Garden Update

We have just a handful of fruit from the following; boysenberries, apricots and plums.  A handful is better than none, so I am grateful!

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Our basil was doing poorly, but is looking like it may come back.  Tomatoes are growing; can’t wait!

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We have lots of zucchini, but the leaves are starting to look “icky” like last year.  So… we may just enjoy the first several and get rid of the plant after that.  It is taking over our zinnias, too!  Carrots look beautiful.  How do I know when they’re ready?

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Something is not quite right with our peas.  They are growing far too slowly.  Is it the cold weather we’ve been having?  We’ll see…

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New pillows for our bench.  (70% off at JoAnn’s!)

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My buddy still loves his sandbox, so no garden in there this year.  (I am glad — I’d rather have him out there with me than another garden box!)

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Happy Memorial Day!

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Happy Memorial Day!

Our sweet neighbor dropped off some root beer and gelato to say thanks for the peaches.  Since it’s still too cold to swim, we enjoyed our root beer floats with a movie, played games, barbecued, and relaxed.  While I’m still enjoying the cool weather, it is exciting to see the heat is coming because my kids are dying to jump in the pool!

Summer Jammin

This last week I have focused on one thing; preserving and enjoying our peaches!  God blessed us with such abundance — it still has me amazed!

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We’ve picked shoe boxes full for friends and neighbors.  We’ve given the chickens more than they can handle.  We made dutch baby with peach syrup, peach pecan muffins, waffles with peaches and cream, 17 jars of jelly, 6 jars of peach preserves, and…

We still have a ton of peaches!  Allison helped me with the jam, Sierra helped me with the preserves, and tomorrow Sierra wants to help again with making peach syrup.  I am so thankful that God blessed this “brown thumb” with some amazing peaches!

Happy Summer!

I know it’s the unofficial start to summer, but despite the chilly overcast skies, (which I am loving), we are still thoroughly enjoying the freedom of no school at the moment!  Of course, no school does not mean nothing to do — I am already busy getting to my summer list of to-do’s.  But, I am loving the freedom summer brings, and so are the kids…

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Piano Recital 2016

Aw, it feels good to be finishing up the year!  Sunday was Allison’s 5th recital, Natalie’s 4th recital, and Sierra’s first recital.  As usual, I was probably more nervous than the older girls.  My youngest played her “Old MacDonald” like a pro, but later said she was super nervous.

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pir 5  (With friends Nadia and Natalia)

Great job, Ladies!

Simple Saturday

I woke up yesterday to the most awesome feeling in the whole world; a free Saturday with my family!  No sport games.  No classes.  No prepping for Monday’s co-op.  Nothing that had to be done.  It was glorious!

We had blueberry pancakes, slowly sipped coffee, and did a few projects.  After lunch, we spontaneously decided to go for a “little” hike, which turned out to be almost 3 hours.  Did I mention it was also a cool, gorgeous day?  My soul needed a day exactly like yesterday.

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I LOVE tunnel trees!

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Check out the bird in the picture above.  It’s a bit hard to see, but it is an acorn woodpecker.  We also saw two deer on the hike, but couldn’t get a picture.

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We love making “bouquets!”

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Did you spy my husband in the picture above?  He took several of these “detours,” despite my yelling, “If you go up there you are sleeping on the couch!”  (He knew my threats were idle… he knows me too well!)

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Someone had a nice nap the last 3/4 of a mile!

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We thought this hole resembled a heart.  “Mom, take a picture of ‘I love Cheez-Its!'”

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5 miles and some tired legs later, we were ready for some snow for dinner!  It was a fun experience, though I don’t think it’s worth the price.  Here’s the concept; they freeze a block of ice cream, then shave it thin, let you add toppings, and call it snow!

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Once we finished, we went home for warm showers, a cozy movie, and straight to bed!

Feeling so thankful for a cool, unplanned family day!

End of Year Presents

End of the school year… time for thank you’s to all those who pour into the lives of my kids: piano teachers, AWANA leaders, Co-op tutors, coaches, etc.  This year we were inspired by a trip to our church’s street fair, where kids could make their own terrariums.  I discovered we could make about 4 for the price we would have paid for one at the street fair.  And, they are super cute!

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Cute story:  Sierra was disappointed that I didn’t buy one for her to make for her co-op tutor, (which is me!)  When we arrived for our final day of teaching, I was getting out of the car when Sierra handed me something; a hand-drawn card which read, “I love you.”  “This is for you to say thanks for being my tutor,” she said.  Wow.  All. by. her. self.  I love it even more than I would have loved an adorable succulent terrarium!

Garden Update

It’s been a while since I did a garden update.  This is actually a very dated update — the pictures are from almost a month ago.  But, I want to record the progress, and so here goes…

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Almost all of our potted seeds sprouted.  However, not all of them survived the transfer to the real garden.  Some were just too small… now I know!

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We have a few boysenberry blossoms… which shocks me, because I had thought the plant died.  (Hooray for spring showers!)

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The kids not only helped plan out the garden this time, but also helped plant everything.  This is mostly because we decided to enter our garden into the fair this year.  I am so glad my friend nudged me in that direction — otherwise, I probably would have done most of it myself!

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We finished out our garden journals with sketches of our seedling sprouts.  Then we sent them off with the fair judges who came to see our garden.

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We also painted some signs for each of our three garden boxes.  The kids really liked this part!

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Finally, we completed a poster to turn in to the fair.  It turned out great, but we forgot to take a picture of the finished project!  **sigh**
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Tomorrow we are headed to the fair to see our garden poster displayed and whether or not we won a prize.  I am looking forward to it!  The garden has grown quite a bit, though not as well as I had hoped — we are still suffering from leaf hoppers, that I just don’t know what to do with!  Not-to-mention other stuff that I don’t even know what it is.  It is definitely another garden “learning” experience.  (I was hoping last year’s troubles would be no more, but I was wrong!)  None-the-less, I love having a garden!

Counting Down…

One more week.  We can do it.  Finish strong.

We’ve had a “taste” of summer, and now our mouths are watering for more…

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Reading outside (with a cat underfoot)…

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Evening chalk play with neighbors…

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Swim dates and fresh peaches…

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And more magical dusk play into the early evening… (SO thankful for wonderful friends to help us with our electrical problems!)

Yes, summer is almost here… and we can hardly wait!

Grandpa

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‘Tis only one life

‘Twill soon be past

Only what’s done

for Christ will last

This quote is one of my favorites – a reminder I need daily.  It hangs on my bedroom wall, yet I rarely think about it.  But, I bring it up today for another reason: to honor one who seemed to live it out so humbly.

My Grandpa had many gifts.  He was a talented organist, a deep thinker, a seeker of truth, a gifted teacher, and extremely humble.  He didn’t seek for his music to be published or played by the famous.  He didn’t charge large fees for his magnificent organ concerts.  Why?  Money wasn’t his motivation.  Glorifying God was his heart.

Grandpa grew-up in a different time, a different generation, and in a very different home than I.  He was the oldest.  I was the youngest.  And, the list of our differences could go on like that forever.  His upbringing instilled in him a deep sense of reverence and fear of the Lord.  and while I was blessed to be raised to know God, I definitely came to know Him in a different sort of way.

Whereas we both shared a common faith and a love for seeking Truth, Grandpa and I had very different styles of worship.  If he ever had the chance to visit my church, he may have found it too emotional or not reverent enough.  It may lack the profound truths found in much of the liturgy at his church, but it is certainly still full of Biblical truth and a pastor who seeks for his people to know the one true, Living God.

And, although we worship in different ways, I do know this.  God created us each uniquely.  We were both put on this earth at a certain time and place for one reason; to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  Ultimately, we have the most important thing in common: our faith.

On Tuesday I got the call that my Grandpa went to be with the Lord.  It was his time.  The next morning on my jog, my mind continually went back to Grandpa.  In my mind, I saw this humble, reverent, reserved man meeting his beloved savior for the first time and being overcome with emotion.  I can only imagine how glorious his meeting was.  And now, a few days later, I wonder if he’s found time to speak with J.S. Bach yet — or perhaps he went right to meet Martin Luther?

As sad as it can be to lose a loved one, it is also a gift to be reminded of the reality of Heaven and that this place is only our temporary home.  It is good to ponder meeting the Creator of the Universe, and to find comfort in knowing Grandpa’s suffering is no more.  It is good for my heart to overflow with gratitude for my Grandpa’s humble example and legacy of faith — even if we live it out in different ways.

Thank you, Grandpa, for your faith and prayers.  You may not have known how to say it in words, but I know you loved me and I know you loved Jesus and I am thrilled to think of you with Him now!  I look forward to seeing you again in Heaven!