During July….

world's worst barn

During July, The World’s Worst Barn is beginning a full shake-down, scrub down, paint all over, makeover. This thing is going from a hillbilly tractor barn to a beautifully imperfect gathering space for us all to come and simply BE. I’ll tell you much more about it later but for now, I couldn’t resist to show you an in-process shot of how different it looks just with a thin coat of primer sprayed on!!


the barn

Here’s the before. So far we lowered the doors so we could replace the metal doors with heavy wood (lowering them make them less heavy for the hardware and for us to have to open) and we removed that engine lift metal thing on the poles on each side. We also added six huge windows so now it’s light inside!

tiny house nation

During July a new show called Tiny House Nation premiers (Wednesday July 9th on fyi channel which I’m pretty sure we don’t have) but I’m still excited about this show.

During July I’m making this Coconut Cornbread Strawberry Shortcake. Often. Logan brought this to our house for dessert last week and it’s easily the best summer dessert I’ve ever had. She omitted the basil in the whipped cream, so I can’t vouch for that part.

orzo salad

During July I’m making Tracie’s Summer Orzo Salad. I’ve already made it countless times. It’s summer in a bowl.


During July, I’m keeping a Not to Do list more than a To Do List.


During July I’m thinking about what I want to do to the the stairs. I’m not saying I’m going to do them, although I’d love it if I do, but I’m intentionally thinking about what I want them to look like. This is an old photo, I don’t still have my Christmas garland up. I started a pinboard with stair ideas too. I know I don’t want the wood to show, it’s different wood than what’s on our floors so I’m for sure going to cover it with paint or something fun/quirky/pretty, hopefully all three.

jean fleming

In her book Pursue the Intentional Life, Jean Fleming says,

“Every life creates an atmosphere. The air around some people is charged with rage. The air crackles, stretched taut, waiting for the lightening strike. Another person, another atmosphere: anxiety and tension, or fearfulness and excessive caution, or recklessness and indifference.”

She goes on to say

“I live in eager expectation and hope.”

During July I’m also considering the atmosphere that surrounds my life.

What are you doing during July?

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  1. Love the idea of a “let’s not” list.
    This July I’m going for new impressions.

  2. Not making to do lists either. The barn is going to look amazing, I can tell already. What a great space to use as a hang out.

  3. The Tiny Nation show may be on a station you do get. I heard about it this weekend and started looking for it on my provider. I found it listed on BIO with my provider. I can’t wait to see it.

  4. This summer is the last summer before my oldest goes off to high school, so it’s all about stopping and taking it all in. Every last bit.

  5. Projects, projects,projects!!! I wanted to share this stair railing look with you!—Thinking of your imperfectly-beautiful farmhouse! I think it would look Awesome!

    Here’s to a happy Summer!

  6. I guess the image did not attach…but if you would like to see it I have in on my Pinterest board, titled ‘N E S T’ :)

    Search- Bethany Biesecker

    Love the blog!

  7. Man do I love the idea of a “Not to do” list!

  8. BIO is rebranding to FYI tomorrow on the 8th!!!

  9. My husband has been stalking Tiny House Nation since he heard about the initial concept (and I have no idea where he originally heard about it but it was a while ago but then he has been smitten with the concept of tiny houses for well over a decade… scares the bejeebuz out of me!)

    I am sure you probably know this but make sure you save all your scrap metal. It can earn you a tidy little bundle. We have sold so much scrap metal that it constantly amazes me!

    Can hardly wait to make it out and see this lovely “barn”!! Have a truly wonderful day!!

  10. Currently? Waiting to have a baby. And as always, thinking and planning about house stuff.

  11. Michelle says

    We are moving into our first house at the end of the month, so packing, moving things over, painting, working out decorating ideas…a lot of fun stuff!!!

  12. Check out all the pins for wallpapered risers on stairs – there are some great looks! I did mine and it was sooo easy and has been very durable!!

  13. We are in the middle of an adventure this summer. Sold our house in Atlanta more quickly than expected, so we’re living in a tiny 16-ft camper! We know first- hand about tiny “houses.” :) The only thing on my to-do list is to find our next house, hopefully a little bigger….

  14. That salad is identical to Giada’s Tri Colore Orzo salad from the food network. One of my absolute faves.

  15. lydialou says

    During July, my husband and I are going to put down some hardwood flooring in a section of our hallway that has never been done. I have been trying to get it done f-o-r-e-v-e-r it seems. My hubby always finds something else to do-like watch a terrific movie or play with his ham radio. Keep your fingers crossed that we will accomplish this!

  16. I’m adding blog coaching to the mix of what I do … http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/2014/07/ready-set-coach.html

    And I am SO excited …


  17. I am making a bad chair slip cover…. I bought your book and love it. :)

  18. I am planning to (finally!) paint in my living room. Turn ugly brown paneling walls to a clean, refreshing white! Today I stained our deck and planted several pots of flowers. and read stories to my little girls…. Love summertime! Can’t wait to see what you all do to your barn. Looks like a perfect spot for summertime gatherings!

  19. Ooh, I love hearing about the barn’s progress! I wish I could add 6 big windows to the side of my apartment that faces an interior hallway!! Light is the best. :)

    And I can’t wait to see what you do with the stairs!!

  20. You should totally milk paint those steps. You’ll still retain that rustic feel, but have a pop of color :-)

  21. I’m keeping a “not to do” list, too!!!! and also enjoying every type of body of water I can … river, pond, ocean, pool! summer is my jam!!!!!

  22. I’m eager to see your barn complete, especially with the windows!
    What a true observation, that people have “atmospheres.” A couple days ago, a new acquaintance told my husband and me, “You’re such a calm family! You and your kids!” That made me smile. Trusting the Lord with everything is undoubtedly what makes us “calm.” :)

  23. Our July is all about moving, relocating, staying sane, budgeting very tightly and holding a family together.

    Can’t wait to see what you do with those stairs!

  24. I planned on relaxing as much as possible the first few weeks of July, before the arrival of my 3rd child, and just enjoy the last weeks of pregnancy. I had everything organized and ready for his arrival by mid-June. Here we are, 8 days into July, and I haven’t relaxed at all. All that organizing I did… well, I just keep REorganizing everything. What can I say? Plans don’t always go as planned.

  25. I’ve started to redecorate my bathroom by stripping the wallpaper but I’m having trouble making a decision on paint color — too many choices out there. Hope to finish this month. Here is a blog post I did about it if anyone is interested in visiting and helping me make the paint decisions. http://angelsneverlastings.blogspot.com/2014/07/my-bathroom-makeover-before.html

  26. Your stairs-
    My aunt jsu redid her stairs and they look amazing. She painted the inside of the stairs white and left the top wood. The resurface the top wood as well. Think about it.

  27. I really like that quote about atmosphere. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Can’t wait to see what you do to your shed! During July, I’m feeling lazy, mowing ALOT, getting ready to have our kids show their pigs at our County Fair, finishing projects before I go back to work for the school year, and reading, alot. Should I feel guilty for some of the laziness? I hope not.

  29. Thanks for sharing the coconut cornbread strawberry shortcake recipe. It’s delish. Just made it last night, based in your recommendation, and loved it! I also made the basil whipped cream, thought it might as well go all out with it. I loved the depth of flavor, kids not so much. Hubby wouldn’t even try it. I split my jug of cream in half, steeped basil with half, made regular cream with half, that way, I kept them all happy. Can’t wait to see your barn re-do!
    Enjoy July!

  30. I may get to have a shake down of my own if we buy property with a barn so I have to continue to read so I can see how yous progresses.
    Thanks for sharing

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