The First Smokin F

When I first met Jay, he was living in a horse barn in New Boston, Texas.  It was very simple, very dusty, and had tile floor throughout, no doubt to make it easy to sweep out all the manure he tracked in.  And we loved it.  We’ve moved 7 times since that barn apartment, and always said we’d make it back to a metal house someday.  So when this house became available at the exact time we needed it to, we knew it was part of God’s plan for us.

We have lots of kids and even more critters.  My floors are dirty, my laundry room overflows, my porches have chicken poop stains, when the wind is right (or wrong) the pig pen smells, my horses and chickens and probably some nightly visitors like to drag compost across the yard, some one always needs to be fed, bathed, or otherwise tended to…all in all, it’s just a constant state of perfectly harmonious chaos.

Welcome to the Smokin’ F

And this is where I sit now to share this post…because aesthetically, its gorgeous and creativity flows.  And logistically, internet in a metal house in the middle of nowhere is lofty, at best. 🙂

This is our living room…where we really live.  If we’re not outside, we’re here…probably because we all fit in it….and it has easy access to the kitchen.  True story.

I was so happy to pack away the Carhartts from these hooks last week.  Bring on the summer!

The heart of our home.

Bellied up to the bar is our favorite place to be.

Veggie scraps for the chickens, meat for the dogs and everything else to the pigs.  So little waste makes me very happy.

Lists make me unbelievably happy.  And I would be utterly lost without this one.  I have to write my weekly menu on something I won’t lose…like a giant, red chalk board. Otherwise, it’s guaranteed I forget what I bought groceries to make.  Plus, I think my hungry crew likes to know what’s coming.


My other saving grace…a calendar I made several years ago out of an old window.  Kids, and the lack of sleep they provide, have pretty turned my mind to mush, so unless it’s clearly in front of me every day, I will absolutely forget.  School, soccer, visitors, birthdays, holidays…how’s a girl supposed to keep all that straight?!?

Pinterest is full of sweet signs about tons of  laundry being a good thing or about missing laundry when our kids are gone.  But let’s get real.   I needed some motivation I could really get behind.

It took me 2 coats of paint before I realized this oversized bathroom just needed some texture to warm it up.

Our bedroom.  It’s really the first bedroom we’ve had that feels like a grown-up solstice from all the crazy.  Don’t get me wrong, there are usually several kiddos in bed with us, and horses peeking in the windows trying to get a snack, but it’s nice to have a peaceful get-away.

The boys rooms


Y’all.  I did not realize how much boys smell until they had their own bathroom.  Ew.

The girls’ room


The upstairs cat walk is one of the coolest and most useful places we have.  Kids can go up there, make a mess, and I don’t even see it for several days.

EXCEPT when we have visitors.  Then, we boot the kiddos out and visitors lay claim to this space.

Air hockey, kitchen, dress-up, tea parties, karaoke, art wall…this is where the magic happens.

This is one of my favorite spaces.  Its always a mess and they’ve lost most of the supplies we’ve bought, but I love giving the kids a place to show off their creativity.


The back yard….just makes me want to take a deep breath.

We all know I adore my laying hens.  I spoil them rotten.  And this is the reason I’ve put my Granny’s swing all the way from Rockdale, Texas, right here with my girls and my garden.

Our pigs.  It’s not for everyone, I know.    But they’ll  be happy and loved…until they’re bacon.  And there is an enormous satisfaction I get from knowing exactly what my kids are eating.


This part of the Smokin’ F is the hardest to capture on camera.  It’s unbelievable.  When you walk in this natural hideaway that spans our back hill, you literally don’t hear anything except birds chirping and trees blowing.  It smells like I imagine a rainforest smells…fresh and clean.  There’s a cave and a sinkhole…and that fascinates us all.  I can’t wait to see the club houses that will be built back here as the kids grow.    

One thought on “The First Smokin F

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  1. Looking forward to visiting y’all in July (all 11 of us). Need a reservation for a Saturday? Pls call Sharon 248-854-7786. Thankx

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