Well, I’m about 2 hours behind on this post (that’s what happens when your alarm goes off at a ridiculously early hour, and you think, “5 more minutes, Mom…” only to wake up an hour and a 1/2 later to the sound of twins crying. Doh).

HOWEVER. The most important thing is that, late post or not, here’s what my Project Elephant check list looks like now:

project elephant checklist1[4]

That’s right. It might have taken me a full week of this:

before 4

and this:


and this:

 before 3  

and this:


{Because I’m so sure Daddy wanted three little “helpers” as he moved the sprinkler hose}

…oh and this:

kids working

{I love Della’s optimism}

But when you start out with this:


and this:

old flower beds

{Yes, I know that picture is crazy blurry, but it’s the best I could find after I completely forgot to take a before picture of the front beds because I was so excited to get after them with the tiller. Pretty much, just imagine all that scraggly ugliness from the pic above this one repeated along the length of these beds, and you’ll have it}

and you finally end up with this:

new flower beds

{I spy someone cute}

…a week of stop-start gardening is totally worth it.

If you feel a little underwhelmed by the “big reveal,” I totally understand. I was very tempted to wait a few weeks before I showed you The After so my plants could have a chance to really establish themselves and flourish (seeing as how I planted them in the scorching late August/early September East Texas heat and just about killed them by taking so long to get them in the ground).

But then I reminded myself that Project Elephant is not about perfection. Project Elephant is about progress.

And this…

new flower beds 5

…is progress.

(My mama, who works hard to keep up her pretty yard and is, I’m sure, mortified at her daughter’s deplorable gardening “skills,” is nodding her head emphatically right now).

Of course, my favorite parts are the colorful bits like this one:

new flower beds 4

and this little beauty:

new flower beds 3

But more than anything, I’m thrilled to have everything neat and respectable, even if it’s not exactly the wild profusion of English garden blooms that I dream of.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering what the twins were doing during all of this planting business…

flower bed and twins 

I do believe the answer is: wearing more of their food than they ate. (Nola is in front there).

So, what about you guys? Did you manage to check one thing off your Project Elephant list?

If you blogged about it, you can link up your post here:


And if you don’t have a blog but still want to participate and cheer and be cheered on, you can leave a link to a FB or Instagram post OR just leave a picture with a description of your accomplishments in the comments.

Use the hashtag #projectelephant on FB, Twitter, and Instagram, and everyone playing along will be able to see all of your posts.

I’m so thankful for you guys and the accountability you provide just by showing up and reading and leaving encouraging comments. Even if I’m the only one who gets into this Project Elephant business, I am grateful for the motivation!

So…thanks! Y’all rock!

 five days five ways | because every day is different

OH, and for Judy, who asked if I could provide a simplified elephant image so that she could write her goals ON THE ELEPHANT itself (kind of brilliant, really), here it is!

project elephant simple

(Just right click on the image and save it to your computer, and then you can print it)

P.S. Don’t forget to enter to win an awesome kids’ worship CD/DVD combo from Yancy Not Nancy!


  1. Awesome job on the flower beds! I can only imagine how much work that was and how much you sweated in that East Texas heat! They turned out great! I also do NOT have a green thumb…..I planted some succulents in pots this year and nearly killed those….DOH!
    We just returned from a week at the Port Aransas beach…..LOVELY! So, I haven’t made my full list yet. Mostly conquer the Mt. Laundry that is staring me down. But yesterday with PE as motivation, I cleaned out my kids toys! I’ve been wanting to do to for a while. I hauled some stuff to GW and a few things that were in good condition to a consignment store. It felt really good to get those things cleared out! I’ve got a few ideas for my list…..loving all of this accountability & motivation. I’ve got 12 weeks before baby #4 and MANY things to do….chewing up that elephant…..TASTY!

    1. YAY! I’m so glad you’re in, Leigh Anne! And cleaning out toys is my NEMESIS! I always think, “But what if we use this?” and then the mountain grows.

      I can’t believe you’re already 28 weeks! It always seems to go so fast when it’s someone else’s pregnancy! 😉

      I’m so glad you got to get a vacation in. Sooooo good for the heart, mind, and dare I say it, soul!

  2. Wow….thank you for the blank elephant! That was so sweet…I can tell you had to do some extra work for that.

    Here’s the list I made last week:

    Shelves in bathroom for hubby’s running shoes
    Paint chandelier
    Sell lights from daughter’s wedding
    Set up “out the door” basket
    Set up new file cabinet

    I actually got two done:
    Shelves (this was actually just getting around to asking my son to install them…I bought them over a year ago…pathetic.)

    Out the door basket…I needed a place next to my purse to put whatever I needed to run out the door with…stuff for errands AND COFFEE (for mornings, WATER for afternoon errands.) I built cupholders in to the basket so that I can put my drink there and NOT have it get everything else in the basket soggy.

    Eating the elephant, one bite at a time. Pretty tasty.


    1. It was no trouble, Judy. I did try to lighten it up enough, though, that if you printed it gray scale, you would still be able to see where you wrote on it.

      Great job on making progress on TWO things on your list. Woooooot!

  3. Since the kids are back in school, I have been getting closets cleaned and even my fridge today too. The list really never ends when you have 8 kids. I would love to get more into decorating my house, it is pretty bland, but I don’t feel like I have it in me to do that kind stuff. Where would I begin?! Your gardens are a good nice! I love doing that kind of thing. And your twins are just so cute! I love all the pictures of them!

  4. Welp, I managed to NOT make any progress on my existing Elephant list this weekend…instead, I created a whole new mess by dragging out some of my fall decor. And spending the 9 hours I had earmarked for my elephant projects having to closely supervise some much-needed room cleaning and then complete the job in Stanky & Piggy’s room by spending 90 minutes in that wasteland by myself, being ruthless and mean.

    I suppose though, that since that particular nasty chore was on my bigger list (just not my PE one) that I did get SOMETHING accomplished!

    1. You crack me up, Julie! Your comments are always a hoot! And it definitely sounds like you got more than SOMETHING accomplished, even if it technically wasn’t on your PE list.

      Way. to. Go! (Toe touch).

  5. OK, I’m here. On my list is empty waste baskets (done), get tire fixed (on my way), get car inspected to renew registration (appt at 1:00 PM)
    clear dining room table, wrap some more lengths of fabrics. We’ll see how far I get on those little items.

    1. Way to go, Gail! A lot of time those little chores that need to get done but don’t HAVE to be done to survive take me the longest to get to. Hooray for progress!

I love hearing from you guys!