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!
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.
In case you were wondering, we are still going strong with our gardening journals, though we did take a break along with everything else this last week. (Spring break is glorious!) Before break, we did another entry and then had a planting day.
You can see by the last picture that our seeds are actually starting to sprout! I was a little worried because 1) the seeds are old, and 2) the kids planted them without much guidance. (I explained briefly, went to get my camera, and they were practically done by themselves!) Tomorrow we will transplant them into our garden boxes, which are finally ready. Thank you, wonderful husband, for all your hard work on prepping soil and re-building our collapsed bed! I hope to say thanks with a delicious salad, soon!
“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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
On to the next project…
For our fourth garden journal entry, we took the Sunset planting zones for California and painted them onto our journals. Basically, they learned different areas have different recommendations for planting. The fun part was mixing the colors.
I’m hoping today will be a hands-on, in the garden planting day!
I woke up and just knew it was going to be a beautiful day. After all, it was a free Saturday with absolutely nothing on the calendar. The weather was great. No school to be done. So… after we had breakfast and I had my morning coffee and Jesus time, I decided I would spend the entire day in our backyard… And I did. The kids joined me off and on, and it was lovely!
The first place I started was with our peach tree. I knew it needed to be thinned out, but didn’t know where to start. I looked up a few articles, and everything I read said there needed to be just one peach for every 4 inches. Ok, I thought… I can do that! Turns out, it was harder than I thought; mostly because my brain kept thinking, “I can’t possibly pull off this many peaches. My poor tree! What if I’m pulling off all the good ones, and leaving the bad ones?” Sounds dramatic as I type it, but truly it was a real struggle in my mind!
I continued to thin as much as I could, despite my anxiety. The entire time I couldn’t help but thinking about God, the Master Gardener. Is it hard for him to prune? He knows what’s best, and does it for our own good — even if it seems bad. As a parent, do I have what it takes to prune my kids? By pruning, I am showing God that I trust Him — that although I am throwing away a lot of fruit, I am trusting He will ultimately still provide much fruit and it will be bigger and sweeter than a tree left unpruned.
And so a lesson was learned in the garden. Just one of many to come this season, I am sure. God is so good.
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?
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.)
My last post was about our chicks. The one before that was about our garden journals. How about a post on our chicks and our garden journals?
We brainstormed al the ways chickens are beneficial for gardens… then we used colored pencils to draw our sweet chickies!
Little did we know that first time we bought chicks that it would be an annual thing… First due to wanting more eggs, and then due to bobcats. Hopefully we won’t need chicks again for a while. But for now, we bought 3 Buff Orphingtons this week, and will pick up 3 Light Brahmas next week. I’ve grown rather fond of these sweet creatures, already! Meet Sunny, Topaz, and Athena Glory:
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:
Making “Fairy Water”
Washing the car.
Enjoying glorious apricot tree blossoms.
Painting fairy houses from Grandma.
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!
This is our 5th winter in this home, and yet it surprises me every time — peach blossoms in mid-January. From the looks of things, we may have another prolific year. (It’s very hard for me not to count my chickens before they hatch!) I took these pictures today after a night of horrific winds. I’m thankful these beauties survived, though our entire avocado tree fell and our garbage bins were down the street!
I’ve been remembering to close the chicken coop up every night, and love seeing a beautiful sunset as I leave the chicken yard. No more chickens for you, Mr. Bobcat! And, I can’t wait to kick Malachi and his diggers out of our garden boxes and start getting veggies and flowers, again. (Praying for a better gardening year than last year!)