Surprise!

After a few days of the Santa Ana winds this week, I spent most of my morning doing a little yard clean-up.  I was able to fill an entire outdoor trash can with pine needles, and still have another pile that could probably fill another! Sadly, it’s more like a summer day than a fall one, so I am now sweaty and dirty and ready to hop in the shower.

First, though, I just had to document this little surprise I found in our garden.  I had completely forgotten that I had planted radishes this year, because they never came up.  I planted the little seeds way back in April!  When I noticed these leaves sprouting, I was curious… I waited a week or 2, then gave a little tug and out popped my radish!  I am not much of a fan of radishes, but the miracle of watching a seed transform into  what it’s created to be never ceases to amaze me.

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Black Belts!

Two and a half years of workouts, memorizing poomseis and curriculum kicks, testing, board breaking, memorizing rules and showing up and now they’ve done it — these three are now officially Taekwondo black belts!  In the top picture, they are with our phenomenal instructor, Master Nick.  In the bottom photo, they are with Grand Master Kim.  Most importantly, they continue to love it and work hard…

Way to go, my loves!  Congratulations!!!

Now on to second degree…

Fall Cookies

Malachi’s prayer this week:  “God, please help time to go faster so our friends will be here sooner.”  All week long they have been counting down… their friends were coming for the entire weekend while their mom and dad had a conference.  For the most part, the kids completely entertained themselves.  They’ve had a blast!  But this afternoon I thought it’d be fun to make some Halloween cookies and decorate with them.  You can see their beautiful decorations above.  And below are the leftovers that I decorated:

They didn’t fall asleep until after 11pm, and the first one was up about 5:30am this morning.  After a day of play, play, play. they are now watching a movie, and I am expecting them to crash hard tonight… I know I will!

Feeling so blessed to be around such fun kids!

Garden Clean-up

Some years are just like this, I guess….

Weeds untouched.

Flowers left to brown.

Not a lot of TLC in the garden.

Early on this spring, right after the gardening contest, the rats consumed just about everything in our garden.  That’s when I gave up.  Thankfully, some zinnias still managed to  smile at us this summer.  The herbs thrived, as usual.  My one tomato plant provided 2 tomatoes for us, and a zillion for the rats.  Now the chickens are enjoying the plant and a few huge hornworms I found on it for them.

We never did manage to plant sunflowers, and this was the scarcest garden season, yet.  But, I will say that made the clean-up that much easier.  And, we found a few friends like the dragonfly and praying mantis.  (I don’t consider hornworms to be friends.)

It is now a season of rest for the garden.  I may try a few fall items, or I may just load it with herbs, which seem to like my garden.  There is always next spring, and we are considering an owl box to attract the owls I have seen in the neighborhood to eat our rats.  Did you know owls consume up to 16 rats a night?  That’d be so great… I’ll keep you updated!