Pumpkins and daffodils

We headed out on Sunday to pick our pumpkins…..


At Lowe’s. Usually we go out to a local pumpkin patch, but that wasn’t happening this year. Then we headed home and began cleaning, drawing designs, and carving pumpkins.


It was laid back and the boys even went with the vibe and picked really traditional designs. Which honestly are the scariest pumpkins of all:

And our front door looks so festive!

This was one of my favorite things that I chose for the house. I love the contrast of the black door with the red brick, it just makes everything pop that we put around it. After we finished carving pumpkins, the boys had homework and afternoon sports, so I set to work planting the twenty daffodil bulbs I bought.

I was originally looking for tulips, but they were all out, so daffodils it is! I love planting flower bulbs it’s like the ultimate slow cooker of gardening, ha! I find the best time to plant them is the day after it has rained steadily all day. The red clay dirt here gets very compacted and can be really difficult to dig when it’s dry. I also have a bulb planter that has measurements to show the right amount of depth for the bulbs. And gardening gloves! Super important so I don’t destroy my hands digging in the dirt. I’m so hopefully they grow beautifully in the Spring!

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Four little acorn seeds

J collected four acorns on the boys’ camping trip, and came home with plans to grow an acorn tree in the backyard. A tall order considering acorn trees take about four to five years to grow into a full sapling that can be planted beyond a pot. However, our family is obviously patient with tree growing, considering the redwood at our old house.

We selected a terra-cotta pot that we placed strategically on our back porch, so it can get rain and sun. We placed plastic bottles in the bottom of the terra-cotta pot (tip from the Martha Stewart show we’ve been watching on occasion), then we used potting mix on top, and patted in the acorns about an inch from the surface.

And now J has patiently checked on them each day as part of his morning routine, and gives them a little water if the soil looks “light brown instead of dark brown”.

J is all about rocks, minerals, plants, fossils, and science in general right now. It’s so fun to read and study along with him! I also have plans to plant tulip bulbs with the boys in the next few weeks. It will be fun to see which grows first!

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Fresh and fluffy plants

In the midst of moving out of our house, one of the things I drove over individually to my parents were my indoor plants. I’m not the best plant lady, but I’ve come to value having air purifying plants in our home. I’ve really needed to repot several of our plants, but I haven’t had a chance to yet this year. I found two larger pots at Target and one at Lowe’s and repotted the four plants that had out grown their homes.

I would’ve had a before picture, but I totally forgot, here are the pots:

And now here they are in their new pots:

They look so much happier! The biggest plant (on the far left) was in the second to left pot, so obviously they all needed bigger spaces. Now I’m just working on them having enough light and proper water amounts until I move them into their new spots. I managed to find pots from Lowe’s (far left), and Target (the other three), but it was not easy! There are weird things in limited supply these days and apparently plant pots are one of them.

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Transplanting our Favorite Plants

This is a story that began over a hundred years ago. Our backyard at our current house has three little trees that some may perceive as a mere bush in the corner. However, two of them are hundred year old Rose of Sharon transplants, and the other is a California redwood sapling that we brought back from the boys’ very first trip to California. There are many trees at our current house that are precious to us (our stump tree! My Mother’s Day maple!) but these were the only two that I knew I could maybe transfer to the new house. The Rose of Sharon’s are fairly easy to move as you just pull out “baby plants” from around the bottom of the tree and plant them in fresh soil.

The redwood is trickier. It started as a little sprout in a pot in 2015:

And then a couple of years later:

And then two years ago we finally planted it in the ground because it had outgrown all of its pots:

I headed over to the house with instructions from B on clipping the redwood. These were his instructions: Take your cuttings from the node area of the tree, where two branches meet. Each cutting should be at least 6 inches long. Place them in lukewarm water immediately after you remove them from the mother tree.

Then I ordered Miracle Grow fast root from Amazon which helps the cuttings to develop roots. I’m waiting on that to arrive and trying keep our redwood cuttings alive in the process. The boys are watching them to make sure the soil doesn’t get too dry. And not kick them over with the soccer ball. Moving has truly been bittersweet. We are excited about our new house and all the possibilities, but we are also sad to leave our current home. Bringing some of these pieces is like bringing a bit of the home with us when we go.

This is a picture of the Rose of Sharon’s in all their glory in 2016. Looking forward to seeing these big blooms again!

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This and that

Okay the sickness in our house needs to go away. Stat! I’m currently running around like:

As soon as one person gets well, somebody else gets sick. So I’ve been cleaning everything and then cleaning it all again, and then saying a whole bunch of prayers that this week we are officially on the mend.

In between all that, J had a soccer scrimmage:

We harvested hydroponic basil that is literally the size of your fist:

This is my new favorite hat:

The hat is Codeword hats and the donate a percentage of their profits to children’s hospitals in that area code.

And despite the fact that it’s still 90 plus degrees I’ve been doing some fall online shopping and picked up this top from Nordstrom:

And finally the boys are obsessed with battlebots, so I already started Christmas shopping:

It’s never too early, right? Ha!

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Spring break weekend

We’re on spring break! We are taking a staycation that started with this:


Y’all. I’m still putting stuff back together. It was worth it though. The paint looks awesome! I ran some errands while B hung out with the painters and I discovered all the bonsai at one of our favorite local garden shops:

And while they were finishing up painting and the boys got out of school on Friday, we headed to get frozen yogurt:


And then for dinner I made shrimp dejohne that we ate with Rhodes dinner rolls, and it was officially a bread and butter carb fest:

Then on Saturday we spent almost all day trying to get our house back together, but headed out for tacos at Taco Mama:

And J was eating salsa with a fork:

So there’s that. And on Sunday we went to Cabela’s to find hiking boots for B:

And they were out of his size, so we headed to Dick’s Sporting Goods and on a whim I decided to measure the boys’ feet:

And discovered both of them had grown about a size and a half since they got new shoes in September. So new shoes all around!

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Garden refresh

After our initial Spring gardening, we re-started the whole thing because most of the plants had either died or gone to seed. We did a simplified set-up for mid-June with basil, parsley, rosemary, cilantro, and mint.

J and I also added in arugula, chives, and lettuce seeds just to see how they would grow this time of the year. I also have plans to add in some flowers to provide some natural pest deterrents for the herbs. J also wants flowers to bring in some butterflies like this one we found at the pool:

J has a love/fear of butterflies. He is intensely fascinated by all animals, but he doesn’t like them flying at him. However, this was an incredibly patient butterfly, who sat steadily as J creeped in and peered at its wings. It even waited until he turned around and jumped back into the pool before it flew away. Definitely one we would like to visit our garden!

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Upping our succulent game

My little plants at home are thriving! So much so that I decided to purchase a few more to keep at my office. The boys helped me plant them, and I thanked the Lord that I thought to buy two because then they could each individually plant one, instead of arguing over turns.

You can see A’s freshly gone tooth, here! He’s proud of that and his freshly potted plant!


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Raised garden bed

Over the past few months, B has been planning and creating a raised garden bed. He was inspired by the Disney ride “Living with The Land”:

I have never ceased to be amazed in our marriage the insight and creativity of B:

This is just the first two sections…he left room to add more after testing it. On Sunday after church we headed to Lowe’s to get our first batch of herbs and vegetables.

We came up with a good start! Bibb lettuce, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, lavender, oregano, and thyme:

And the boys loved helping:

And then we put on our garden gloves and got to work…

After tucking all the plants neatly into rows:

We are prepped for our trial run!

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Garden continued…

While it’s incredibly windy here, it’s warm again which means the boys and I are out gardening. After making a morning run to Lowe’s:

We headed home, unloaded our groceries, and loaded up our garden supplies in our wagon to head to the back yard…

After standing around watching me try to begin to elevate the back of the edge of the flower bed the boys decided they should take pictures of me working.

And various poses of them helping me plant…

They did a pretty good job! And now our flower bed is a little fuller:

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