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March 2015
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May 2015

First Seeds








We planted our pumpkins on Sunday!  I know it is still a tad early here in the great Zone 6, but we are getting pretty close.  Plus, I think pumpkins are hard to time just right to be ready by mid-October.

So in an effort to not miss the boat on this one....our pumpkins are in the ground!

Suburban vegetable gardening requires a bit of creative thinking and space-clearing since most neighborhood homes around here don't have huge plots of open fields in full sun.  For our pumpkins, we cleared most of a side bed that gets the eastern sunrise and used about 1/3 of it for our pumpkin hill.  We planted 6 holes.  I'm thinking 6 vines of pumpkins, if all goes well, will be plenty.

I am pleased to say that the one plant I brought from New Hampshire, a hydrangea bush that I received last Mother's Day, is doing quite nicely!  I hope it makes a good neighbor to our pumpkin vines as it shares this particular bed.

Lastly, do you see my dying pine tree?  We bought it rooted from a Christmas tree farm and planted it in the winter during a warm period.  I'm worried about it, though.  More and more branches are turning brown and I don't know what to do.  Does anyone have any ideas or experience with saving a dying pine tree?  

Gardening tips and advice is always welcome here, so do share!


Lovely Day


Saturday was rainy and cold and I loved every minute of it!  You see, on cold and rainy days I feel no "pressure" to be outside and on this particular day we got some much needed cleaning and organizing done indoors.  It feels much fresher in here now and I love it.

I am developing a new chore and allowance system for the kiddos, and I am excited to share more about that soon once I get the details worked out.  

Sunday is supposed to be sunny and perfect.  After a day indoors, I am ready for it.  We are preparing for our garden and hope to at least get the pumpkin seeds in so they are ready in time for the fall harvest.

I took this picture on my phone the other day when we were in a big hurry to leave and I couldn't find Hans. I wasn't worried...yet, but just really grumpy that he was making us later than we already were! When I rounded the corner into the backyard I couldn't help but slow down for this shot. My favorite boy in my favorite tree!  And do you know what?  I'm so glad that I have this picture, but I can't even remember now what we were late to.  Sometimes it takes a boy in a tree to help me remember what's really important.

Happy Sunday to you!

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:2-4


Baby Steps

K Jog 1

I did it!  I went for a jog!  This is the first time since October.

I truly love to exercise.  But I absolutely cannot figure out how to fit it in.  Life is in a perpetual state of motion between work, school, church, the kids' activities and household chores that a trip to the gym simply does not fit!  So, in an effort to keep my complaining to a  minimum, I have decided instead to gracefully let this one go for a while.

 I recant a bit because I do try to walk regularly on my lunch break at work for about 1/2 an hour.  Hey, it's something!  I often think I should bring my workout clothes and gym shoes to change into and take this time to jog just to get my heart rate up higher.  

It's actually not the sweating mid-workday that bothers me because I don't sweat that much. It's that instead I turn completely beat and tomato red for about an hour afterward, which I think is much worse than being covered with a thin and sheen layer of glistening, productive sweat.  Don't you agree?

My 6-year-old son took these pictures.  We needed to document this occasion for sure!

By the way, this little run of mine took place on Saturday.  It's Tuesday and my legs still ACHE!

K Jog 2

Empty Vessels





I took some time off of work over my kid's Spring Break from school.  It was much needed downtime for us all.  (Have I mentioned that my oldest catches the bus at 6:45 A.M???)

My boy recently became interested in a toy pottery wheel that we've had for years.  And because there is very little time in our normal routine for extended crafting, I figured I would order some fresh clay so we could have it available for one of our days off.

There is something about wet, warm clay sliding through fingers that calms one's spirit and centers one's mind.  I could see it in my children and feel the general peace and calm in our home as they pounded, shaped, sculpted and smoothed.  I thought about the Native American mamas before us and wondered if they felt the same sort of quiet satisfaction as they created their masterpiece pots and if their children loved to feel the squishy, soft mud between their fingers just like mine did.  Such beautiful pieces they made.

We people are very much like clay pots.  We were all created uniquely and deliberately. We come in many shapes and sizes.  Some of us are elaborate and fancy while others are plain and sturdy.  Some are big and colorful and others are small and don't stand out much.  

The one thing we ALL have in common is that we will all be FILLED with something.  We make choices each and every day about what things we are putting in!

We can fill our pot with junk and trash and set it high on a shelf to collect dust and not be given a second thought.

Or we can fill it with something beautiful and light and lovely, and give it a place of prominence and honor.  We can make it a creation worthy of its calling and strive to make it the very best it can be.



In a world that can be so dark at every turn, I try hard to keep filling our "pots" with positive and useful and spiritual things about the One who created best.  How are you filling your pot these days?

How About That?












It was the most beautiful Sunday.  74 and not a cloud in the sky.

Sweaty, happy kids ran about the yard amidst a gaggle of outside lawn toys.  Neighbors appeared everywhere, inching out of the winter woodwork to examine the state of things.  Tired lawnmowers coughed and sputtered up as they geared up for another good season of their work.

All was just about right with the world until......

the toilet overflowed!

And then I spent a good hour mopping the floors.  My parents came over for the occasion and to help plunge and clean...and to be there for moral support as I survived my first solo plumbing disaster.

(But because of that marvelous day outside, I promise that not all was lost!)

Glorious Friday

Lena on Swing

At our house, Friday is the one evening where we have nowhere to go.  No practice, no lessons, and no church or school activities.  Hallelujah!

In fact, I guard this night so closely that I have often turned down social activities, invitations or sports events just to make sure that Fridays remain consistently sacred.  At first this was difficult for me to do, but now it is surprisingly easy.  This night brings us downtime and rest.  And because we are so often all running in different directions, the family camaraderie we build on Friday nights is so very necessary!

Because we have all come to ADORE this night so much, it makes me think that maybe we have too much on our plates to begin with?  OK,  so we just might, but let's have that discussion another time.  For now, I want to put in a good day's work, beat the bulk of the traffic home, rummage up what we can find in the fridge for dinner, and crash on the couch for a while!  Maybe the evening will end with a movie, a game, popsicles or a walk in the neighborhood.  

Who knows what this Friday night might bring?  (As long as I don't have to set foot into my van, I'm good!)

All I know is..................TGIF.....

Happy Weekend to You!

a Teenager is Born


Indian Food





Orange Leaf



Miami Girl

My girl turned 13 last week, which is about as mind boggling as anything I can think of!

We enjoyed a mother-daughter getaway near the town of my college alma mater - a couple of days with just the two of us.  There was lots of girl talk, good food, late nights and sleeping in.  We swam, we hiked in the rain, we shopped and walked around town.  Our stroll around campus opened a world of possibilities for her, while I took a sweet trip down memory lane.  Can it really be 17 years since graduation?!

I dyed my hair because, well....why the heck not?  My girl wanted to, but I say that even the mighty 13 is still too young for that!  She participated in not one but two bonus Easter egg hunts in town designed for those "older" youngsters who are still kids at heart and thank goodness for that!

This weekend away was a birthday gift to her from her mama, but I believe that it was just as much for her mama.  This girl of mine....she's a treasure and I'm so glad I have her!