Category Archives: Family Life

Valentines Day – Belated

So, I have been looking through all my photos that still need to be blogged, and I found these cute photos from Valentine’s Day!

I can’t believe I totally forgot about these.  Well, I can believe it since I’m SOOOO behind on my posts!

Here are a few cute pictures of my kids making cards for Valentines Day 2012!

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Spring Garden 2012

Well, this year the weather is very weird. Usually in this part of Georgia we have a little snow or at least some ice and lots of freezing nights. This year we haven’t had any of that! It’s so weird. The warm weather really gets you in the mood for gardening though!

My seedlings are in the ground now and more seeds are sprouting inside my sun room. So far I have Sugar Snap Peas, Asian Cabbage, and Cauliflower in the ground. Oh…and garlic. I still need to get the carrots, lettuce, spinach, onions, and broccoli in the ground. Some of them have been started in seed trays inside, but things like carrots are better just planted straight into the ground.

We had a lot of fun getting the boxes and dirt ready. We actually need more dirt. I have had to start all over this year because we just moved to this house! My husband didn’t want to move our dirt, so we had to buy new dirt! 🙂 We also built a fence around our garden with some poultry fencing to keep the dogs from digging…and later the chickens from eating the garden!

I’m very excited to have this spring garden. I have never had one before. I usually wait until April/May to plant for a summer/fall crop. I am really trying to increase the production of my garden and think of it as our supply for our food and not just a fun hobby! I guess I’ll be learning a lot about preserving and canning this summer too!

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Sore-Cold-Tired

Well, despite the big plans I had for myself this week, I didn’t get much done. It wasn’t really my fault though. See a week ago I pulled something in my shoulder/neck and it still isn’t better. I woke up one day and just couldn’t move! I’ve had whiplash before, so I kinda knew what to expect. Basically all I could do was rest. There are certainly times that I look forward to a good excuse to be completely lazy, but after a few days I was just plain bored…and tired of sitting around. Each day showed an improvement, but I was still in a lot of pain. Nothing a good dose of pain pills won’t cure! But even taking pain pills, it hurt. They did help enough that I could get up and around. There was so much I wanted to get done this week, but all I could do was sit here in my favorite spot on the couch. It’s been over a week and the muscles in my shoulder are MUCH better, but still not healed. Sleeping is the worst. I can’t move around, I’m in pain all night, and when I finally get out of bed I can’t move much at all.

To top all that off, I caught a cold. **How did that happen anyway? I’ve been in this same spot on the couch all week!**

Needless to say, I didn’t get everything done I had planned. I REALLY needed some bone broth to help me feel better…but that didn’t get done at all. I haven’t been able to drive (luckily my wonderful husband is here and a huge help!) so I’ve been sitting here thinking of all the great benefits of bone broth. 🙂

The seeds had to be done and I figured I could at least do that. Due to the fact that I haven’t been sleeping well, on pain pills, and sore…I totally messed up some of my seeds. I planted some seeds inside that should have waited to be planted outside. Oh well…we will see how they do. I planted everything in those jiffy seed pod things so they don’t have to actually be transplanted. The entire little pot they are in goes directly into the ground. Maybe since the roots won’t be disturbed they will do okay! ?

I put them on a nice rack that I stole from the garage. I have 2 heating pads (that I should be using for my shoulder) and put them under the seed trays. I keep them on “low” and rotate my seed trays so they all get their fair share.

It’s been 2-3 days and the sugar snap peas (which should have been directly planted in the ground) are already starting to sprout! Later I will do a blog just on my seeds and planting plans. But for now, I wanted to at least show you my little seedlings!

Maybe next time I will report on bone broth. 🙂 In the meantime I will continue planting my seeds and brushing with my homemade toothpaste!

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A NEW house means a NEW garden!

Well, first let me say that we moved in November. It’s not really a “new” house at all. It’s actually a pretty old house…and it’s a house that we used to live in about 3 years ago. We lived here for 1 year and did major changes inside. We tore down walls, added a sun room and office room, pulled up carpet and replaced all floors with dark laminate “wood” floors (except the bedrooms), remodeled the kitchen, replaced counters, painted cabinets, fenced the backyard… Like I said, we did a lot at this house in one year! Then we moved (long story) to help save another family owned house. Anywho, we are back and we love this house.

But…

Last time we lived here, I only gardened a little bit. Unfortunately I hadn’t read the Square Foot Garden Book. I worked very hard with little return in my little space. Now I know so much more! I’m very excited about using the SFG techniques at this house. We have a huge flat back yard, but it’s surrounded by very large trees…so shade is a problem for parts of the yard. I’ve been trying to remember which areas are sunny during the summer months so I can get my boxes set up and get some dirt in there!

I brought all my boxes from our old house. I wanted to bring my precious dirt too…but husband said there was no way he was shoveling all that dirt into the truck and then moving it here! He promised to buy me new dirt, but I’m still waiting! 🙂 In the meantime, I am setting up my garden area and making big plans for our big backyard.

I thought it would be fun to look back over pictures from last year’s garden. I realized that I didn’t blog about my garden as much as I wanted to last summer. I didn’t even take many pictures of what the garden looked like at the end of the summer. It was a huge difference from beginning to end.

It always amazes me to see how much changes from beginning to end. Here are some pictures of one of my boxes in the beginning and then again towards the end.

Tomatoes and onions

Tomatoes grown up

I even found a video that I had made during the summer that I never posted on my blog! So here it is… very late. This was done at the BEGINNING of the season, so all the plants are pretty small.

I have resolved to make more videos and take more pictures this year! I really want to record the garden from start to finish this time. IT will definitely be bigger this year! I am going for at least 2x as big as last year. I also want to really get into growing potatoes and starting a productive compost system. I also want to learn how to extend the season by growing early spring crops and late summer/ fall crops. If I can get my dirt soon, I can get some lettuce and broccoli planted soon!

Anyone else out there looking forward to a new growing season?

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Summer 2011

This summer has been so busy for me. It seems to have gone by without having much time to enjoy the season. I’ve been traveling the state as the book coordinator for Classical Conversations. Traveling has been very fun, but it was also very draining. I missed the kids and it was hard for them to be without me so much. I loved meeting all the other homeschool families though. I always felt so encouraged after each event.

My family and I did have some highlights through the summer though!! Here I will show you some of our special times this summer.

Radishes

Bountiful Harvest from Square Foot Garden


Toccoa Falls

Visiting Toccoa Falls College with my niece

Jos Gymnastics

Josephine at Fun Meet

DJ Fun Meet

DJ at Fun Meet - and moved to Level 4!

Field Day 2011

Homeschool Field Day 2011

Lily and Jos

Spending time with Family

waterpark

Found a GREAT water park in Orlando!

It was a fast and busy summer and we were up to our ears in boxes of books for the book events, but it was still a great summer. And now we are looking forward to a wonderful new school year and a great family vacation in September!

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Stubborn Strawberries

On the road again

Why is it so hard to get out of our “comfort zone?” We all have our places of safety. Maybe it’s our job or work place, or it could be the people we hang out with…maybe even the church we attend. It’s safe, reliable, with no surprises. Right? But then sometimes, we know that we should move on. Get a new job or ask for a raise, make new friends, find a new place of worship, move to another area….etc. But it’s hard. What are we so afraid of? Success? Failure? The unknown?

Strawberries

I noticed while weeding in our front yard, that I had some wild strawberries! They must have grown from some thrown out half-eaten strawberry. It was right by my front door way under these big bushes. I decided that they should be planted in my garden boxes with the other strawberries. The dirt was much better, they would get more sun, and generally be able to produce and grow. It was the better place for them.

I carefully pulled them up and took them to the garden boxes to plant them. I was so excited about seeing them grow. By the next day they looked horrible. They were all wilted and sad looking. I watered them, and talked to them, but day after day, they just got worse and worse. They are pretty much dead now.

The strawberries liked their comfort zone under the bushes. Even though this spot was better for them, they just couldn’t adjust. In the end they just died. They can’t go back and they can’t go forward. Isn’t that just like us sometimes? That’s why we don’t ever leave our comfort zones…we are afraid of being like those strawberries and dying, failing in our new environment. We won’t be able to go back. But that’s the thing. We aren’t strawberries. We can choose to live and survive and even flourish. We can make the change for the better and live without fear.

Fear not, for I am with you

Don’t Be a Stubborn Strawberry – motto of the day

I can choose to flourish in my surroundings and when I need to make a change, no matter how scary it might be, I can choose to be blessed, to bless others, and grow there too. All things are for a season. Don’t let the season pass you by.

By the way…those stupid stubborn strawberries came back to life. Well, they did die first. Totally died. But they had a couple little wild strawberries on the vine before they died, and those strawberry seeds, planted themselves and grew! Isn’t that just how life is? Sometimes we have to totally die to ourselves before our next blessing in life flourishes. The old had to pass away before the new could be strong!

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Cheerful Celery – You Did It!

(The following story is part of my “Life Lessons from a Square Foot Garden” series and was written a few months ago)

You did it!

This week was not a good week. I’ve been having lots of bad days lately. You know, the kind where people disappoint you. It’s not that I’m totally enraged, but I’m disappointed. I had expected more out of a couple of friends, and in the end…disappointment was what I got. It made me feel sad and a little depressed…”the blues” I guess. I hate that feeling. It puts a shade of gray over all the good stuff too. Do you ever feel that way?

Celery

I have never grown celery before, and I thought it would be fun to try it. It has a large root that looks like a turnip or something and then a big green celery stock grows right up out of the ground. Doesn’t that sound cool? You can even eat the root!

I planted the seeds in my seed tray with my other early seeds and I got a few sprouts, but then they died. They gave me such hope and excitement…a kind of promise of what was to come. In the end I got disappointment. Sound familiar? When the rest of my seedlings were transplanted to the boxes, there was no celery. All I could do was stare at the 2 empty squares where I had planned them to be. I waited a week before I tried again. Was it worth the try? Would they just die again? Should I waste my time or just use that space for something easy like beans or tomatoes? They are a sure-thing! Then I wouldn’t feel disappointed again.

A couple of weeks ago we had a beautiful spring day and I was in the mood to be positive. So I sprinkled some teeny-tiny celery seeds across the soil and patted a little layer of soil on top. I was hoping that they wouldn’t get washed away in the rain that was coming. Oh well, all I can do is put the seed in the dirt and hope for the best.

I talked to the seeds. I told them I was counting on them and they just HAD to sprout and be strong plants. My kids and I were dying to see celery grow. I talk to all my plants. Don’t judge me.

Time has gone on, and on, and on. Tomatoes are getting bigger, baby strawberries are growing, onions are growing taller each day. No celery.

Then today, my sister came over to borrow a shirt (I guess sisters do that forever), and I was showing her my growing garden. I showed her the empty squares where my celery was supposed to be growing, but wait….there was a sprout, and another. The celery was growing! I have tiny-tiny little celery sprouts now and I’m so excited.

Celebrate the Cheerful Celery – it’s my motto today. People let us down all the time, friends break promises, sometimes it is US who lets OTHERS down…but the garden is always striving to be about it’s purpose. To grow and to give. So maybe this year, it will give me celery. And maybe I can always remember to be like my celery and strive to be about MY purpose…always faithful and steady…even if I fail at first and have to start over.

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