Random Happenings…

It seems I haven’t done a completely random post in a while, so here goes…

We will be entering our local fair garden competition again this year, and are busy working on our gardening journal!

These three… when they get together, there is no end to where their imaginations will take them.  I LOVE it!  Here they are on their train headed somewhere, lemon frosties in hand.  (I am SO happy we have finally squeezed most of our lemons!)

There is hope for our apricot tree, after all!  I think I’ve counted about 50 babies growing… and apricots off the tree are my favorite!

We finally pulled out our Easter decor last weekend.  It’s my least favorite season to decorate for because… Easter grass and Easter eggs end up everywhere.

Kitty cuddles are the best.  That’s it!

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What’s for Lunch?

For some reason, this question haunts me.  It is my least favorite meal to prepare, by far… whether it’s packing for school or a day out, or staying home, I just really dislike making lunch.  That being said, I have a lunch cookbook I made a while back.  It definitely helps…It just takes a bit of prep.  And, it is filled with mostly “bread” recipes, which makes it harder for me to eat my salad… I mean, the smell of fresh bread baking…

Bagels are among my kids’ favorite, and really quite simple.  I found a seasoning called “Everything But the Bagel” from Trader Joe’s and had to give it a try.  It was AWESOME!We put a bit too much on, because it is salty, but I can see this becoming a new favorite.  Thank you, once again, Trader Joe’s!

Amy’s Farm

Once upon a time, I actually blogged about the happenings of our days the same night or within a day or two of an event… Somehow, life has gotten busier and sometimes I never get around to blogging our days.   And so it goes.   The more time that passes, the more daunting the task of blogging becomes. But, I am so thankful to look back here and even here to see the days we spent on Amy’s Farm… (Oh, those curls, Sierra!)  And so I sit down, once again… I look back at the pictures taken by my awesome husband a week and a half ago while I stayed home and played chess with my sick girl, and I blog!  With that as my introduction, here is Amy’s Farm 2017: a trip to the farm with Sierra’s Frontier Girls troop.

Amy’s Farm 2017… We’ll be back!

Gloomy

For the most part, I love gloomy days… coziness, candles, sweatshirts… This weekend, however, the gloom just seemed to add to my fatigue and make me want to stay in bed! Thankfully, I have these sunny pictures from Friday, where the kids spent (most) of the day outside creating shows for Allison and me.  I made Allison record the shows, which I absolutely treasure.

I am happy to report we are all on the mend, and a gloomy weekend is probably just what we needed.  But, dear sun… please come back, soon!

Papa’s Helper

I wonder how many of these posts I’ve done over the years… The kids “helping” their dad with a project.  The post that immediately comes to mind is Allison as a 2 1/2-year-old helping her daddy replace a tile in the kitchen.  My heart was stirred, and I hoped and prayed it would continue… and it has!!  The other day, I drove home from dropping the kids off at art class, only to find this:

The two of them literally spent hours doing this together.  I know it doesn’t look like much, but it was quite the project!   For now, at least one of our garden boxes is safe from the cats, (and hopefully rats, but I’m not so sure…)

They ran out of time, but will probably finish up the other fence this week.  That night as we went to bed, I asked Daniel… “Did Malachi really help you?”

“He actually did,” was his response.

It’s hard to believe we’re at the stage where help from the kids is actually helpful!  I’ve felt it myself this week having to do all dishes and laundry and such while my kids were sick and I didn’t want them touching anything!

I’m so happy for helpful kiddos… garden fences… and handy husbands!

First Day of Spring

My neck is as red as a beet… a beautiful “farmer’s tan” to kick off spring!  I’m just praying all our hard work doesn’t get destroyed by the rats… (or for that matter, our cats!)

Monday we stayed home from our co-op as we all were fighting a cold.  As always, my oldest has it the worst… (coughing as I type!)  But, instead of watching videos all day, we enjoyed the beautiful sunshine and some popsicles while we planted our spring garden.  As you can see in the picture above, our tiny greenhouse was more than ready to be transplanted into our garden beds.

First, I trimmed back more than half of our oregano.  It didn’t even make a dent!

When I went to buy soil, I also bought some strawberry plants, cilantro, and chives.  Everything else came from our mini green house.  I was AMAZED at all the growth we had from old expired seed packets I found in the garage.

The zinnias probably took the longest.  One little 2-inch pot produced about 50 little plants.  After all our hard work, I really hope they survive!  (I’ve already kicked one cat out this morning!)

I’m really excited about this garden season, and hope I can successfully grow more veggies this year.  If all goes well, we will have peas, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, strawberries, 5 kinds of peppers, mixed salad greens, and lots of herbs.  It’s all in the ground and being watered by God as we speak.  (It’s weird to feel my sunburn as I sit here listening to the cold rain patter on our roof outside!)

On a side note, I’ve been using an organic fungicide on our peach tree, which has seemed to tame the peach curl.  The peaches are definitely growing, so I sure hope they are not just teasing me!

Happy spring, friends!

Saint Patrick’s Day 2017

I look at these pictures and smile… Our favorite SPD tradition; Lucky Charms and green milk!  Some of the kids may have been “too old” for their shamrock tattoos, but not too old for Lucky Charms!

We had a rather busy day… Sierra had a farm field trip with her Frontier Girls, Natalie had a birthday party, poor Allison was sick, and Daniel and I had our first small group SPD potluck.   Unfortunately, the rest of our weekend was spent laying around and watching way too much tv, (with the windows open all day in the beautiful spring weather).  Allison just kept getting worse, Natalie got sick, I got sick, and Malachi’s cough is lingering… So much for enjoying the spring weather outside and getting back on track with school and meal planning and such.  Thankful this too shall pass!

Thankful…

The dining room is a disaster… I have my peeps coming over this evening for our final tutor meeting, and I have lots of last-minute details to cover… Afternoon coffee, check!  Windows open and chickens clucking behind me, check!  Chocolate chip cookies baking, check!

It is always a stressful deal, yet always so rewarding.  For my first few years of homeschooling, I did it all on my own.  Thankfully, I had many good friends who also were homeschooling.  However, I didn’t have the community and structure that our current homeschool co-op offers, and I love it!  So grateful for wonderful women who love the Lord to homeschool with… I could go on and on about how grateful I am, but for now it’s imd to finish getting ready!

Garden Update

I’m thinking of changing my “Garden Updates” to “Gardening Woes.”  Will I ever be a gardener?  The one thing that has always done well in our yard is our peach tree.  We do nothing to it but thin them out and prune, and… voila!  A million peaches.

This year I decided to fertilize.  I don’t think that was the cause of our problem, but it is ironic that every time I try something, it seems something goes wrong.  Everything was going great this year, or so I thought, until I went out to thin some peaches yesterday.  Strangely, I found some crazy, funky, bubbling pink leaves.. and then more… and then more.  I Googled it, only to discover we have peach tree curl!

Ugh!  And, to make it worse, I read that I am too late this year to spray with a fungicide AND I probably will lose all my fruit.  Apparently, this condition comes about from an overly wet season; which is definitely what we had.   Here I thought the rain was helping!

Then there”s my apricot tree… also fertilized for the first time.  A week ago it was loaded with beautiful blossoms and bees.  Now all the blossoms are brown and falling off instead of turning into apricots.  **sniff, sniff**  I am certain there is a lesson to be learned; a beautiful metaphor for God and His creation somewhere… For tonight, I am just a little bummed!

On the bright side, my seeds LOVE their mini greenhouse.  I am nervous to transplant them into our fungus-filled soil where they will also be vulnerable to the rats.  So, I am waiting a bit longer and trying to decide what to do…

On the even brighter side, I am LOVING the time change… It means after dinner, I can do dishes and still have time to hang out outside with the family.

As wonderful as it is, I now have some bad summer fever…  Looking forward to more barbecues, evening swims, and yes, even some more gardening woes…

One Week Ago…

A week ago today, I began to feel relief… Daniel was home and gave our sick girl Sierra two iv bags, after which her fever went down and she felt much better.  In fact, I thought she was in the clear.  Five days of feeling miserable on the couch and having soaring temps was just too much…

But Monday came, the temp went back up, and I knew it was time to take her in.  She fell asleep on the couch, and I woke her to take her to the doctor and then to get her blood drawn.  I didn’t expect that the doctor would call and tell me to take her to the hospital!

We arrived Monday evening, and I finally felt some real relief.  Though she was still miserable, she was now in good hands.

After a restless night with constant interruptions, the new day brought good news.  Her kidneys were fine.  She had a bladder infection and was dehydrated.  Her temp needed to go down and stay down for her to go home, but at least we knew what it was and no damage was done.  She spent three full days and three nights there, then came home Thursday.

During one of her naps on the couch last weekend, I snuck out to plant some seeds we had.  I was so excited to try out our new little green house, and feeling anxious for spring.  After just one week…

We have a tomato, many zinnias, radishes, shell peas, and lettuces sprouting.  One week!  I am also happy to report, we have one healthy girl.  I still touch here head sometimes because it felt like she had a fever forever!  But, she is healthy and happy and doing well.

God is so good.  It wasn’t a fun couple of weeks, but I had such peace while she was in the hospital.  It definitely takes the trials and tough times to  awaken us to His presence and comfort.  This weekend, I was blessed by an incredible women’s conference at our church where I got to pray with three women.  I then got to witness some amazing miracles through the prayer of a guest speaker at our church.  What an incredible gift to bless me with after a long, tough couple weeks.  He is ever faithful.