laundry~the beast that slays me

Finally, this past summer I was able to paint the laundry room.  I wish I had taken a before picture.  Picture a sky blue tinged in dirty.  There was also a refrigerator in here.  Beside the hot water heater.  I still need to add all the finishing touches.  I also, was waiting until the laundry was actually caught up and everything was clean.  HA!!  It’s real life over here, not Land of the Perfect that you see in blogland.  Who knows when I will get to make it gorgeous, but I have really wanted to show y’all my “system”.

Granted, I might be the only one in all of the land to care…wait, I take that back!  My cousin, Teah, who was my helper then, helped me accomplish this.  SHE will care.  HAHA.

Anyway, back to my “system”.  On the right is the washer, obviously.  But, also on the right are the DIRTY clothes.  I purchased a 3 basket sorting thingy.  You can see it hiding behind the 2 hampers, there.  In goes colors, pinks, and whites.  (Yes, I have an entire load of pinks.  I also have an entire load of blue clothes and brown clothes.  Because those are Brian and my favorite colors to wear.  But, those stay upstairs until washing time.)  Too much?   The white hamper is for dirty towels.


To the left is the dryer.  If there are clothes in baskets, they are clean.  Clean clothes are ALWAYS on the left.


Do you see the closet organizer hanging there?  That was in my closet, I brought it down for organizing the girls clothes as I fold them.  Each girl gets a cube.  I am not sure what else to call it.  But, I tell them to get their clothes out of their cube and put away.  It keeps down the amount to put away each time.  (In theory, anyway.)

I just noticed the laundry coming out to the dryer, as if to attack!

Behind the curtain is the built-in shelves Brian installed.  They are organized in a messy way, I put the curtain up to hide it.  My OCD keeps wanting to rearrange it, so I am hiding it, instead.  The curtain kind of matches.  Who cares, anyway?  It is just a laundry room.  Well, I kind of care.  I spend about an hour a day in here.  I want it to be pretty.

I really like my “system” because once you know it, anyone can go in and take over laundry.  It’s not just my job.  I have a helper.  I like for us to be on the same page.  I am training my girls to do laundry.  They need order and routine.  This totally helps.


Now that I have totally aired my dirty laundry….hahaha….as I look at this picture, I see how grody that floor is.  Something else to put on the list.  In the meantime, though, I think I will put a big rug in there.  Do y’all have any suggestions for the walls?  I want to put words in there….vinyl wall decals.  Like, “laundry, the never-ending story” OR “wash rinse repeat”, my favorite is the Johnny Cash lyrics~ “you gotta know when to fold ’em”.

What say you? What should I do?

a little paint project

I asked Brian if we could paint the guest house for it looked like this.

Ew! Right? Not really. It still cute. It is just raw wood with water stains and mildew loveliness. The walkway was slick with some mildew, also. Not fun after a rain. Well, I guess it would be fun if you were little, but I don’t fancy slipping and sliding then falling on my bum.

We decided to paint the guest house. But, because I was going with a drastic color, Brian told me to get a quote on the house. Everything needs to match, right? So, after lots of back and forth (hahahaha) we were able to get the house painted, as well. I was beyond excited. In the winter months, it starts to look DREARY around here.

Here are the before shots of the house.

It really is a cute house even with the gray. The boring and drab gray. I like gray, don’t get me wrong. I wear it almost daily. That and brown and blue and plum. HA! But, I don’t wear red. My house is red. I don’t wear red. Maybe on Christmas Eve, I will wear a red sweater. I don’t really wear yellow, either. My girls do. they look gorgeous in yellow. Me, not so much. My house? Now, it looks gorgeous in yellow, too.

Doesn’t it? Isn’t it so bright and cheerful? Doesn’t it just make you SMILE?!

Look at the guest house! Gorgeous! It’s like a little play house.

I even stained the walkway after they pressure washed the nasty thing. It looks so good, even with acorns and leaves all over it.

Since it is Autumn, my favorite time of year, I had to put up a new wreath, right? Right? And get pansies, right? My front door and front entrance is gorgeous, now!

Well, at least Kate and I think so. She helped me do all the planting while I made my wreath. She also arranged everything around the front door. I think she has quite an artistic eye.

Well, what do you think? It looks good, doesn’t it? I think it looks even more “me” than before! I love it! Woohoo! I love coming home and walking down the little walkway to the entrance. It is so lovely. It really makes me smile. Now on to the landscaping and the wall! We are going to be working on that in the spring.

Happy Monday!


My favorite time of year! The leaves are beginning to turn into their delicious reds, purples, and yellows. The air is brisk and seems cleaner. Going outside is a delight.

My Autumn sedum is burgundy and gorgeous!

I had bought lettuce in anticipation of eating it in some yummy salads. Sadly, I forgot all about it. It was wilting and so pitiful. So, as part of “school” today we planted it. The girls weren’t really interested in planting it. They were eating their italian ices. We had been outside for awhile and had gotten hot by the time I remembered the lettuce. I just let Genevieve help me plant it instead.

As you can see, she had fun. She loved the feel of the cool potting soil. So much so, she had to taste it. MMMMM. Delicious.

My lettuce is already perking up!

Happy Autumnal (is that a word?) Wednesday!

outdoor wednesday: children’s garden and planter

I would rather be outside or at my sewing machine, if I had a choice. Being outside is just easier these days because the girls can come, too. It is hard to find time at my sewing machine. (Even though I have gotten to get to it some this past week.) The girls love to be outside, too. They wanted to plant their own gardens this year. I let them do almost everything. I broke up the ground with the hoe for them and made some rows, but they did everything else.

We thought it would be fun, if their gardens had signs. So, we asked Daddy to make us one. He cut a board, sanded it, and nailed it to a a small post. I had the girls paint it whatever color they chose. I then painted their names on it. Adorable. The girls thought they were awesome.

Kate’s garden is growing faster than Isabel’s because it gets more sun. Now I know and next year, I hope we can equalize it a bit.

Here are the first few blossoms. So exciting. I think I am more excited about their flowers than they are.

Here they are today. A lot of their flowers are falling over from all the rain, so we cut some of the heavy ones to bring inside. See how tall the sunflowers are? They weren’t supposed to get that tall. Some of them have blooms all the way down the stalk. I can’t wait for all those to bloom. That will be gorgeous. I think sunflowers are my favorite.

Not to be outdone, Mommy had to make something different this year, too. I have pinned on Pinterest, two different topsy turvy planters. I knew I had a pot or two behind the shed, so on one of Brian’s many trips to Lowe’s, I asked him to get me a pole. The wonderful husband that he is, he bought me 2 different ones, so I could choose which one I wanted. So, one day, I painted my pots and put them together on a pole. Actually, you start with the pole in the ground, then the bottom pot, threaded with the pole through the hole. Fill your pot with dirt. Thread the next pot, but tilt it, then fill with dirt. Continue until you get to the top. I used these wave petunias I purchased on clearance, hoping they would wave down the planter. They aren’t waving down it, yet. But, I have hope.

I never really have an original idea. Almost all my ideas are from somewhere else. I will see something, then add my own little flair to it. I have been doing this forever (or so it seems). Pinterest just makes it so much easier to keep track of my ideas. I still bookmark a bunch of other things on my computer…I don’t know why, I should pin those. Maybe I will. Hmmmm. Maybe in my spare time.

Happy Wednesday!

pregnancy brain

Does not work as well as non-pregnancy brain or even mommy brain for that matter.  Seriously. Sometimes I can’t even remember why I went to the bathroom. I went to the laundry room to get some chicken out of the freezer for dinner, instead I switched laundry, wiped off the washing machine, and cleaned the dryer lint. Went back into the kitchen and remembered the chicken. Headed back to the laundry room….couldn’t find any chicken in that freezer. Went back into the kitchen to get a glass of water, still not remembering to look for chicken. I think it took about an hour for me to finally look through the freezer for some chicken.
I am supposed to be doing a read-a-long with some other bloggers, but my brain isn’t working well enough to process the information. I just can’t concentrate on serious. I found a book in one of my boxes called Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde and read it instead. Way more entertaining. It is about a girl named Thursday Next who lives in 1985, but in a completely different sort of world than ours. You can jump in and out of books. It is lots of fun. So much so, that I had to get the sequel from the library, Well of Lost Plots. I was looking for it in fiction, but it was in SciFi/Fantasy, if you are interested. Lots of fun. You need to suspend your disbelief while you are reading. Lots of fiction characters come to life. I wholeheartedly suggest you read these books for some mindless fun.I routinely burn dinner or over boil a pot of water. Ugh.

We just celebrated my birthday. I turned 34. Here is a picture of the girls and me on my special day.

Brian made the best steak sandwiches for our dinner. He bought some filet mignon and had the guy shave it. He then cooked it, melted mozzarella on top of that. Cooked up some peppers and onions, then we had it all on a hoagie roll with baked potatoes. Yummy. Even the girls loved it. I made the cake, chocolatey chocolate cake. Delicious.

He got those “happy birthday” candles. Cute, but they melted really quickly. The “h” was almost gone by the time I blew it out. Kate even joined in singing the birthday song with her daddy. It was sweet. I wish I had thought to turn on the video camera. But, alas, my brain is not working.

Brian tried to move the old chicken coop when he first got home. He lifted the handles and it literally fell apart it was so rotten. So, Brian built a new chicken coop. It is very nice and much bigger. It really isn’t moveable like the other one, though. You need two people to move it. Very heavy. It looks so professional. He did a really good job. He used treated lumber for the parts that aren’t painted yet, which is why the paint isn’t finished. You have to wait like 6 weeks or something before you can paint treated lumber. Looks good, though, huh? The chickens seem happy.

I have been meaning to show y’all some of the things I made the girls for Christmas. I haven’t really gotten a picture of everything yet. But I finally got one of Isabel’s dresses. It is a t-shirt dress. Literally. It is made from strips of old t-shirts that I got at a thrift store. They were 50 cents a piece. It is topped with a shirt I got from Wal-mart.

She really likes it. It is all cotton jersey, so it is very comfortable. I think it is adorable. I didn’t hem it because I like the way the t-shirt rolls up on the bottom, making a cute hem by itself. She enjoyed posing the other day before church. Then sister Kate had to get in on the action.

Silly sisters. I love to watch them play together and love each other. It really is precious. I just love being a  mommy. I can’t wait for new baby to come. That is going to be even more fun (and tiring).

Here is a precious moment I captured a few days ago, they are playing baby and mommy.

I only have 4 weeks left to this pregnancy, if all goes according to schedule. Yeah, right. Like that ever happens.

summer recap, part 2

Fourth of July was celebrated by shooting guns….

Mama and her cane while shooting = hilarious

Playing badminton….

Eating watermelon….

And spending time with family and friends.

During this month, I was asked to make a cake for my Uncle Anthony’s surprise birthday party. It turned out so pretty, I just have to share it with you.

Cute, huh? He plays the ukelele, so his daughter requested a ukelele cake. I had no idea how to do it. I used 2 sheet cakes and cut out the shapes. I used candy and thread for the top, Hawaiian looking flowers for the edge.

I canned lots and lots of pickles and tomatoes.

Kate had her first taco. And LOVED it. Now, every time I mention having tacos, she gets very excited. She likes to dip them into a salsa and sour cream mixture. We always have root beer with tacos. It makes it even yummier.

We went camping on the hottest weekend of the year. It was fun, but so hot!

Putting up our massive tent took some patience and some time.

The girls danced around the fire.

We learned to make cowboy coffee. Delicious! I suggest if anyone tent camps to try it. It is worth the wait.

~walks along the lake shore~
~grilling burgers lake side~
 ~eating more watermelon~
 ~enjoying sunsets~
~enjoying full moons over our campsite~
~having strange things happen~

Kate learned how to do a flip on the swing set. She loves to show off.

 Isabel still hasn’t quite learned how to pedal her tricycle, much to her frustration.

We ate lots of blueberry pancakes. LOTS.

~popcorn and movie nights~
The back vegetable garden

The front flowers on the other side of the driveway. Next year, hopefully, I will remember that the sunflowers face AWAY from the house. They don’t look quite like I want them to, because they face that way. Oh, well.

front flower bed

another view of the front
Stay tuned for August!

summer recap, part 1


Fall is here, officially by the calendar anyway. The first day of fall was last Friday. I had every intention of posting something about it, but for some reason, life keeps getting in the way of this blog.

I love this time of year. I really like the cooler sweater weather. I told Kate the other day that I was ready for sweaters, because I was tired of sweating. I had to laugh at myself. She didn’t get it, but she laughed with me. Because she is 3 and doesn’t “get” corny, yet.

In celebration of fall, I thought I would recap our summer for you. I was going to do it all at once, but I was going into picture overload. So, I will just do one month at a time…

The beginning of June involved getting ready for Daddy’s homecoming. We painted signs, cleaned and cleaned. Did lots of yardwork. And just generally wore ourselves out. 
Daddy’s homecoming was a very special day. We got the the airport extra early.
And we waited, and waited. Surprisingly enough, Kate ran to her Daddy. Isabel was too busy eating her french fries to be bothered. But, Kate was beyond excited.

She kept giving him these precious, little hugs. Quite adorable, really.

This is Brian and me on his first Sunday back. There are several of these pictures and in several of them a head or something is cut off. This is one of the better ones. We look cute together, I think.
After Daddy came home, life took on a different pace. There was lots more laughing and lots more horsing around.
I goof off with them and play with them, but NOT like Daddy does.
We went on a plane ride to Grandma and Grandpa Armonat’s house for Father’s Day and Grandpa Armonat’s birthday. Brian celebrated his Father’s day by buying himself a present. Which was  a good thing, because in the planning and packing for the trip, I completely forgot about Father’s day.
Here Brian is posing with his present. He is probably going to shoot me for putting this picture out there. But it is hilarious. Every time it scrolls through the screensaver, I laugh.
We got new baby chicks. Mama hen sat on 14 eggs. I think 6 hatched out. Baby chicks are so much fun to watch.
I accidentally grew a cantaloupe. I used my homemade compost around my blueberry plants. A vine began to grow; I left it alone. I watered it when I remembered. Brian and the girls enjoyed it. I thought it tasted green. Still neat, anyway.
We went on several boat rides. I love this picture of the girls holding hands. Just look at the way Isabel is gazing adoringly at her sister.
We also had several breakdowns and other issues that took a little bit of fun away from lake-going.
But, we still managed to have lots of fun, anyway.


And capture some nice pictures.

No caption needed….sister love.
The vegetable garden in June.
The front flowers in June.

I wish I could tell you I learned lots of lessons during the month of June, but I don’t think I did. I wasn’t feeling my best a lot of those days. I had a bladder infection one week, then a stomach virus the next. So, not really the best of months to look back on in that regard. But, one thing I am learning daily is to make the best of whatever life hands you.

I hope you enjoyed this look back on our month of June.

I did.

outdoor wednesday: veggie and flower gardens


I know, I know, it isn’t Wednesday. But, Wednesday and Thursday were CRAZY around here. I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off both days trying to get the yard and house looking nice for a certain someone who arrived home Thursday night. I really wanted to share with you the yard stuff I have been doing, but I didn’t want Brian to see some of the stuff I have done. I wanted him to be surprised, you know?

First, the vegetable garden:

Here it is when I first planted it, the week of April 17.

Here it is this past week, just 6 weeks later. You can’t really tell in this picture, but there is lots of grass between the rows.

yellow squash
banana peppers
Remember the front flower beds? Here is is before:

My perennials  have begun to grow back here. This is also before I put down the new soil, but after I had raked up all the leaves, mulch and black plastic.

Here it is with organic garden soil and some new perennials. I have also planted lots of zinnias and sunflowers in this bed. They are coming along nicely.

This is along the front. I have added some begonias, coleus, and impatiens for color.

This is Kate and Isabel’s garden. It is doing so well. Every day we see a new sprout of green that gets everyone excited.

Here is a close up of the climbing spinach we planted. We also planted some mammoth sunflowers with it, hoping the spinach will climb the sunflowers. We will see.

Here is their strawberry patch. It is supposed to fruit in June, but I was late in getting them in, so who knows when it will. But, they are looking good, don’t you think?

I planted zinnia and sweet william seeds amongst these peonies so that we would have some color in this bed throughout summer and fall. Zinnia never cease to amaze me. They just GROW with no help at all. I can’t wait until they are in full bloom. It is going to be fun.

Here is the rock wall that is on the other side of of the driveway. I added these sedum, petunias, and other perennials. It looks nice, too. It will look even nicer when they are all in bloom. I even added lots of zinnia to either side of these rocks.

Here is a shot of our morning entertainment. We have really been enjoying my birthday present. Aren’t they cute?

I still have a few other things to finish before I share them with you. But in the meantime….

Have a happy weekend!

Jubal and Molly

In our pasture there is a mean old mule. He is the devil. Seriously. Or he is one of the devil’s demons put here to torment us.

Will I ever learn? Brian has told me countless times, “Christy, when you go into the pasture, take the gun.” Well, it is bulky and I feel stupid walking around the pasture with a gun. I would much rather take the camera. Well, Molly and I were walking along the pasture, without a gun (just like Andy) and out of NOWHERE comes Jubal, the mean old mule. He was running full speed at us. I began to scream like a little girl. Poor little Molly took off running, trying to get away. But Jubal had us pinned against the fence, and Molly ran right toward his sharp hooves. Molly got scraped a little bit on her leg. Her injury was slight compared to the horror my imagination created.

The point here is this, I didn’t take the gun when I should have. I could have easily prevented all of this drama by shooting in the air. The mule would have ran away. But, no. I didn’t want to carry it. How many times do I do what I want to do, instead of what I have been told to do?

So, will I learn my lesson? I hope so. From here on out, I will be walking the pastures with a gun on my hip.