Wednesday, October 28, 2015

TT: Silhouette

Micaela's Theme Thursday challenge this week was to take a silhouette. 
It was much harder than I expected because I needed a bright sky and my view is surrounded by thick trees. This is the best I could manage. 
I can't wait to try out on different backdrop.

Wordless Wednesday

Practicing for her saint on All Saints: Guess who!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

One year house-a-versary

I just love a love story. This one is a revisit about our love for our home, the journey to purchase and start renovating.

Craig and I wanted more from life than the existence we had at our old house. We wanted the kids to experience more than suburbia had to offer. We knew we'd miss our friends and local activities and conveniences, but also knew it was time if we were to do it. 

We had land shopped some in our own. Craig found a small house in this area that sold quickly and we decided we'd prefer land with a house over raw land so that some infasctucture was already invested.
We called the realtor for land in our new area and had two places in mind, the first we didn't even get out of the car, the second was our place. Euly was with us and the three of us just knew it was perfect for us: projects, home renovation, hills and spring creek. Potential, beauty and peace. 
From our first visit - love at first sight

We fell in love April 2013, made a very low offer, actually got a contract signed (then I panicked and walked away from contract within the ten day grace period)...the projected work was just too much. It was the biggest decision I made primarily on my own in our marriage. Drama, sadness, regret, but it turned out to work out perfectly in the end.

Part of our New Years resolutions for 2014, we thought the one thing we wished had worked out, was to buy this house, so we called and tried again and were completely under contract January 2, 2014 and visited often in the months between. We had to sell our house then convince the sellers' mortgage holder the property wasn't worth what they held the mortgage for by half by trying to sell it to anyone else who would pay more than us. Seeing it go back on the market was a nerve breaking gamble! 
We sold our home June, moved to an apartment and threw it all up to God. We  finally heard short sale to purchase approved in October and closed a week later: October 28, 2014. It was ours!

The girls and I moved in right away before electricity, heat and water. 

So much to do, it is edifying to see what progress we made over this last year to the previously abandoned to now much loved home!

We are sooooo thankful it all came together and that it is ours. I love it more every day! 

Original list:
✔️Foundation repair.  The house consisted of three sections. An old home moved on to property with a master bed and bath wing built on in end and a den built out on the other. It was true with the foundation as with every other aspect of this property, "What were they thinking? They used good material but it seems like they didn't know what they were doing:"
Setback- discovery an additional bean needed under girls' room now resulting in more Sheetrock cracks. To be repaired by end of month.
✔️Repair broken Sheetrock -used Manny I knew from the past. He brought a team to repair and paint and did an excellent job. He had to come back when Ac exploded through ceiling. I'm hoping Craig and I can repair recent damage.
✔️Get tractor -  so many projects we could not have completed without: road, little house, trees, etc.

✔️Master bedroom shower - tile crew did a great job. 
✔️Girls shower-  incredible transformation.
✔️Faucets - all repair replaced
✔️Toilets- replace most toilet and all seats.
✔️Repair and replace utility room floor, walls and exterior door. 
✔️Paint everything - my bedroom and office postponed for their own projects.
✔️Repair road - ongoing concern
✔️Fix fence holes and replace gate, added bonus: solar opener. 
✔️Fans- den, bedrooms. 
✔️Lights- dining (repurposed) halls exteriors
✔️Power wash exterior
✔️Fireplace repair - can't wait for cold weather. 
✔️Create guest room
✔️Built rope course 
✔️Hang swing
✔️New stove
✔️New dishwasher
✔️New ice machine
✔️New disposal
✔️New refrigerator
✔️Repair Ac and heater
✔️Get ag exemption
✔️Get farm animals
✔️Fight county on overinflated property valuation
✔️Get homesteaded
✔️Get septic under contract 
✔️Remove little house by order of insurance condemnation (still hurts)
✔️Repurpose as much little house things we can.
✔️Storage shed
✔️Repurpose shed found in woods
✔️Remove dead trees- ongoing
✔️Remove split rail fence 
✔️Build chicken coop

✔️Get chickens, guineas and peacocks
✔️ Fenced area for sheep 
Not house repair related but necessary and accomplished :
✔️Get new master bed
✔️Get new dryer
✔️New hutch
✔️Bar stools
✔️New beds for four kids
✔️New bookcases in den
✔️New bookcases in girls room
✔️Repair go cart and four wheeler
✔️Pool for kids

What remains:
✖️Pot bellied stove and repairs in our bedroom 
✖️Exhaust fan kitchen
✖️Light in kitchen: overhead and under counter
✖️Office wall repair or replace with little house wood floors
✖️Seal and caulk exterior - maybe done before end of year
✖️Repair outside bedroom siding
✖️Build attic catwalk around furnace 
✖️Rebuild play scape
✖️Replace windows in bedroom and den.
✖️Attic insulation
✖️Replace exterior French doors- x4
✖️Repurpose split rail fence
✖️Get power and water to shed and chicken coop
✖️Garden build and plan
✖️Clothes line
✖️Fruit trees
✖️ Water and power to old little house well
✖️Build awning off shed
✖️Pond redo
✖️Solar water heater
✖️Tub in master -get hooked up
✖️Fans in master
✖️Rugs to help sound insulation
✖️Window coverings my bedroom
✖️Remove Chinese tallow
✖️Clear area by creek
✖️Replace limestone facing of front deck, steps and under house.
✖️Replace floors in master.

I am amazed we were able to get as much completed amid set backs, car repairs, college costs, vacation and major dental work costs and with Craig spending many Saturdays at the church property this year.

The house is happy. We are happy.
We felt God's blessing every step of the way. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Random October Daybook

Outside my window...we are watching the weather and tropical storm flooding, to windy days and over cast skies.

I am thinking...
 The pond is on my mind because it's a puddle I can't do anything about it and my husband has a gazillion and three things in front if it. 

See the grass line? 
That is where the level of the pond was for most of this year, then the rain stopped in June and it has been slowly draining. It has a "leak" and there are several ways to fix it, but won't see it in action this year. That's fine. Rain is still in the forecast and we have a reliable well.
All the animals come down for a drink during the day and it looks like there is still enough to satisfy them.
View from the house:

 Up close look at those weird things in the water.

From the other side looking back toward the house you can see reflected in water.

I am praying for..Beverly, a sweet homeschool mom of five fighting stomach cancer and needs a medical miracle. Please say a prayer for her and her family. 
And recovery for my Aunt Trieve and Uncle Jack both fighting serious life threatening illness.

I am thankful...for restarts and for my family.

In the kitchen...I made a delicious(according to the kids) Gluten free pumpkin chocolate chip bread.
It made the house smell


  • 1 and 3/4 cups Costco gluten free flour mix
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree 
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Bake at 350 for one hour in loaf pan 

I am dinner with Craig and Max.

I am listening Craig and Max discuss business. 

I am proud of...Euly and Nick winning the C&W dance competition at our homeschool group dance. We were blessed with a live band too. What a fun night!

They are studying dance moves and planning their next opportunity.

I am reading...The Way of Beauty by David Clayton
recommended by Leila Lawler.

I am watching...rained soaked chickens run around.

I am hoping...the new kitty gets along with the old kitty. We took in another rescue cat yesterday.

Around the house..many projects are stopped until the weather clears up and dries out.

A few plans for the rest of the week.. Look into college living arrangements for Molly when she changes schools in January, A couple visits with friends, Halloween, set up new home for my mother in law in Austin.
They have been trying out costume options and acting it out a bit.

Something that made me laugh, chuckle..
How friendly the Kleb Woods parrot Papagayo was this week:

A peek into my day...
Ceci will be Jacinta of Fatima for the All Saints Party and she wants Hope to be an outfit enhancer. She's been training her. It's fun and a bit silly to watch.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

TT: Same Subject, Different Times and Angles, Same Silly Girl

Theme Thursday Oct Nov

I didn't have anything around here inspiring me to try different angles and light with, except the chair on the back porch. Since we stained the house, I have been thinking of painting the chair set, maybe black.

So it isn't exactly the same photo shot from different angles, it is the same subject shot different times of day. I like the natural color changes of the wall with the light as the day goes on.

Lilly is a natural actress, with a flare for drama. She said she wasn't mad in the photos, just deep thinking and in the last ones she isn't eating, she is using the fork for a microphone while she sings her made up songs. If not singing, she is usually talking which explains why the mouth is always in motion. She also changes her clothes many times a day.

Morning: Overcast, bright light 


f 3.5 1/200 ISO 100 50 mm lens

 Lunch time, still ovecast
f/5 1/80 ISO 100  70 mm lens

Late afternoon, sun behind house, peaking over.

f 2.8 1/100 ISO 6400

Early dusk 
Still light out.
f 2.8 1.60 ISO 5000

 Completely dark outside, slight moon. 
Light source from new light by back door, makes me think of a truth telling chair. It washes out Lilly but makes the chair look interesting.
It makes Lilly feel like the spot light is on her on stage.

f 2.8 1/100 ISO 5000

Her sister playfully shined her flashlight on her face in this shot.
I like the pattern on the wall behind her.
f 2.8 1/80 ISO 2000

Go visit Micaela to see other photos with light and angles.
Get your camera out, it's fun to focus on an assignment.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Butterfly Museum for Science Day

 Lilly's class studied a little history and learned cuneiform writing. She gets in a little trouble with chaperones due to her concentration struggles but usually wins her teacher over with her bubbly interaction. She was frustrated by the stylus not making shapes she thought it should, and the teacher told her it was good to be frustrated, she was learning.

Her second session was about underwater corral,  anemone and jellyfish. That was fun too.
The afternoon exhibit was a tour through the butterfly museum. 
I need to a make sure she has enough enough to eat during the day because she was as flighty as the butterflies, over here, over there, and of course, I wanted to sit and move along slowly. Some day I'll tour a museum at my pace and think for these twenty two years of hurried visits. 

 Worm or cricket treats, Anyone?
 Newly hatched butterflies:
 Ew, not sure why I took this and why I thought I'd share, but here it is:

Many more babies popping out right in front of our eyes.

 Probably not, but possibly, the same two rice paper butterflies.
"If I hold real still, maybe they'll land on me." Yes, IF you hold real still...

Science days and homeschoolers are great, older and younger kids learning all together, enjoying each other's company. 

The end of the butterfly your ends with this pretty scene.