Master Bedroom

A few images from our bedroom… I’ve since had to move the jewelry off the dresser because the princess is CONSTANTLY getting into it! Carson built the bed (which isn’t really finished yet), lamps, and mirror. The bedside tables belonged to my grandparents and the dresser was a golsn find. The pillow shams are another pop or Orla Kiely, found at TJ Maxx.

If you look closely you’ll see the midi split on the wall above the bed. It can both heat and cool. We have one here and one in the main room. We don’t use them nearly as often as most people use their heating a cooling units due to the passive heating and cooling in our house. In short, the house is extremely well insulated and the large windows and concrete floors help to maintain the temperature. The midi splits on each end of the house are plenty to deal with any extreme heat or cold we experience in Tennessee.


Norah’s Room

It turns out once you move into a house it becomes much more difficult to take and post good pictures. It has something to do with these small people who are constantly leaving things everywhere, and wearing clothes that pile up, and using dishes, and so on. And you guys don’t want to see that stuff, I promise. BUT, I have finally managed to photograph several rooms so I’ll try to post one at a time. Here is Norah’s room.


I’m really pleased with how it has turned out. There was a time when I would have wanted a little girls room to be all matchy matchy, but these days I’m a fan of light walls and eclectic decor.norahrm2

The wreath I made from felted wool and bendable wire. I’m thinking of adding some more colors to it.The bedspread is Orla Kiely and we got a steal on it at TJ Maxx.norahrm3norahrm4

This artwork is all free printables found via Pinterest.norahrm6

The rocking chair is from Ikea as is the rug (in the first photo). The cradle I found at Goodwill and then painted it. The curtains are also from Goodwill. Someone had already lengthened them to the perfect length. Thank you. The toy kitchen and doll house are both Plan Toys and both came from Essex for a GREAT price. We like deals.norahrm7

4 October 2015

We’ve been busy…

enjoying the tub (as many times a day as I will let Norah take a “bathtub”),in1

homeschooling (these are Jude’s versions of the kings of upper and lower Egypt. He acted out King Narmer defeating the other dude and taking on part of the other king’s crown),in2

standing in this spot as I wash dishes, load and unload the dishwasher, etc.,in4

working on home decor projects,in5

making messes in new spaces,in6

enjoying new things,in7

getting organized… ish, in8

playing matchy matchy with all the Goodwill finds (basically everything in this photo came from Goodwill except the three pails which came from Target. Several items have been painted.),in9

and basking in the light of this new house!in10

Carson has also been working on porches and building doors and what not, but I’ll save the nuts and bolts for another post.

Moving In

899. As I laid down to go to sleep that first night I picked my cell phone back up and did the math; 899 days since we moved out of our house in Geita. If you’ve spent time living in someone else’s space that number will be plenty to explain why we moved in with no baseboards or porches. We’ve spent a significant amount of time living with others, from family to teammates in Tanzania. It’s challenging. It’s a mix of extreme gratitude for these people who are willing to share their space with you and frustration because you have to wear a bra all the time. I’m pretty sure this particular 899 day stretch has taught me a few things, but it’s too early to try and speak any of them.

Wednesday night was the first night we slept here, but Monday night I hosted book club in our house. Here is what the living room was looking like.


It still looks the same, just with lots of boxes.

Here is our lovely group eating. It was such a joy to host these women in my home. You could not find a more beautiful, intelligent, witty, hilarious, fun group of women. Seriously, go try. I’ll wait….. see told you. So it is always such a blast to be with this group, but Monday night really was extra special getting to host.


There was a moment Monday night, when everyone was eating and laughing and talking and I snapped this photo of a simple glass jug with salad dressing dripping down the side and it was so incredibly beautiful to me. I’d spent days putting all sorts of beautiful things into the kitchen drawers. The setting up of my kitchen was as wonderful as I had hoped. I especially enjoyed pulling out things that were my Mema’s. But Monday night, seeing that messy jug, it wasn’t just a pretty little thing anymore, it was a used thing. And my house wasn’t just a house, for the very first time it was a home.


And here is a picture of us eating dinner our first night in the house, packing boxes and all!


22 August 2015

Last weekend a couple of friends came up to help out and they got a lot done!

The hot water heater sits in a little shed outside the house.A1 A2

Ceilings are complete!A3 A4

Tile is complete!A5 A6

As soon as my camera battery charges I’ll get some pictures of the progress from this past week.

9 August 2015

We’re so close to moving in we can taste it! This morning Carson made a list of the remaining things that must be complete before we start sleeping in the house. It’s pretty exciting to be thinking in days!more12

So on with the progress pics. Here’s that dining room light painted.more5

Here’s the finished floor in Norah’s bedroom.more3

And a close up showing the grouted, um crack? There has got to be a more correct term that signifies the purpose of these large cracks running across the house, but it escapes me at the moment.more7

Isn’t this the most beautiful attic door?more1


Here is the ceiling in our bathroom.more6

And the wallpaper that will go up on one wall in there. There’s been more progress on our bathroom, but it doesn’t seem I’ve photoed it yet. Just wait, it’s gorgeous. I told Carson I’m gonna live in there.more4

Electricity! The kids and I happened to be up at the site when the electric company came and hooked up the power. It was fun to watch the bucket truck do it’s thing and then the kids all took turns turning on the lights.more2

It’s crazy how much more it feels like a house with lights on!more9

We also have running water in the house! Check out that sprayer.more11

The kids also took turns flushing the toilet! It’s gettin real, ya’ll!more10

Update 20th July

I’m way behind on updates and the only way I’m ever going to catch up is to do one good overload post so grab your coffee and get comfy!

So there was the ditch digging. One weekend Carson and his dad dug the ditch, the next they laid in the pipes and conduit and what not, and the next they covered it all back up. It was inspected before that final weekend.update4

This is Carson fitting a board on top of the ditch digger because someone pointed out that he might get sun burned.update5

Here it is all filled in towards the power line.update6

And towards the house.update7 update9

By the time we finish this house I am never going to want to see gray stain again! Here is a shot of roughly 30 boards that Nancy and I stained one morning.update19

The ceiling boards are almost complete!update3 update1


A good friend came up one day a week or so ago and he and Carson worked on this.update10 update134

This whole wall is actually going to get stained in place, because we didn’t have enough pre stained boards ready that day.


This is where one of those boards along the stairs intruded into the boys room. Oops. As soon as Carson saw it he said, “That’s why that board was so hard to get in!”update15

This part hasn’t been finished yet because Carson has to work out the under stair storage and exactly how we will access it. I think we may have actually decided now, but at the moment I can’t remember.update14

The bedroom ceilings are all having to be sprayed because all these little crevices are too hard to get in. Here is the primer.


And here is the paint.update11

Ok, so there are always set backs. This one drove me crazy. The first 5 gallons of paint we got ended up being the wrong sheen. It was labeled correctly, but Carson kept saying it was awfully shiny for flat. When we ran out and got the next bucket the difference was glaring. In this photo the walls are still the glossy and the ceiling has been recoated except for right around the base of the light. It’s frustrating to have painted 5 gallons worth only to discover you have to recoat it all! At this point the only thing remaining from the original paint is the kids’ bath.update12

This past week Carson was working on the floors. Here he is vacuuming out dust.update21

Here is the floor wet, having been mopped. update20

And here is what they look like with the sealer! Carson says once they are waxed the variations will be a little less prominent, but they don’t bother me anyway. All the rooms except for the big living/kitchen room have sealed floors.update23

And finally, Carson found this beautiful Ikea light at Habitat Restore for $3! It’s been painted and is hanging where the dining table will go, but I don’t have a pic to post of that yet.update24