  I had no idea when we got this pool that maintaining it would require a master’s degree in chemistry.  We test the water and take notes and study the calculations.  We spend hundreds of dollars on chemicals to try to keep it all pretty and clear, but to no avail.  We may have to call in an expert. I’m not sure what that would involve, but I am tired of feeling like I’m in the swamp.

But don’t worry about us, my boys couldn’t care less how green the water is as long as they can have epic water battles and splash each other like their life depends on it.  The girls and I don’t care to swim with them because it is impossible not to end up, at some point, in the middle of their water war.  I’m more of a casual floater, minding my own business on my side of the pool.  But once I get squirted in the ear with a water pistol it’s hard to relax.

Saturday afternoon I worked on my book edits and ate Sonic ice, which I have now been keeping in my freezer for my crunching pleasure.  It’s been my snack substitute and a surprisingly good one.  It’s soft and cold and lasts a good long time.  I’m not saying it’s better than ice cream, but at zero calories I am happy with it.

On Sunday I decided to do the unthinkable and not turn on my computer for the whole day.  I may do it every week.  It could be my Gilligan’s Island day…no phones, no lights, no Facebook.  If that happened now, do you think the Professor would be able to email someone on a submarine using 2 coconuts and a bicycle powered battery?  I wonder things.

Yesterday, after church (where my son Jacob sang a beee-utiful song that made me cry) and before my extreme nap, we went out for Mexican food with my parents.  It’s a adventure, going out to eat with us.  First we have to get a table for 12 or more, which no restaurant hostess is ever thrilled about.  Then you have look at the poor waiter’s face as he goes around getting orders and we ask things like, “Is there gluten in that?” and, “Can we get that without tomatoes?”  I am pretty sure at least half of us made a special request.  I will be sending him a letter of apology.

And let’s not even start on how many times the bus boy had to refill our chips.  My boys alone ate about 4 baskets full.  I’m surprised they didn’t just haul the chip truck up to our table and dump them in the middle.

And forget talking.  It was so loud and we were so far apart that we had to yell across the table to one another.  My dad finally suggested we all just text each other instead.  Great idea.  Next time we could just stay home with 5 bags of Tostitos and have pretty much the same experience.

Now, looking back I count at least 10 topics in this one post.  If you’re still here, hanging onto the hope that I will find a way to sum it all up, this isn’t your lucky day.  I will add you to my list of people to send letters of apology to.  After the waiter, my parents and the guy at the pool chemical store.

Have a great week!

Gearing Up for Summer Projects

Gearing Up for Summer Projects

I’ve been planning a few summer projects and looking around the house and yard to see what I can do with basically no money.  I love a challenge and making my home nicer for free is one of my favorites!

My first stop for inspiration was Hometalk.  What I love about Hometalk is that it is more of a community, with people sharing ideas and not just a quick look.  Sometimes I want to just get an idea, but often I have questions and wonderings.  I thirst for knowledge.  Especially since I gave up Diet Dr Pepper.  I used to thirst for that.

So I hopped over to Hometalk to see what goodness I could find and there was plenty of it!  Awnings and pergolas and great plant ideas.  I’m all inspired now….so watch out!

If you haven’t tried Hometalk you should check it out.  There’s no cost, just sign up and follow people.  You can start by following me!  And if you don’t know anyone else to follow, I enjoy scrolling down the homepage and seeing all of the real people with real ideas!

I have a board on Hometalk with nothing but ideas for ways to use old wood.  Oh yes…..that’s just what I need for my free summer projects!

What projects do you have planned for the summer?


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.

Follow me on Facebook for more project ideas!

A Little Deck Makeover

A Little Deck Makeover

Believe it or not I’ve still got a bunch of things to show you from when we did all of that yardwork back in May.  I showed you the front porch and my $25 back door makeover so now I’m gonna show you the little deck outside of the kitchen.

We added this deck on a few years ago.  There was a great big tree there that we need for shading the kitchen windows, so we just built the deck right around it.  I never really did much out there since there’s a huge tree right in the middle of it.  You can’t put a table or a big seating arrangement, so the kids just sat out there on the floor eating their lunch.

When we added the pool deck we just built a bridge between the little kitchen deck and the pool deck so we really didn’t need seating on the kitchen deck anymore. It just stayed empty.  And you know I can’t stand an empty spot.

While we were doing all of the work on the back yard I decided we needed to fix up the little kitchen deck, but I didn’t want to spend any money on it.  I gave myself $25 and decided to see what I could do.

The girls and I went to the Habitat Restore (actually, we hit about 8 thrift stores before Habitat) and found some old chairs for $3 each.  I knew that would be a good jumping off point.  A couple of chairs is about all that would fit on the deck considering the tree in the middle of it.

Obviously they’re not the best chairs in town, but I thought I could make it work.  I’ll show you the chair transformation details in another post, but for now…..voila!

It’s a sweet little spot where 2 people can sit and have a private conversation.

I like having a spot where I can sit with James or one of the kids and talk….just the 2 of us.

a quick, easy deck makeover

Once the chairs were done I decided to add an old ladder to the other side of the deck.  We found some boards to lay across the rungs and made shelves.  The big bucket (which I also found at the Habitat restore) hold the boys’ outdoor toys.

From the pool deck looking down the bridge I can see that it still needs some spicing up.

A rug would be really cute.

And maybe a few pillows on the bench.  Wouldn’t that be dreamy?  I especially love these….polka dots make me swoon.

But for now I’m really happy with my little deck makeover.

Follow me on Facebook for updates on the goings on around here. 

I’m linking to Saturday Night Special at Funky Junk Interiors.

House of Rose



Have y’all heard about hometalk?  It’s yet another social network.  I know, we all have enough already, but this one fits my needs really well.  It is for people doing DIY or gardening.  You can post a picture of a project you did or even ask a question and there are experts on there that will help you.  It kind of reminds me of the Saturday morning radio shows I listen to but with pictures.  And more experts.

Yesterday hometalk featured my pool deck on their Facebook page along with several other gorgeous outdoor seating areas.  They posted the question, “Ah, these outdoor sitting areas are all so relaxing! Thank you to all the wonderful Hometalkers who shared. Which one do you like best? LIKE your favorites!

I thought all of the outdoor areas were really pretty so I was clicking on them and reading through the comments.  I couldn’t believe how free a few people felt to criticize and insult the outdoor spaces.  Almost all of the comments were really nice, but then there would be one that would say something like, “this place is too cold and harsh and boring,” or, “Yeah, I’d have this kind of outdoor space too if I married a really rich man!”

I kept thinking, “Do these people realize they are commenting on someone’s actual home?  Would they say that if they were standing there in person?”  They made no effort to go read the links and see that we, for example, did ours for almost no money.  All of these outdoor spaces required really hard work and most had very tight budgets.

It’s a good reminder to me to be careful what I say online.  On the other end is a person that deserves to be treated with respect.

But back to the topic (I could disappear on a rabbit trail for hours), if you love to get opinions and expert help on your DIY or gardening projects you should check out hometalk.  The pace is nice and the people are very friendly.  I haven’t seen any criticism on there at all.  Just nice people helping each other out.

That’s all, folks

Follow me on Facebook or Instagram @PenningtonPoint to keep up with all of our adventures!


Calm is the Word of the Day

I am happy to report a calm, slow and quiet weekend here at the Point.  It’s been ages since we had pretty much nothing to do and I feel a sweet energy from the nothingness of it all.

Saturday morning I was out in my workshop early, making Chalkboard Tags and trying out some new ideas for Christmas.  It was hard though, thinking of Christmas while I was dripping sweat onto my work table.  By 10:30 AM I was so hot that I sent my farmboy for Sonic ice.  Yes, he was working and studying but I was hot and why have a farmboy if you can’t send him for Sonic ice? (If you’re confused, watch The Princess Bride)

By noon it was unbearably hot, as in sweat was pouring into my eyes and it was impossible to see the Christmas products anymore, so I went inside to work.  As I filled orders I kept thinking about the swimming pool and how great it would feel to go jump in and float around all carefree and loosey goosey.

We busied about the day, cleaning the bathrooms, making lists and all the while I felt the pool calling me.  “Leeee-suh….come relax on your favorite floating lounger that holds your whole body so you don’t have to make any effort to hold yourself up….”

But I still had work to do so I ignored the plea.

After dinner the girls and I had plans to hang out together for a while.  We talked and knitted and planned the coming week and by 9:00 the day was done.  Boys off to bed.  Girls to their rooms to wind down.  James in his office.  Everything went quiet so do you know what I did?

I walked right out to that swimming pool and jumped in with all of my clothes on.

I propped myself on the floating lounger and closed my eyes.  It was dark and eerily quiet.  No kids, no sweat, no worries.  Just me and the water.  Not a care in the world.

That late night swim, OK the word swim would be an exaggeration since I don’t think I moved a single muscle, was just what the doctor ordered.  It was better than a vacation.  I didn’t have to find a bathing suit, pack for 11 people and figure out how to pay for it.  I stayed out there for about an hour and a half.  Just me, myself and I.

Sunday was pretty much a repeat of Saturday, minus the late night swim.  Filling orders, hanging with the kids, cleaning house.  Normal-normal.

I think I’ll do exactly the same thing next weekend.

I’d give it two thumbs up.

Have a great week!

How to Make an “Old” Sign

How to Make an “Old” Sign

Today I am over at Life Your Way sharing ideas for how to use old doors.  Old doors make me happy.  One of my faves is this door we bolted to a tree at the end of our driveway.

I thought I’d show you how I painted the sign hanging on the door.  Since we live in the country, we needed a big, bold address sign.  I need the delivery men to find us so he can deliver the many important packages without any trouble.  All of those Legos and cans of spray paint….we don’t want those to get lost, now do we?

So I dug through my wood pile and found a worn scrap and just used it the way it was.  No cutting, no nothin’.

Then I printed some big numbers from a font that I like.  It’s an odd, scratchy looking font, but I liked the shape so I went with it.  I got out some carbon paper.  Remember carbon paper?  I can remember putting a piece of carbon paper between 2 pieces of typing paper and rolling it through the typewriter so I’d have 2 copies.

Good times.

Ok back to the sign…..I traced around the printed letter with a stylus (but you could use anything) and the carbon paper left a nice line on the wood for me to paint.  I just used a small, flat brush and outlined the letters with black craft paint.  Then I filled them in…nothing to it.

I didn’t try to fill them is completely.  I wanted it to look worn and rough.

Then I decided the numbers needed a little pop, so I got out the white craft paint and added a bit of shadow.  I guess gray would have been shadow, but I used white.  Oh well…I like to live life to the fullest.

The trick is just painting the “shadow” along 2 sides.  I chose the right and the bottom sides of the letters, but you could also do top/left.  Then you paint a line along all of those sides you chose.  It’s a small thing, but it adds a nice dimension.

Oh yeah, I hand painted some scrolly thing-a-ma-bobs in the upper corners.  Then I gave the whole thing a light sanding.

And we’re done.  Drill a couple of holes and tie it to an old door.  Instant yard charm.

It was a great quick project to work on while I watched a movie with the kids.  It only took me about half an hour and that was with distractions, bathroom breaks, stopping to take pictures and Levi asking if he could eat my popcorn.

I hope you’ll pop on over to Life Your Way and check out my other ideas for using old doors!