4 Moms 35 Kids: Open House linky

4 Moms 35 Kids is back from summer break/maternity leave!  Did you miss us?

Just for the fun of it, we’ve agreed to kick it off with an Open House to show you how big families live.  Join me, Kimberly, Smockity and the Headmistress by linking up with a post and pics of your own.

Our Open House this week highlights the outside of the house.  Here in south Texas, we have 2 seasons: Summer, and Not-Summer.  Each lasts about 6 months.

Since we don’t use a/c and things get pretty steamy down here, we spend a lot of time outside in the summer.  Of course we also spend a lot of time outside during the more pleasant not-summer time.

Needless to say, we love our deck.   My hunney has been buying me wrought-iron tables and chairs by bits and pieces over the last year or more.  We eat dinner out here nearly every night, especially when we have company.

Last year I also added a table built out of leftover scraps from deck repairs.  We usually serve dinner buffet style from this table.

We were thrilled to add some shade on our deck last year…

and even more shade last month.

See? Lots of shade!

We already thought our view was stunning, but somehow it seems even nicer when your brains aren’t baking in the sun.

Unfortunately, our garden isn’t nearly as happy on the deck as we are.  I think it’s languishing for freedom, but the deer run rampant down there.  The garden wouldn’t last a week.

If you’ve ever been to our house in real life, you were probably expecting to see our laundry hung out to dry.  No, I am not posting pics of our undies flapping in the wind for the whole world wide web to see.  Only our closest friends and family get that view.

If one were to venture off the deck – something I do with shameful infrequency – one would be accosted by chickens who assume that you are on your way to the compost pile with a bucket of goodies.

The full-grown hens are very friendly, but we’re curious to see if our little Leghorn pullets will stay as sweet as they are now.  Leghorns have a reputation for being shy and skittish.  Too bad they can’t stay tiny and fluffy, but I suppose that would defeat the purpose of having chickens.

Further down the driveway is our little bit of flatland, where you’ll find a used bike lot and the trampoline.

Wait – did I say that?  Bikes?  What bikes?  There’s just a trampoline.

You’re welcome to walk about our 5 rocky, hilly acres if you’d like – there’s lots of live oak, spanish oak, agaritas (loaded with delightfully tart little berries in the spring), and prickly pears (another edible fruit, though we aren’t fond of them), with small scrubby cedar everywhere.  Oh, and rocks.  Lots of rocks.

And that’s all there is to see, folks.  Would you care to sit a spell and have a glass of iced tea?  Or come in and see the baby?

Or you could link up with a post of your own.  Just link here and your link will show up on all 4 Moms’ blogs!  Please remember to include a link to this post to keep your link from being deleted.


  1. Shannon M says:

    I want to do a nice covering over the porch like you did! Where do I look for those? What are they called? Thanks for posting the great pictures! We are living small, too… Encourages me that it can be done! 😉

    • We have shade cloth from Lowes or Home Depot over one side, and the other side is a sun shade from Overstock.com. We love them both, but will probably build a cover out of 1×2’s like we saw at the beach when it’s time for a replacement.

  2. I love it when we go camping and are outside ALL THE TIME. No a/c, no walls, just God’s beauty. Sadly when we come home it’s back to a/c and too much inside time. I’m so glad that your family takes advantage of the wonderful part of the state we live in.

  3. I am going to say the same thing many of your commenters have already said….NO A/C?~!?! You are amazing. I guess you’d get used to it, but wow.

    Your view is amazing though. That would be worth sitting outside for. I’d love to see it….in the fall. 🙂 Lisa~

  4. I loved your blog so much that I was inspired to start my own!

  5. I just wanted to stop by and say I am new to your blog and am loving your header

  6. I’ve linked to your post.

  7. I miss the deck at our old house, although we didn’t have a view like yours!!! It was in the suburbs. We are now on 2.5 acres, but we don’t have a deck! Oh well, I prefer the country.
    Thanks for the pics.

  8. I love the table you made with the scrap wood. Great job!

  9. As one who’s had the pleasure of dining on the deck I will say that you guys have hands down the best outdoor dining 🙂 I was amazed that after melting in the sun all day the breeze coming over the deck made for a fantastic dining experience (the company wasn’t bad either ; ) ). If Graham and I ever get the chance to build our own we may have to borrow Perrys 3&4 and the big girls to help 🙂

  10. Hi, I just discovered this an hour ago. Hope I made all the links work.
    Your view is wonderful!

  11. Elisabeth says:

    Little Parker is adorable! Praise God for such a sweet little guy!

  12. I’m sorry, I guess I didn’t read the idea of this too closely! I thought it was a BLOG open house… not show pictures of our house!! Haha! Oops… I’m going to blame it on the newly pregnant brain. I will try to make a new blog post today or tomorrow to link up, but if you want to remove my link until then, that’s fine. Sorry! 🙁

  13. Thank your for sharing! Wonderful pics! We live on 10 acres (half wooded) in rural Virginia. I’d love to visit, but it’s a long commute from here. LOL! We planl to get chickens later this year. :o)

    BTW, we lived on Oahu for a year in a rental house without AC and it was M-I-S-E-R-A-B-L-E. I was pregnant for 6 months of that. Ugh! Then after, the baby was born, my hormones were all out of sorts and I’d have hot flashes. Double Ugh! In every state that we lived in (Alaska, New Hampshire, Hawaii), where we supposedly didn’t need A/C, we had upstairs bedrooms and ROASTED without it. (Thankfully, we did have A/C in 2 of the 3 places.) Anyway, I don’t know how you do it!

    One more thing, my Mom grew up with 9 siblings in an old farm house without central heat or air. She says the heat wasn’t so bad – they were used to it – but now that she is used to A/C, she can’t imagine life without it.


  14. My Boaz's Ruth says:

    I’ve lost something since a kid… I can’t seem to cope without air conditioning.

    Austin is not as humid as Houston, but bad enough. Right now, it is “82 feels like 98” and is supposed to get up to 105 (when it does I guess they’ll tell us what the “feels like” temperature is)

    All I know is that a/c does not keep up with temperatures that high!

  15. I linked to your blog! We don’t have AC either… but thankfully don’t live in Texas with 100+ degree weather. PA is hot enough for me! I think you guys need a swimming pool!

  16. Thanks for hosting this fun event! I hope I did all the linky things right, I’m new to blogging! It sure is fun!
    We too are without AC, life is never boring! Have a beautiful day.

  17. The hills! Beautiful!

    The baby is the best part, though!

  18. We lived without a/c for 3 Summers. It’s never easy, and it’s very humid here. But I think the thing that makes the biggest difference is that here, like you said Kim, we have Summer for 6 months! It’s not just 2 weeks of 100+ heat, it can be months on end. Playing in the water helps a great deal, even if it’s just a sprinkler and a kiddie pool! I used to keep a wet bandanna around my neck, just re-wet it and wring it out every so often, and a shower before supper helps too! 😀

  19. thank you for sharing the lovely pics.

  20. Wow! I think I’d take that view over my green grass any day! I took pictures of our outside yard this morning and my children thought I was crazy!

    I linked to your home page, but I didn’t link to this particular post (I posted to all 4 of you ladies, to each ladies home page). Will it still work?

    This was fun! Thanks for the idea!

  21. Roxie Meiske says:

    How you live without air conditioning is amazing to me. I am in Round Rock Texas…if my air conditioner went out on me I would be ready to fly the coop till it was fixed.
    The heat index here is 108 again today. So dry (as in no rain in sight) but the humidity makes me swelter.

    We too cook out side as much as possible. I use the crock pot and microwave oven too. Anything not to heat the house.
    Your 5 acers look beautiful to me.

  22. The scenery and deck are lovely. I bet you are really enjoying the shade.

    Is your garden being fruitful? This year is our first garden success since we moved here 5 years ago. I think the last two years the garden has just been a little too high in our yard and hasn’t gotten enough sun.

  23. I think I linked, love your blog- nice to see your 5 rocky acres

  24. I *love* the scenery around your home– so beautiful! It would be easy to just gaze out for hours amazed at God’s beauty!
    Thank you for the blog carnival…this is fun!

  25. What is the humidity like in your part of Texas?? Sadly, there is NO WAY we could exist without air conditioning up here in Central Illinois. For example, today the temp is supposed to be around 88 degrees, which isn’t too bad. (Our temps lately have been more in the 95-97 degree range with excessive humidity.) But the “heat index”, the way it FEELS when combined with the massive amounts of humidity in Illinois, is supposed to be between 101-102 degrees!! Good grief- a 13 degree difference! A person could literally drown in the humidity here. The dew point (something tied in with the humidity) has reached record levels over the past 2 years. We read an article that said that some scientists think that it’s because of the massive amount of corn planted in this state, which becomes this huge biomass that holds the heat. It makes summer nearly unbearable. I am truly looking forward to fall. Anyway, there’s more than you wanted to kow about our weather here in Central Illinois!

  26. It’s interesting to me that most large families own a trampoline (we do), so many parents freak out when they see it and start yelling about necks breaking and E.R. visits and such. Do you think we become a little more relaxed out of necessity? LOL!

  27. I’m sorry… what?? You don’t use the AC??? Okay, I realize that we’re a bit further southeast than you guys, and you have a little more bearable weather, but really? How do you survive? Am I just a weenie? 🙂 I think this topic deserves a post of it’s own!

    Anyway… thanks for the pics.

  28. Thank you for the tour and the new photo of adorable Parker 🙂 .

    I wonder if you have any tips from your family’s experiences dealing with the heat in south Texas. We’re having an unusually hot summer for Maryland, and I’d appreciate any advice for coping with it.

    My brothers and I once raised a chick with a broken leg in the house. It did stay quite sweet as a pet. However, even after it was transferred to life outside and in the chicken coop it never socialized normally with the other chickens. It didn’t get along badly with them, just didn’t interact with them much. I don’t know what breed of chicken it was.

  29. Okay, Kim, stop scaring me – we’re supposed to be moving to Texas later this fall!!! I saw it’s 20 degrees hotter down there today then here in northern IL!

    Despite the fear of heat though, it’s very exciting to see what God is doing and we’re thrilled to be a part of it!!!

    And if you can endure w/o AC well then I need to be tougher. 🙂

    Absolutely adorable baby – what a blessing!!

  30. I agree it is a stunning view! The prickly pear is beautiful – and I would be nabbing those babies up to try to make jam out of them… 🙂 Thanks for the tour! The kids and I are going to take more pics today and try to get our post into here, too.


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