The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation
2Samuel 22:47

27 March 2014

Homeschooling with a wee one, again

But just for a day.
I know what you were thinking.
 

We had a guest visit our all-boys' school yesterday and it was a ton of fun.
Our table work was completed on the floor in the midst of Little People-
and I had a good time of remembering when this was normal for us.
 
Thanks, baby James, for a fun day!
We hope you come back soon.

21 March 2014

Spring Flowers

The first day of Spring was met with great shouts of joy and eager anticipation for planting.
Gardening season can begin at any time now.
It can stop freezing at night, I would be okay with that.  Any time. Now.
Please.
Pu-leeeeez.
Pretty Please.
 
Yesterday I was met at our front door with signs of Spring blooming in our front planter.
My dear sons obviously have a green thumb - look at this large flower in full bloom in the planter.
I'm sure I didn't plant this one.
I believe this flower goes by its Latin name,
 
Machinus gunnas officianalis
 
I'm just glad to see something growing outside.
 

The plants in the greenhouse seem to be happy, happy, happy.
I can hardly wait to put them in the ground.  Isn't this Johnny-jump up cheerful? 

 
Out of sheer curiosity, or boredom, I made a head count of the seedlings growing and taking over our home.  We only have 1,080 baby plants growing in our dining room, great room, guest room and greenhouse these days.  And I still want to plant more!

14 March 2014

Quietness

All is quiet in and around the house this lunch hour.
Moms of boys know that when you can't hear your sons you must find out what they are up to.
Immediately.
The quiet was peaceful for about 4-seconds, then I went running to the windows to see if I could spot the boys and see what they were up to.
 
Way out yonder, in a part of our neighbor's property we longingly call the 'back 40', I spotted them.
Shirts off.
Shovels and dirt flying.
Digging like mad on property not owned by us.
 

Well, at least they don't look like they are getting into trouble or hurting themselves or each other.  I'm not sure if this counts as destroying someone else's property or if that is a crime punishable by law.  Since they are relatively safe and filling up on some early Spring Vitamin D I'm going to go enjoy the quietness.
 


Actually, I'm going to go check on them again because they are probably going to try and bury a little brother. I know what registers as 'fun' for this crew.
So much for that hot cup of tea I was going to enjoy by myself.
Boys!!

06 March 2014

Tidbits from the past few weeks

Here's a sampling of randomness from some ordinary moments around the home the past few weeks.
 
A good friend of ours agreed to mentor the boys in painting for four sessions.
I traded her a grow light for it.
Guess who got the good part of the deal?
 
Anna has gone above and beyond what I was even hoping for and my boys have eagerly completed their homework for the next session, even though it's not due for another seven days.
That's huge.
 
Yay!

If you know Anna, you know what love and attention to detail my boys are receiving from her.
She's wonderful.
 

We've been blessed by some amazing works of art at sunset this last week.  Whenever I see a sight like this my mind always thinks of how the Heavens declare the glory of the Lord.
Amen.

 
Not only did I manage to give four boys haircuts in the last week but my onions needed a trim, too.
Aren't they unruly?  I'm happy to report after their haircut they are standing tall and proud and growing strong again.  AND, we have our first recordable harvest to file under 'onions' for the year.
 
1/20th of a pound.
When one works so hard to provide their own food every single harvest counts.
 
We enjoyed minced baby onion tops over our soup last night.  Divine.
And I only have 999 and 19/20ths pounds to harvest from our garden to reach my goal of 1000#s!
 

 
I've been experimenting with sourdough this winter by catching my own starter and feeding him {it?} faithfully.  He's taken on a personality of his {its?} own on our counter and is affectionately referred to as Mr. Bubbles.  The boys are quite sure I have lost my marbles at this point, but that's okay.  It's good to keep them on their toes and wondering what Mom will do next.

 
Despite being an extremely busy stay-at-home-homeschooling-homesteading-home-doctoring kind of person, I still have time for a slumber party every now and then.  Apparently last night I had a slumber party with Luke Skywalker and Jenga Fett.   A little secret here on boys and love languages- if your little man feels you are worthy to sleep with his favorite Lego minifigs that is just like  receiving a four page love note from said child.  Girls might make a beautiful picture with markers and bubble letters and lots and lots of hearts singing the praises of their mothers...boys will trust you with their most precious Lego pieces and that means the world to them and to me.   It was an honor to wake up and see these guys sparring at my feet at 6 o'clock this morning.  I truly felt loved!

 
Keeping with the Star Wars theme-- which is at epidemic levels in our home right now and please come soon Spring so we can concentrate on bike crashes and hiking in muddy creeks -- I found some Ewok puppets playing in the onions this morning as well.  I was told that our guest room makes the best forest in our home, and it's no wonder because...
 

Tarver-made Ewoks for Ry and Langston
 I am the proud mother of over 500 seedlings right now.
The air quality in our guest room is amazing.
 
 
And with all that typed and saved, I must return to the needs of my family.  A few young men need to be read to this afternoon, there is still vacuuming and laundry to finish up.  Chicken Noodle soup to start for this evening's meal.  Mr. Bubbles to feed and make fresh bread from.  A boy who has sheep to tend to at a farm not near enough to our home.  And a few plants to water, too.
 
By the way, am I the only wondering why I didn't get issued that maid servant at the birth of our first child?  I've always wondered about that ...

03 March 2014

Conversation from O'dark-thirty

From an afternoon at the park, when it used to be warmer in these parts

We have an early riser in our home - but I am not complaining because it is one-on-one time and I get a special peek at the window in this little heart.  Here's a snippet of a conversation that happened this morning, at O'dark-thirty {before the coffee was brewing anyway...}

"Mom, was I born yet in 2002?"
 
"No, not yet."
 
"Was I in your tummy then?"
 
"No, not even that yet."
 
"Oh, so I didn't even exist.  I was just a requested prayer at that time."
 
"Yes, love, that's what you were.  And now you are answered and I am so thankful for that!"

17 February 2014

Valentine Date Night


This.
*This*
This is what happens when you spend the majority of your waking and sleeping hours in a house full of males.
You forget all about dressing up for date night.  Hours and hours of fussing over your hair replaced by an Alpine ski hat.  Accessorizing with a mustache. Letting him wear the pink heart glasses. 
Selfless, sacrificial and fashionable love, that's how we do things in our marriage.
 
Bob & Hollie
Valentine Sweethearts circa 2014
First B Valentine Fellowship Party
A date which will go down in infamy.
 
{Thanks for the fun night, love! xo xo xo - Can I have the glasses back now please?}

12 February 2014

Season Opener and Numbers From Last Season

Gardening Season begins in January on our little farm.
 
I always think this is the most exciting point of the season - where the garden is full of hopes and dreams and void of insects, hail, drought and the other realities that make gardening such a hard task.
 
Johnny Jump-Ups from Seed Savers
 Normally, at this point in the season I am so desperate for anything to be growing somewhere that I tend to start too early and plant too much.  Thankfully, I am slowly maturing {it takes a while} and am learning the lessons of patience.  I'm still trying to figure out how to not over-plant!  The little seedlings are just *so cute* when they first poke through the dirt!
  I've only planted our 'cool season' seeds thus far, but this weekend it will be time to put the pepper seeds in and we are just a few weeks out for tomatoes and flowers.
{HOORAY!}

Ailsa Craig and Red Wethersfield will be our onions this season
 My husband is eternally patient with my zealousness.  He always has a little twinkle in his eye when asking how many 'babies' I planted this time.  And he's always so kind to not laugh too hard when I tell him maybe we DO have room for 341 tomato plants this year ... maybe?  They just start out so small and cute to begin with- they hardly seems like anything cumbersome until May and then I am usually forcing plants on my friends who have anything resembling dirt in their yard.

Gruner Krauser Kale

 
We saved a lot of our own seed from our garden last year - which is a wonderful project {and necessary, if I might say so myself!} to do with the boys.  Because we did this I was able to try out a few new crops for this coming year and still we have only spent $60 on new seed/supplies for our anticipated gardening needs. I'm anxious to see how celery and fennel do in our garden.  Of course, we'll need to till up a bit more of our back yard which means I need to get busy baking some chocolate chip cookies for my most excellent and wonderful tiller operator.  {Thank you, Love!}
 
I have finally put all the numbers together from our 2013 garden and orchard - how blessed we feel to have harvested 745.46 pounds!!  I'm quietly hoping to break the 1000# mark in 2014 but we never know what the weather will bring or how helpful the work force will be.  It seems like we have a ton of help in the garden during raspberry harvest (somehow those raspberries never quite make it to the scale ... :-) )

Have you started thinking about your garden?  I'd love to send you some seed from our 2013 harvest.  Leave a comment and a way for me to get in touch with you.  The boys and I will go through the comments and send some seed to a lucky commenter {or two!}
 
P.S. Georgia, I already have some Yellow Pear Tomato seeds with your name on them.

'He who works his land will have plenty of bread
but he who follows worthless pursuits will come to poverty.'
Proverbs 12:11