"Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn."

-Elizabeth Lawrence

Herb Garden for Mother's Day

I have been looking online and in catalogs at window boxes.  They ranged from $80-$250 depending on the material, style, and paint.  It is cliche but I have a fascination with Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma.  I saw a similar window box in the WS catalog and Joe said "I can build that".  And so he did.  He dropped his other 535 projects and built this for me!  It was my Mother's Day gift from him and I love it.  It is unstained, unpainted cedar and looks perfect with the house.  

This is the William Sonoma one.  Hmmm....maybe I need to imprint Farmer G on ours :)
And they must use muscle grow miracle grow!!  Or fake plants for the picture.

I am not a craft person at all.  A facebook friend posted that her trick to writing on chalkboards was the chalk paint pen.  I love these things...where have I been??  They really do wipe off.  So I wrote on each pot.   

I am letting the herbs grow a little before I start using them.  They have already taken off.  I was a little worried about the sun because they are under a covered porch and just get the morning sun but they are doing really well. 

My view of the herb garden from the inside.
We did not have a chance this spring to get our garden started.  But after spending more money than I wanted on squash and zucchini we decided to put this up and grow a handful of vegetables this year.  We have cucumber, okra, zucchini, and squash.  A raccoon/possum was digging around the first week we had it up and killed a green bean plant that Jackson had planted from seed at school.  But we have not had a problem the past few weeks.  

Joe's barn-shed is on the way.  Thank goodness!  After all his equipment etc leaves our garage I will finally get to park under cover.  Rushing 3 little ones in and out from the rain is doable but I'm a garage parking kind of girl. 
He hopes to have it ready for siding by this weekend so I will post pics of the completed project.

Build it....

Joe got to work this February building bird houses and putting up bird feeders.  He built 4 and bought 2.  We also have about 4 feeders spaced over our 16 acres.  They are designed to attract blue birds (not to be confused with blue jays). 
After being on the property working most of last year and living here almost 4 months we had never seen a blue bird so our expectations were low.  (to qualify for the wildlife ag exemption you just have to provide the habitat even if no creatures are present). 
Well you know the saying, build it and....

....they will come.


Hello momma and daddy blue bird!

The daddy's are the beautifulest blue I have ever seen with bright orange chests. And the mommas are more grey tone with blue tipped feathers and lighter orange bellies.

At this point we were not sure if they would nest in the houses.  Joe was extremely excited!  He has become quite knowledgeable in bird world :)

Every day Joe would make the rounds checking all the houses and one day he saw this in 2 of them!!
And then a week or so later he saw this!!!  You can imagine the excitement around our house at this point.  You would have thought we adopted 10 kids :).  (2 nests each had 5 eggs)
Before Joe would open the door of the nest he would approach making a little noise and softly tap on the box.  On one of the checks the momma was actually sitting on the eggs and just looked at Joe. 
It goes without saying that the kids were super involved also.  They did the box checks with Joe and would report back.  They also know quite a bit about blue birds themselves. 
We did have to keep a watch out for the momma and daddy.  Blue birds are protected so if we noticed anything out of the normal (like momma and daddy not being around) there was a number to call so that the eggs could be picked up and hatched. 
Then one day we saw this!  Cuddly cute little baby blue birds.

They have left their nest and wondered out into this big ol world!  We are hoping the momma and daddy nest again.  If they liked the location they will nest 1 to 2 more times this spring/summer.  And what's not to like with this much TLC :)

We had a critter eating the bird food.
We released him at the front of the property and haven't had a problem since.

And we were approved!  All the efforts paid off...it is pretty neat just doing for fun but to save a little money and help populate a species are pretty nice extras!



I have known for years what to eat and what not to eat.  Doing it is different.  But yesterday I watched a video that involved children.  My eyes teared up.  Kids, my kids, your kids ~ it is heartbreaking what we as parents see in the grocery store aisle and buy.  We buy it because its labeled as "natural" or "no sugar added" or "whole grain"...all catch phrases to imply healthy.  However if you turn over to the ingredient section you will not be able to pronounce half of it.  And in my opinion if I can't pronounce something I better look into eating it.


I may be fixated, in a cult, or whatever you want to call it.  But, one thing is for sure I am going to research and educate myself on something that could affect my children. 

I have no more time or money then the next person.  And when it comes to eating I think that's most of our excuses.  Organic pasta, organic pasta sauce, organic frozen green beans and corn, and fresh made meatballs cost $15 to feed our family of 5. My husband took leftovers to work today and I will feed the kids with it again tonight.  If we would have went to Pizza Hut it would have cost at least $30.  Its math.

I am not perfect and we will probably eat at Pizza Hut in the future.  The kids have Book It coupons to redeem.  What I am is aware.  I am open minded.  I am learning. 

Watch the video and start doing your own research.


99 samples of paint on the wall....

Don't laugh.  Yes I purchased over 40 samples of paint while we were building the house.  And yes, this is all for the interior. 

If you have followed along you know that I had a tough time deciding on the white.  ~the white that all the doors, trim, and kitchen cabinets would be painted~  It was tough.  And you know that I did not like the white I chose at first.  I still would label it as off-white not white.  However, it is working.  As we live in our house it has grown on me and I am now really happy with it.

Also, if you were to visit (more inside pics coming soon) you would probably be shocked with the color of the walls.  They are very light and almost white.  The wall colors of each room are anything but colorful.  So why would I buy so many samples?  Well, because I knew in my head what I wanted it to look like and, as I have learned, I have a hard time pulling the pictures out of my head and into real life.  I think some of it has to do with me being so critical and specific. 

Lesson:  if you have a Pinterest board or pictures from a magazine just show the painter and let them recommend a few options...few, as in less than 40. 

Note: all were purchased during a SW sale...not at full price...in case that justifies the purchases.  And I made new friends over at the local Sherwin Williams store.  They know me. 


I think the pictures speak for themselves.  Super happy with the result!

Hello March!

I am not quite sure where November, December, January, and February went but I know we were busy doing this or that.  From a 2nd birthday party to moving to Thanksgiving to decorating for Christmas to Christmas festivities to taking down Christmas to finally unpacking to putting a few things on the walls to raising 3 kids...Oh there those months are.  We blinked. 
Ahhh, but I finally feel like I have been able to breathe...just a tad.  We are not finished unpacking.  The "craft room" upstairs is still very packed with boxes of decor and picture frames that I have not decided if I will use or not.  Also the garage has this or that to go through.  But for the most part we've made HUGE progress.  The kids rooms are done...even pictures on the wall and closets organized.  Joe and I still have projects to do that we just didn't get done while building the house but my vision is a little clearer now. 
Our shutters should arrive any day.  I had to put  those off for a few months.  I literally could not make one more decision or purchase one more thing.  So we ordered them a few weeks ago and I think the front of the house will go up a notch or two once they are installed. 
We received quite a bit of sleet here in Texas yesterday.  No school for the kiddos today and I am working from home.  I snapped some pics this morning before the sun got to work melting the layer of ice.       

View from the front porch looking out.

Please pardon the cluster of boxes on the back porch.  One of the cons of country living...its not as easy to have a garage sale.  This is our garage sale pile along with a storage building in town.  We should have it gone in March :)  I'm recruiting family/friends in town to let me use their driveways.

View from the back porch looking out.

View from the balcony in the back of the house.

View from the upstairs window in the front of the house.

We are currently working on the 10 page application form for our wildlife ag exemption.  We are mostly concentrating on birds but we will also have a deer feeder in the back.  Joe built 4 bird houses himself and he installed a total of 6.  We are targeting bluebirds but have not seen any until today.  I snapped these pics of our little bluebird.  Joe is thrilled.  I guess when you work hard on something, no matter what it is, you get a little excited when it works out.   

After we finish the wildlife exemption form and make sure we have our bird houses and feeders going Joe is going to start on his shed/barn.  He's building it himself on lumber we had left from the house and pieces we've picked up here or there.  Once this is done I think I will finally be able to park my car in our garage!  Hopefully while he's working on that I can start on some landscaping. 

Our garden and chicken coop will definitely be waiting until next year.  But that's ok.  Trust me, we have plenty to do at the moment.   I am happy to finally feel like we can breathe and start making our memories in our new place.  Oh, and the white dove paint is growing on me.  Provides a bit of softness I think the house needed....:)  That is all.