Garden Journals, pt. 5

So…. part 5!  (This was before spring break, which feels like eons ago!)  For part 5 in our garden journals, I had the kids copy pictures of all the birds we commonly see in our backyard.  We used colored pencils, which are my favorite!  We learned that the birds I was calling turtle doves are actually mourning doves.  I also learned their sound is much like an owl, and I grew up hearing them so they must live near my parents, as well!

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My favorite bird, (which I sadly did not capture with my camera this time), was the cedar waxwing.  We were surprised to find 4 or 5 of them huddling around a puddle in our backyard one Sunday morning before church.  When we looked up their breed, we discovered they are a northwest bird, who were probably just down here for the winter.  We have not seen one since!  Thankfully, we still see robins once in a while and hummingbirds daily.

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Perspective and Planters

“Are you sad that you have to do dishes on spring break?” one of my daughters asked me.  My first thought was, “Yes.”  But, what came out of my mouth was totally different.

Perspective.

I explained how dishes meant we had a nice meal, and plenty of food, and family time.  I even admitted how I kind of enjoyed the warm water on cold days like this.  Of course, my lazy self would prefer no dishes — but if I could just have the right perspective, they didn’t seem so bad.  In fact, they were a blessing.  As Laura Story so eloquently put it in her song, What if our blessings come through raindrops? Perspective.

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Every spring break I take on a project.  Last year it was writing the book of James on my bathroom wall.  This year’s project was a bit simpler.  I had seen a picture on Pinterest of a window looking out over lavender fields.  It was gorgeous.  Since moving my family into that house wasn’t feasible, I decided to do the next best thing; plant lavender outside our bedroom window.  Perspective.  I looked for planter boxes and alternatives all over online, but none of the ones I loved were in my price range.  Finally, I took the kids to Homegoods.  There I found several viable options, but none of them came in sets of 2.  (My only qualm with Homegoods!)  Then I spotted something I thought might work across the store that I was pretty certain I had seen on the other side of the store.  Yes, I found twin trays!  Only one was white… but I could paint them both anyway!  Hooray!

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Next came the planter boxes to go on top.  Again, I couldn’t find what I was looking for.  So, I drew a picture and asked my husband to do the honors.  I am blessed by his many talents!  After a few nails and a little stain, voila!

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It’s been too cold to open my windows for the smell to come in, but aren’t they lovely?  Now when I look out my window I just see the lavender tops and I am so content.  Perspective.

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On to the next project…

Garden Journals, pt. 3

Our third day of garden journaling, we drew pictures of beneficial bugs: predators, pollinators, and plants that attract them.  Can I just say I LOVE Sharpies?

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I also love seeing the drawing of a 6 year old next to the drawing of a 9 year old — a good reminder of how fast time simply flies!  (Today I also paid them a nickel for every weed they pulled of our lawn by the root.  Worth every penny!  And, the chickens loved eating the weeds.)

Garden Journals, pt. 1

I’ve had this idea in my head for a spring time activity for a while, but have never actually attempted it. Lately, our school work has seemed just like that; work.  It was time for a fun activity that we could all do together.  I am truly hoping by keeping these garden journals, we will be inspired to get going on our garden!

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First, we decorated our {brown bag} covers with stickers and markers.

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gj 4Our first entry was picking a seed packet, copying it with black marker, and then water coloring it.  Seed packets are so cool!

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 Somehow, I think that I have to have everything organized and ready to go before jumping into a project.  But, when I give in and start a project before actually knowing all that it will entail, God inevitably fills in the gaps and gives me the creativity I need right when I need it.  I am now filled with ideas, and can’t wait for more journal pages!  Praise God for his faithfulness.  Why can’t I remember to lean on Him more often?
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Didn’t they turn out lovely?  This really is what our school day needed… a little fun project the kids could look forward to, do together, and inspire us toward our garden!

Getting Warmer…

Before leaving for our cruise, Southern California was experiencing a heat wave.  We got back, only to experience more of the same.  I can’t wait to blog more about our cruise, but I’ve been busy trying to balance enjoying this beautiful weather with getting back into the swing of things.  It’s been a good week, and an even better weekend.  I think I am finally caught-up on “stuff.”  (Of course, caught-up only lasts a few hours around here before laundry, dishes, and messes pile up.  A mom’s life is blessed and busy!)  **sigh**  Here is a glimpse of our warm weather activities:

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Making “Fairy Water”

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Washing the car.

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Enjoying glorious apricot tree blossoms.

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Painting fairy houses from Grandma.

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It is hard not to want this weather.  All the windows are open.  We start our days on bikes and scooters.  But alas, it is not even spring yet, so I am praying for rain.  In the meantime, you can find us outside!