Saturday, April 30, 2011


It's making me really sad that I don't have a camera.  I love getting to post the progress we have made.  It doubles the sense of accomplishment I feel when I can look back and see where we started.  Mostly because at this stage of things when you look around and not one thing is 100% finished it can get REALLY discouraging.   Plus,  I love getting pictures of Annie working in the yard and planting seeds.  We worked in the yard almost all day yesterday, tilling soil, laying down bricks and pavers, and seeding the finished plots.  My back might be killing me, but we now have 5 plots, planted and/or seeded.  I'm hoping the plants take off really well this year.  It always seems to take me a full growing season to mature and balance out the soil.  I don't use any chemical fertilizers and although I do supplement the soil with compost, peat and rock dust, it's a slow science for me.   I've always kept my expectations low for the first year.  I would love to look outside later this summer and see a full vegetable garden, but I'm not holding my breath.  The soil here is great, we have real dirt instead of clay.  Here's hoping...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


 So guess whats coming up?  I am so excited about Annie's first dance recital.  When your kid gets her first recital costumes it makes all the driving and sitting around for an hour every class totally worth it. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to quit.  Every Monday Annie would say she didn't want to go, and every Monday I dragged her butt to class. After class she would talk nonstop about how much fun it was, and my hopes of actually quitting would be crushed.  I don't hold out high expectations for the actual recital.  It's a group of 4 year olds in cute costumes, what more do you need? 

As a warning, this might be my last photo update for a long time, my digital camera has finally died.  Just in time for my daughters first dance recital I might add.  Technology really sucks sometimes.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Blog

So with the addition of Baby Elsie, Annie said we needed to make the blog Annie and Elsie's Garden.  It seemed a little long, so we compromised with Our Garden.  Let me know what you think of the new banner.  Changing the look of the blog is my new hobby when Texas is watching basketball.  Hopefully by the time Basketball season ends I'll have it looking better.

Being little

There is something so magical about getting into your mom's jewelry box.  I remember sneaking into my moms when I was little and being enthralled with every little thing.   Annie found her way into my jewelry box this morning, and spent over an hour trying on hair-combs, clips and necklaces.  She had the best time, pretending she was getting ready for the ball.   I want her to stay just like this forever. 

 And where was little Elsie this whole time?
Enjoying diaper free time on mommy's bad.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Univited guests, Easter dresses and Carrot tops

 This morning was a three ring circus of activity involving me, two little girls and the adorable matching dresses you see here.  Wrestling them in, brushing hair and getting out the door to church was a logistical nightmare.  Texas was off ironing his underwear or something equally as useless, while I was left to create the cuteness you see above. 
After a series's of brunches and get togethers we rush home to prepare for our own event.  Dinner, with both sets of patents, no pressure right?  While in a mad rush to get the cake in the oven, the meat on the grill and the table set, Texas hears something in the floor boards.  He's convinced somethings in there.  I tell him we don't have time to deal with it and to get back to work, but he doesn't.  After trying to figure what it could be, Annie informs us it's a bird.  We look at her like she's nuts, I go back to the kitchen and Texas goes back to trying to figure out the mystery.  Sure enough, it's a bird stuck in our air ducts under the floor.  What you see above is my home made air duct bird trap.  We spent 30 minutes trying to lure/scare the bird into the trap and finally gave up.  Annie however does not.  She's runs outside, yanks a carrot up from the ground and tosses the carrot tops into the duct.  Sure enough, 5 minutes later she has lured the bird out and it's flying around my dining room smashing into everything.  Texas shoes the bird out and all is well.  Sorry, but the bird moved to fast to get a picture. Lesson of the day?  Listen to Annie. She is obviously much smarter than her parents.

Day 111

Not only was our house COVERED in wall paper, layers and layers of wallpaper, but each room came with it's own 70's era ceiling fan.  We were rockin' the basket weave fan blades like no bodies business.
 By day 111 Texas was fed up with the ceiling fan/light fixtures and took them all down.  He reconfigured one for our living room and it doesn't look to bad.  The rest are boxed up for goodwill.  After taking everything down he pulls this box out from the basement, a set of six boob lights.  I know they are cheap and easy to install, but I really don't like boob lights, they look like boobs!  After an hour of arguing I realize he had me corned. He already took down the old lights, the sun was eventually going to set and I can't hang light fixtures.  My husband had outsmarted me, and I can't believe I fell for it.  It never occurred to me to ask what he planned on putting up after he took everything down.  Enjoy your victory Tex, it won't happen again.  As a peace offering he took the one down in the dining room and hung my chandelier.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Family time

 Do you enjoy privacy while bathing, being alone on the toilet or brushing your teeth in silence?  Be glad you aren't in this family.   We have a strange habit of all collecting in the bathroom at the same time.  This morning I realized how strange it was when Texas started fixing the toilet, while I was folding the laundry, Annie was bathing and Elsie was sleeping in the bouncy seat, All in the bathroom.
No our bathroom isn't that big and yes it's incredibly cramped in there, but no I wouldn't have it any other way.

 Not only is it fun to have everyone piled in there
 It's educational
and a tad sneaky.

Friday, April 22, 2011


 Relocating some plants from our former residence, Annie decided to pitch in.
 She thought it would be nice to plant the strawberries next to the blueberries.

 Wow! our wood pile sure would come in handy if we had a fireplace.
Texas only has one big piece left to cut up.

 Sticks line the fence of our very forgiving neighbors.

Rouge carrots found growing at our old house. 

So far we've transplanted Asparagus, garlic, blueberries, strawberries, and carrots into our back yard.  Annie's big experiment this year is to plant corn.  She wants to know if you plant red and white corn next to each other will they grow pink corn.  I told her we would have to grow it and see. I love how her mind is starting to think about cause and effect, and she wants to see it on her own.

The lonely dog

 Banjo is bored.
 Banjo wants to play.
Sadly, no one wants to play with Banjo.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Escape to the yard

 Texas got home from work to find me in the back yard cutting up tree limbs and attempting to make room for a few plants, so he grabs his chainsaw and starts helping me.  Did I mention I love this man?  He worked all day and then comes home to chainsaw trees in the backyard with his nut of a wife who promised during premarital counseling that she wouldn't garden.  Sorry Matt, I really tried.
Texas on chain number two.
 He then had to resort to chopping the wood, after chain number two had had it.
  Banjo surveying his yard.

 What to do with all those weeds I pull?

My Archnemesis

 I'm finally down to the last four laundry baskets.
Sorted and ready to go, as soon as the laundry already in the machines rotates out.  It's a never ending cycle of misery. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Better pictures

The pictures from yesterday looked terrible, so I'm posting a better picture of the plants in day light.  Did I mention I'm a terrible photographer?  I really am.  If you're ever wanting to see a blog with beautiful pictures go look at my friend Missy's blog.  She has the ability to make a mess look good.  It's so not fair.
Just for fun I'm showing you what my older daughter wore in her hair to school this morning.
It's definitely going to be the next big thing in hair.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Long day

Today was rough. I spent a good portion of my morning just thinking over all the things I needed to get done.  Then I went through the calender to try and find time for it all.  Things weren't adding up.  The to do list was too long, the calender was too full and I was escaping to the kitchen in my head. After fighting the urge to hide in the kitchen for most of the morning, I succumbed. Texas ended up catching me in there copying recipes, and had to pry my fingers from my recipe binder.  At least I wasn't baking   Kicked out of the kitchen I floundered for what felt like forever.   Wasted a good hour trying to make my blog look better, instead I think I made it look worse.  Utterly frustrated, I put the screaming baby down for her nap and handed Texas the baby monitor.

I spent the remainder of my day gardening.  It wasn't really top in priority, but I wasn't baking, I didn't spend any money and the house needed it.   The biggest plus, gardening is like baking, it's easy to escape from my to do list.
I mixed herbs in with the hostas, not sure this is going to work out well, but I thought I would try.

Yesterdays cake

I think I might need to stop baking.  I've gone through 9 pounds of butter in less than a week.  That can't be good. My last cake was a white cake with white chocolate icing and of coarse a bunny sprinkled on top in coco powder.  I made it for my mom's church meeting.  I hope it turned out ok.  I was glad to get it out of the house before I tried eating any.  I really am going to try and not bake today.  Wish me luck.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Church Mouse

Yes, our church has a mouse.  It sits at the office all day, and my daughter is infatuated with Murphy the church mouse.   When our church wonder woman, Mary, was planning a trip out of town Annie was overjoyed.   She volunteered to "mouse sit" while Mary was gone.  I think she got the idea from my mother who was constantly offering to watch peoples dogs when they go out of town, to fill the void left by not having a dog of her own.  Now that she has her own dog (thanks Greta) I wonder how much she'll be dog sitting.  Annie, I'm sorry if you have a mouse void, I'm not getting you one. 
Not to mention Banjo has been seriously neglected since Murphy showed up.

 Yes, that is my dog trying to look as pathetic as possible.  Unfortunately for him, Annie is clueless.  Don't worry Banjo, Murphy goes home tomorrow.

I remember when you were born

My niece Sadie just turned seven!  I can't believe how big she's gotten.  I remember carrying her in a baby sling, now she's almost big enough to carry me around.  Today Texas and I took her on a little Birthday adventure.   We went and bought her a dress, had lunch out and then came home and baked her birthday cake.  A heart shaped chocolate cake with a chocolate glaze and the number seven in powdered sugar.  Sadie might have a future in cake designing.  Happy Birthday Sadie, we love you.


With the chaos of going back to work and trying to handle two kids, I've been a little stressed.  Unfortunately, Texas didn't believe me that when I am stressed, I bake.  I tried to warn him.  In that last two weeks I've baked 6 cakes, 5 loaves of bread and a dozen or so rolls.   I'm not sure why, but baking has a calming effect on me, and it makes me super happy.   Thank you new cook book, this weeks baking has been extra fun.

My fridge is a little small, but I make it work.

Chocolate Malt Cake

Sweet and Salty cake
Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

skinny mess

A big baby = skinny mama
Thanks to little Elsie's intense appetite I am now 16 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight.  This is unheard of as far as I'm concerned, but thank you Elsie.  The nicest gift a baby can give a mother.

Aside from my weight loss everything here is in a tail spin.  I started back at work a couple weeks ago and so yes, the blogging is not getting done.  Neither is the laundry, the dishes or any form of cleaning what so ever.  Sorry new husband, your dream wife is too busy to wash your clothes, but I do love you.  

Friday, April 8, 2011


Nothing scares me more than a chainsaw as far as yard tools go.  Second runner up would be the tiller.  Every time I hear one, I envision someone's leg being cut off.  Not sure if was too many nights spent watching chainsaw massacre as a teenager or just the horrifying sound it makes when you turn it on.
This last week has been a nail biter for me as Texas saws away at the massive tree in our yard.  He's making great progress and once it's gone he'll get to till up the soil for me to garden.

 The tree before Texas starts
 He's really gotten a lot done
 No, we do not have a working fireplace, but why not keep a huge pile of wood in our back yard?
Banjo has claimed his spot.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day ?

With the tree gone, guess who finally came to live with us?  I didn't realize how much I missed them till they got here.  Texas and I worked all day after church on Sunday to put up a temporary home, and get them relocated.  It will be over the next few weeks that we dismantle their house and fencing at the old place and move it here.  Thank the Lord for amazing Land lords who are being incredibly patient with us. 

 Texas stapling chicken wire to my quarantine coop.  I built this to house 1-3 chickens if they ever got sick.  It is now the temporary home to 7 girls.  It's a tight squeeze, but they are managing well.

 Here's Annie showing the chickens around their little yard.

She then proceeded to pick up each one and give them a hug.

She's quite proud of her chicken wrangling skills. So am I.  It took Texas and I 10 minutes to catch one.  She can catch one in less than a minute.

Yes, she loves her little girls.

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