Summer

Summer was just so full of good things. We have moved on to autumn, and we love to slow down and enjoy our cozy home more (and blog more). But for today I’ll reminisce about the warm, green days of Summer.

We added a cat to our family. Mr. Claude in all his orange, mitten-pawed glory.

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We enjoyed our flowers so much, especially our roses.
David Austin Wildeve.

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David Austin Scepter’d Isle.

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Sometimes instead of spending money on roses (cut flowers), J. will tell me to buy a rose bush. It has so much meaning and every year I can enjoy the flowers.

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And L.’s little garden. She planted a few varieties of Zinnias. She picks orange as her favorite.

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This photo is from July 4th weekend. Our family spent time together at the pond. The sky that evening was beautiful.

Enjoy your day!

In the Garden.

I have been wanting to do this post for quite some time. I enjoy working in the garden so much. The hard part is taking photos and documenting things. Of course keeping the weeds under control is hard too.

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Lettuce that is almost ready to transplant. I love fresh lettuce from the garden.

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Red beets. We like them cooked with butter and salt. J. and E. like them pickled.

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The peas are almost ready. Hopefully we’ll have fresh peas sometime next week.

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The tomatoes are there, just waiting to ripen. I can hardly wait for a fresh tomato sandwich.

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Onions

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And garlic.

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Pumpkin/squash/gourd tepees have been built and strung with twine.

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The blueberry bushes have been covered in netting.

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An old rose left here on the property. Fragrant and beautiful.

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And an update on the orchids. I haven’t killed them….yet. You can read about them here.

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This must be a record for me. As you can see I repotted it. I also moved it to a south-facing window. During the cold months, I was afraid it would be too cold but it was just fine. I only water it when I remember (not very often).  Maybe orchids aren’t so bad. But ranunculus! 🙂

 

What Spring brought.

While it is still Spring (technically), I thought I’d post some pictures of our flowers. I am so thankful for a God who blesses us with diversity in nature.

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Ranunculus. My nemesis in botany. I love the flowers, but I kill them. Over, and over.

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Beautiful, fragrant lilacs. Purple ones…

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White ones.

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Seeds started in eggshells. My sis gets the credit for this.

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We have a beautiful old dogwood tree in our yard.

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Peony.

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House finch nest in our potted fern. I love hearing them sing every day.

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String-of-pearls succulent.

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Another succulent. This one is from IKEA.

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My favorite succulent.

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Enjoying our porch.

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Begonia. My first year trying these, and I love them!

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And one of my favorite hostas : June. I have so many different kinds. Hostas are my favorite plant. I don’t like most of the flowers, so I keep those trimmed off. The foliage is just so calm and serene.

I hope to do a post on our vegetable garden this week. Today I had plans to finish weeding, but the rain last night made it too muddy. I was thankful for the extra time I had to finally write a blog post. Though, if I had my way I’d spend every waking minute outside.

Mercy.

Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.    –Psalm 28:6-7

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Sometimes words come hard. I’m left plunking the keys and hitting that delete button again and again. Trying to find words for that age-old story and how it hits you in a new way. Just like spring rains come after a long winter. We know the rains will come, we know. But when the rain falls fresh…and that smell, it’s new again.

I am reminded of how big our God is.

Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am King. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
“What is truth?” Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?”
They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!”    –John 18:37-40

Barabbas : from Aramaic, barabba : meaning Son of Abba.

In those final hours, Jesus took the place of Barabbas whose name means simply, Son of Abba. Sons and daughters of Abba, don’t you think?

A Unicorn & Princess Party

A while ago our sweet L. had a birthday. We let her lead in planning a birthday party. Her first choice was to have a unicorn party with 10-11 girls as guests. We had a hard time finding lots of unicorn things within budget, so we made it a unicorn and princess party. Because unicorns and princesses belong together, right? For the guests we gave her a limit of 5 and had her make the decision of whom to include. It is fun watching a little girlie work. I designed the invitations, with her approval of course.

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L. was super excited to use my shiny gold pen to write the names on the invitations. After sealing the envelopes with a princess sticker, we sent them out to each princess.

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For place settings, L. chose rainbow/pink/purple colors. We picked up cheap wands and party favors at walmart. Each girl got to go home with some goodies. I actually can’t remember what was in each bag. L. also made place cards to put on each plate. She chose the seating arrangement. She knew exactly where she wanted everyone to sit.

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This cake didn’t take very long to make. And I’m glad I didn’t fuss too much because I think only one piece was eaten.

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Our one lonely bit of unicorn decor – thanks to my sis-in-law for texting me when she saw it at our local antique mall.

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These little things were golden. The girls went crazy over them. Marshmallows dipped in white chocolate and topped with sprinkles. The plain white marshmallows with rainbow sprinkles were a hit!

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We didn’t serve only sugar, although there certainly was lots of it consumed. L. chose macaroni and cheese, broccoli, and applesauce as her menu. Plus all the sugary goodness. 🙂

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The girls were asked to come dressed in princess attire. Excitement ran high that morning. All these pretty princesses with big huge grins and adorable outfits. For activities, we had tables set up for play dough and large coloring pages. The girls played and played. The noise level went up considerably after the sugar kicked in. It was fun to watch them interact and make new friends. I have so many cute pictures of these twirling princesses, but chose not to share them. Some day, these girls will be grown and may not want a blog filled with pictures from when they were little. 🙂 So just imagine lots of energy in pretty purple and pink twirling around.

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Birthday girl was a little shy when it was time to open presents. I suggested that each girl could help her open the gift they were giving her. This seemed to work very well and made everyone happy. There were some tired princesses that afternoon.

If you’re wondering if you can find energy to have a birthday party, I encourage you to include your children in the planning stages. This seemed to take a lot of stress away from me. I can be so indecisive and stew over the smallest decisions. L. had opinions on everything if I just took the time to ask and listen to her. Some things were hard to let go and let her choose. I knew she would probably pick something that wouldn’t be my first choice. Dear J. helped me see the character and confidence we could build in her by letting her make decisions for herself. Obviously we had boundaries and a budget for things, lest you think we let our children do anything they please. L.’s most common argument when asking for something in a store is, “But Mom, it’s not too expensive.” 🙂

Have a good week, friends!

Hold Fast.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” II Corinthians 4:18

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These days it’s easy to just see sticks hugged tight by snow. Snow, that I love and wouldn’t mind a few more feet of. But then, you all know my stance on Winter. These sticks are what I see now, but with a little sunshine and warmth, they will bring beauty:

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And beauty abounds.

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I love that God sends us reminders in the form of small things (like rose bushes in snow) to show us more of His glory and purpose. This one, beautiful life is only temporary. How glorious will eternity be!