Green Thumb

When my parents asked me what I thought Sarah would like for her birthday I immediately knew the answer. Our girls love all things outdoors. While outside Sarah LOVES to water and take care of plants. She helped me change out our front walkway when I switched out it’s contents, has always asked to help water my parents tomato’s and flower pots. Like most kids, water brings her immediate happiness. Recently my sister and I have been talking about how nice it is when some gifts are not necessarily an item, but a memory made. With this thought in mind I knew I had been wanting to teach Sarah more about gardening, and figured my mom, the green thumb queen, could be an even better teacher. Mom always asks and encourages Sarah to help her with her outdoor planting adventures. Whether it be watering pots, picking tomatoes or plucking figs off a tree and eating them there in the yard, I knew there was no better gift than bringing those memories into our own home.

I had found some gardening tools that I wanted to get Sarah so I told my mom about it and let them go from there. They not only got her the garden tools, but a watering can, bag of fertilizer and a box of flowers.

I love gifts that are used to make and create memories. Gifts that get your hands dirty and teach kids about new things.

Here are the goods, before relocation





The beginning of growth


Memory in the Making


Getting her hands, and everything else, dirty





Their finished products


Getting use of her very own watering can


Elanor watching from the coupe

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Goofy Love


Later that day, after a much needed bath, Sarah insisted on continually checking on her flowers. She went out and reported back that the yellow one was growing. Looks like she has her Nana’s green thumb!


Produce Bandit

I hope you had a fabulous weekend. The weather was gorgeous here on the Panhandle and we were able to hangout with a good friend and some family.

On Friday I made a big batch of spaghetti and our friend Kim came over so we could help her setup her own website. It’s always a fun time when we see Kim, and because we both knew her before Stephen and I were dating we always have tons of stories that come up. After dinner we helped Kim make a video for her website. This was the first video we’ve helped someone make, and it was a lot of fun. I pooped out at 12:30 (which is like a new record for me) and Stephen helped her finish the recording. The next morning she left to a women’s conference in town and Stephen got to work on editing the video while I went and met my friend Brett for some brunch. When we were leaving the lady at the register asked me if I was expecting, and I excitedly told her yes. That was my first “stranger” pregnancy question, which means it isn’t just me noticing this bump from my belly, it’s becoming much more obvious!

So when I got home after brunch I went to water our tomato plant and noticed that we had our first juicy mater turning from green to red. I am so excited to see that they are actually going to make the change before the season changes and it’s too cold. With this unexpected cooler weather I wasn’t sure if they would make it, but it seems we will get to enjoy them after all. Here is what I found when I went to pick the red guy today:

Happy Red Tomato:


Then, upon inspection:

Our backyard friends got to it first!

I love the birds in our yard, but I had no idea they were so hungry.

This wasn’t a one-taste visit either, they really enjoyed our homegrown veggie:
that’s multiple beak marks…

Thankfully we have a good group of green ones left. I’m just gonna have to be a lot quicker the next instant I see a ripe tomato outside. I don’t know how they spotted the one red one inside there so fast, but it’s as if the birds were waiting for it. I may need to put a net around this plant to make sure we can enjoy them too.


Thankfully they only attacked 1/2 the tomato, so I brought it inside and put it by the window to show Stephen what happened.



Maybe Stephen won’t be too weirded out and can enjoy his first tomato sandwich of the bunch ;)

Our Backyard Produce

I was talking to my brother Matt earlier and he told me that I needed to write an update, so here I am. I told him how sometimes I don’t think I should update because I really haven’t been up to anything. When I haven’t gone anywhere exciting, or done any updates to the house, I feel like everything else is pretty mundane and boring to hear about. Then I remembered that there is something exciting that is happening…

The weather has been GORGEOUS the past 2 days. It’s in the 60’s when we get up and it feels like Fall is actually in the air. I’m afraid to get excited because I’m sure next week it’ll be back to 95+ again. However, I will get as excited as I want and will continue to light delicious smelling candles and drink some peppermint tea. I opened the windows today. The air hasn’t had to come on at all and it feels amazing with the breeze coming in. Someone around us must have been burning some brush because you could smell it in the air and it is a pure sign of outdoor friendly weather. I’m hoping Stephen will want to go on walks after work. He’s a morning exercise person, and I’m an evening exercise person – it doesn’t work well to either of our advantage…

Moving on to the subject I started with: This afternoon I was outside watering our tomatoes and was surprised at how much they have grown since I last showed you.



Those are gonna make some delicious BLT’s and veggie soup!  I have been loving some grilled cheese and tomato soup the past few weeks. If you’ve never dipped grilled cheese into tomato soup you should plan to do so, asap, it is SOO good!

I can also say that on Sunday I had a true “I have nothing to wear moment”! All the days I have said that previously may have seemed true to me at the time, but never was it so real as this Sunday when I couldn’t find anything to wear to church. I have quite simply outgrown all my pants, shorts, and all (but 1) skirts!  This baby bump is really taking off, and while I’m loving 110% of it, I am now very aware that pregnancy takes over every aspect of your life!  I’m really looking forward to Fall coming and staying. I love the holiday season and the weather changes in October – March. It is especially exiting this year since we have an exciting gift awaiting us that is due March 11th :)

Well I think I will get back to my peppermint tea before it gets cold. Have a great Tuesday!

Life is moving along

The past 2 months have been very interesting in the Ringl household. From being a bit on the tired side to experiencing crazy nausea, food aversion, and complete exhaustion. I continue to be thankful every day that I was able, and encouraged by my husband, to quit my job when my body rebelled against driving to work, or riding in the car at all for that matter.

I think the entire month of August consisted of me snacking on crackers and cheese and going to bed by 8 pm.  We took it as a wonderful sign that, although unpleasant at times, I was having the majority of all pregnancy symptoms!  We have had several wonderful friends praying fervently for us and the baby, and every time I get sick I know the Lord is telling me to trust completely in Him. After losing our first two pregnancies last year it can be very easy to let myself worry at every little thing, but I have been so encouraged by family and friends. I am constantly reminded of the verse “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” Psalm 28:7

Now that September has arrived I am officially in my 2nd trimester and I am VERY pleased to finally have some energy back in my life. I have so much respect for the women out there that have a toddler, or a few of them, while pregnant, or still work full-time. I wasn’t  expecting to quit my job and us becoming a one-income household, but life throws you curve balls sometimes and you have to learn to adjust.

So, here are a few photo’s of what has been happening in the lives of the Ringls:

We started a burn pile in the yard

Come Fall we’re gonna have one fun bonfire

We also started growing our first vegetables:

This is after 2 weeks of growth

Next up we have a picture of the tomato plant after 5 weeks of growth. It is INSANE how fast these things grew!


The plant is now taller than me!  And there are a few tomatoes starting to grow!!

That’s all I have for now. I gotta go finish the 3 loads of laundry that have been begging to be folded all day… I can’t imagine how much that is going to increase 5-6 months from now :)

A Before & After

How was everyone’s weekend? Wonderful I hope :)

We were able to tackle a project we have had on our list since we moved in. We finally got to work on our backyard!

Since Spring it has turned into a bit of a jungle out back, and the last thing we want are our neighbors thinking we’re “those people on the street” that don’t know how to use a mower or hedge clippers.  So we went ahead and took care of that.

Here are some photo’s to give you a better idea:


Our lovely yard (and this was the beginning of June)



Most recently:

We have a little “jungle” issue on our premises

Now, for the weekend-work-filled after photo’s…


We have ground!


and even more ground!!


Also, I think I found OJ’s glove with a broken golf club:


hopefully they don’t need that glove for evidence because it got thrown into the burn pile we’ve started:


just don’t look behind the burn pile… we’ve only tackled the front 1/3 of the backyard
(what?! we have a really big yard!)

So what did everyone else do this weekend?   Only 4 more days until the weekend ;)

Getting Things Done

Last Saturday we finally did it. We did the one thing the weather and our desire to sleep in had been preventing for all the weekends since we moved into our house. Here is what went down:

-We woke up at 7:00

-Had some breakfast

-Went to the store

-Came home, and

-Did lawn work!

Yep, we finally got our yard work done, or well started anyways.  Stephen mowed the lawn and I pulled a ridiculous amount of weeds that have grown WAY too fast! I was so excited to finally get to work on our yard. We have a pretty large lot, definitely bigger than what we had at the townhouse.  Heck, there was a lawn service at the townhouse, we didn’t have to do a thing (although I did enjoy a little gardening).

We have a really deep lot, and currently the backyard is more “woods” like with all the trees and growth. I discovered that we have a persistent growth of blackberry vines. While I LOVE free fruit, I do NOT like blackberry vines. They are spiky, pointy and stabby. What makes them worst is that they grow low to the ground, so they like to stick to your ankles and shins. That’s what I was working on while Stephen mowed. On our morning store run I picked up a pair of landscaping gloves and it was probably the smartest purchase I’ve made in months!



See those gloves. They definitely weren’t purchased with dirt all over them, but that is how I left them.  You can see a bit of what we are working with behind me in the yard (I’ll post yard pic’s soon!).  If you look toward the bottom of the picture you can see a lack of grass/weeds, it actually just looks like dirt now, but I prefer that over the stickers. Grass/Sod is on a to-do list for down the road!

I gotta show you what Stephen looked like, it’s too funny not to share:



No, he does not have a bad tan line, he is just as white as his feet. His legs brought on a whole new color after all that mowing, we’ll call the color: dirt. He came to show me before he cleaned up and I was quick enough to snap a picture. Your Welcome!

While I would love to get back in the yard this weekend we have different plans. My little brother is getting married tomorrow!  He is the last of the 4 of us. Mom and dad will have the house all to themselves for the first time in over 28 years. Heck, I should send them a Congratulations card!

So instead of pulling weeds and smelling like insect repellent on Saturday, we will be hanging out with family and enjoying some BBQ at my parents :)   I think it’s a good trade up!

Our Outdoors

This is our first Spring having a yard and it’s been fun dreaming up idea’s of what we would like our property to look like.  I was really excited at the prospect of having my own veggie garden out back, but because planting season has kind of passed for most of the items we wanted to grow that will be #1 on our list next year. We just ran out of time to work on the area where we want the garden (that and the extra cold winter may have kept me hibernating indoors…).  While we still plan on trying out a few healthy items out back there is much to be done!

When we bought our home it had just been flipped by a contractor. The old and yuck was ripped out and the new and nice was put in. We were more than happy to enjoy someone else’s hard work on the retro 1970’s look it had going on!  While there is still much to be done, I’m pleased that the indoors are clean and neat, but outside, outside is a completely different story…

I got out there yesterday to trim some stuff down and discovered a few things: 1) It’s officially mosquito season!  2) The previous owners setup an area to play horseshoes  3) My husband does not like the outdoors anywhere near as much as me, and 4) Weeds roots run really deep in the ground!

Now, instead of thinking of all the hard work that is yet to be done, we’re gonna look at pretty pictures instead :)


Fun  Potting Bench
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This backyard looks like a vacation spot!


I love Hydrangeas



This looks almost do-able…


Planters Boxes!!!


This is just lovely!  Yes please


This looks like something from Swiss Family Robinson, love it!


I’ve shared with you guys before about my hopes for a great DIY potting bench.  Well that is just one of the many things that will look great in our yard.

After work I went by one of our local Farmers Markets and walked through their garden area. It was so relaxing. Kind of like how our yard will be {one day}.

Porch Season

Alright friends, it is well into Spring which means it’s officially Porch Season. I am super excited that we actually have a house this year that we can play with and do as we please. I’m more excited than fishermen in trout season, or a hunter in deer season. Plus there’s the added bonus that I won’t be killing anything… except a few ugly plants and hornets nests that is.

There was no porch with the townhouse, so this is my first time having a home with one. None of my apartments during college had one, and my parents only have a front stoop (although I know they dream of one day having a wrap-around). So my porchless past has brought me to an excited state. Thinking back I did spruce up the front landing nicely this time last year, however this year will be a little different…

Here’s a prime example of why I’m deeming this a Porch Renovation: the holly bush



I don’t know why they call these holly bushes. Sure they get holly berries on them, but it truly is a vicious and unforgiving plant. It should have a meaner name. Something like Stabalot, Green Needle, or Vader Bush (for the Star Wars fans out there). I don’t care what the name becomes, Holly just sounds too friendly.

Porch Task #1 – Rip out that Green Needled-Vader-Stabalot Holly Bush. Look at the picture, that thing is blocking 1/2 of my friendly front porch. Not only is it painful to touch, it’s rude too.

Now that we know it’s Porch Renovation time at the Ringls, it’s time I get to work. It’s my day off, it’s nice out, and I borrowed my parent’s garden shears.

This has officially become a 2-part post.  I will be back with my progress later today…


Okay people, that was a lot more work than I ever could have imagined!

Here is the after:



After cutting out all the branches I started bagging them, that was seriously the most horrible experience so far in homeownership. I tried bagging the branches but had to start cutting them down to forearm-size (girl forearm, not man forearm) so that they would fit into the trash bags.  Let me give you a look at how that went:

Those cheap bags are full of holes. Not just any holes either, holes that I wasn’t expecting that then cut into my legs and arms. Stupid bush.  That last bag (bottom right) is full of leaves that I gathered and scooped with a shovel.  That reminds me, we need a rake…

The Sun on my Side

I was so excited today when the weather finally cooperated with my outdoor plans! It was like the perfect storm, only the opposite – the perfect outdoor day. For my birthday my parents gave me the choice of either getting a new tool, or 2 trees of my choice. Since I got a circular saw from Stephen (yes, I got a tool from my husband TO me, not the other way around), I decided I would go after the tree that I have been seeing everywhere and loving: a Bradford Pear tree

See how happy I am :)   I love planting !!

Also, I learned that I am in dire need of some good gardening gloves. Yard work tears up the hands, and shovels are just cruel to the skin…

I’m really excited about the placement of tree #1.  The window behind me is the office window, so when I look outside when sitting at our soon-to-be-completed-super-awesome-desk i will get to stare at this:

I am so ready for Spring to be in full bloom, and my bradford pear tree too :)

What about you guys. Any favorite things about Spring? Maybe you aren’t a gardener but lean more towards cooking, sports, or last-minute tax filing.  All I know is that in the Ringl house the taxes are done, and the gardening has just begun.