Before......blah.  I am thankful for, and love my home, but it wasn't too pretty.
Porch ceiling before....

porch ceiling after.....
After......I may be stuck with a brown roof, but when I get done, (hopefully replacing 8 windows and removing their brown storm windows next year) there won't be brown anywhere else.
Once I pulled down the vinyl ceiling, scraped, primed and painted, I then lime washed the brick .  The section on the left was added on, and the foundation is cement block.  The lime wash helped disguise that a bit; it wasn't even painted before--just naked block.
Here's DH taking down the aluminum,
 the wood underneath is a lovely 1970's gold.
The house was originally all white.

When I lime wash the other side of the house, I will probably do the steps.  We put lime wash on the steps at our last house, and it got a patina, but held up well.  Still thinking about whether to paint the floor white or blue.

I  plan on building rough cut cedar shutters.  I told DH that if he will build one and show me how, then I can do the rest.  We actually paid someone to build them at our last house, because DH was so busy with work.

We've got this cedar siding down, he stayed on the ladder and marked edge pieces, I cut them.  He's wondering why he didn't teach me how to use power tools 9 houses ago.
I am thrilled we figured out ways to get rid of so much brown!
The eaves do not bother me nearly as much as when there was brown so many other places; they may get painted eventually.  I originally wanted to replace the posts with 6x6 rough cut cedar.  But I decided to try painting them white first, then maybe switch them out down the road.....I've spent so much money already.

We added the support post above.  The 83 year old daughter of the man who built the house said that there never was one, but probably should have been--we had a bit of a sag to repair.
Here's our wonderful gable vent discovery, after I painted it.

New birdbath.
New landscaping and enlarged planting beds.
Since we have dogs that lay in planting beds, and chickens who scratch at shrub bases, I've learned to incorporate rocks into the landscaping. Next year we hope to put pea gravel and river rock around the pool area, I may do it here too.  I added about 20 new plants here.

Here's my view from the wicker chair.

I can't relax too long.  I need to pressure wash the rest of the house and garage, lime wash the foundation on the other side of the house, and re-stain the side porch.  
DH despises lattice, and will be replacing it at some point.  I've found some good ideas on pinterest to replace the lattice.  So, what do you think??
Our 29th anniversary, and the long story of our rings. 
We met on a blind date in September of 1987, set up by mutual friends.
Our friends got engaged, and DH overheard me saying that if I was going to wear a ring on my hand forever, I wanted to pick it out.  He remembered that comment.
Just one month after meeting!, he asked me to marry him, and we looked for rings. 

I had to choose between a costly ring and no honeymoon,
 or a more modest ring and a honeymoon.

I chose the modest ring, and Disney World; DH had never been.



I don't have a good variety date-wise of pictures to show.  They are on a top shelf in the garage, in 2 big plastic boxes that probably weigh 80 lbs each-.  I had to stand on a chair, blindly stick my arm in, and pull out what I could.

At the 10 year mark, I got a new ring, I don't have a picture, but it was very similar to the one pictured above.

We went back to Disney World that year too.

 Our thinking, at the time, was that I would get a new ring every 10 years.
That way, by the time the kids were grown, Kristen could have a ring, and Jake would have one to give to his wife or keep for a daughter.
Life went on, 

We adopted Emmi in 2005.

Then Avery in 2007.

 I don't remember actually choosing between the two, but in 2008 we did an "all the way down to the studs" kitchen renovation instead of me getting a ring.  The link is from the "house for sale" blog we did a few years ago.

I had stopped wearing my ring years ago due to some nerve damage that has since healed, and DH had never worn his much, since he worked with electricity.  In 2010, we sold all our gold as we were adopting Wes and Waid, just 5 months apart.
(read it if you have time, one of my better posts)

We're a year early on the "every 10 years" ring.  But this year, we got new rings!
And after realizing we had very few photos together, we had fun taking a bunch today.

At first I wanted stackable rings, to hand down to our daughters.  All the ones we found were very dainty, DH did not feel they were "worthy" of 29 years.

Then I tried putting a stackable ring in the middle, with an anniversary band on each side.  
Although several rings on a short stubby finger like mine, did not work out too well.

It was pretty, but did not add up to be a carat.
                     My wonderful husband wanted me to have a carat.
I knew I wanted a band, not a style that had stones set up on prongs.  I wear my ring 24/7, and didn't want a prong ring catching or hitting on things.
Here's what we decided on:  the picture doesn't do it justice.  I really did my homework on diamonds, and the sparkle of this ring is amazing.

DH was very patient in our search, even buying a ring at one store, to take to another store, so I could see them side by side.
On one of our shoppingtrips, he spotted this watch.  Of course he got it----you don't say "no" to a man who just bought you a carat!
                                                Thankful and blessed!!

Butterball and Helen have become great friends lately.
Remember, Helen is blind.

This morning, I stood and watched for several minutes.  Butterball walked with Helen and stayed right next to her.  It's amazing to watch the connection between animals!

Emmi **finally** sold all of her baby goats, that were old enough to sell. 
 On the day that she sold the last 5, this little girl was born.  
Emmi named her Tabby.
Joseph, the white one, is the only other baby goat here now. 
 He is Tabby's uncle, and two weeks older.
We made a great discovery while working on the front of the house!  We knew the aluminum siding had wood siding behind it, original to the house.  But what we did not know was that this vent was behind the aluminum.  We bought a cedar gable vent to put on the back of the house, but not for the front.  We did not know if there was a vent.
We had gone back and forth as to whether we needed a vent, since there did not appear to be one when the aluminum was up.  We were thrilled to find this old detail, all intact.  It has now been cleaned up and painted.
I can't wait to show you the before and after pictures of the front of the house in a few days!