Thursday, April 23, 2015

Spring and Nature

My little boy has grown so full of life lately. He has always been so full of energy but recently he has also grown full of emotions, and interests that he has never seemed to have. When we are not trying to work through some of his tough emotions, we are trying to answer the important questions of what to have for lunch (which can be quite complicated due to emotions), and what kind of bug or bird or plant we see in the yard. Last week I was weeding, and he was doing his thing, and whenever I found a large bug I would give it to him and have him run it back to the chickens. We found quite a few moth pupae and some beetles and then a caterpillar. I was pretty sure it was a moth caterpillar as it was pretty dull looking but he wanted to keep it instead of giving it to the chickens. 

After a while it was decided that it needed to go in a jar and get some leaves. So that is what we did. That poor thing probably didn't know what hit it as it was carted all around the house, and shook up quite a bit I assume. Here it is at the table during lunch. Oh and do you see those tulips? He kindly asked the neighbor if he could have some of her tulips for smelling. She was so sweet and gave him the ones of his choice. Boy did I learn that he was serious about the smelling thing. He wouldn't give them to me. I eventually got them into the jar of water and tried to keep them at the table. When I was busy they would disappear and then I would find them in the silliest places, like on the floor of his bedroom in a ray of sunshine. I am loving his new interest in flowers and plants. It gives me hope that I will raise up children that love the garden. This picture is also cracking me up as you can see that it was photo bombed by our dog.

Oh sweet moth caterpillar you are so exciting. Will you climb up on that twig and spin a cocoon?

I wanted to show you what our spring nature table (and nature branch) look like these days. Spring is so much fun with all the new life all around us. We have been making some modeling wax flowers. My kids did great making their own. Can you see them up there on that branch? Mine is the yellow one and the red one is my little boy's.

I buy a lot of wooden bowls a plates at the thrift store. We put beeswax polish on them and they are good as new. I am also trying my hand at making peg dolls. Do you see that little yellow one there? I make them and the kids love them. I even caught them sneaking this one outside to play with the other day. I didn't mind as they brought it back in. Its my version of a dandelion. Oh, and one last thing, I am so glad I have tons of those little purple flowers. The kids seem to be needing flowers to pick this time of year and they are so pretty on the Nature Table.

A Morning Project

 It has started to warm up outside and we have this one room in our house that was a finished from a sitting porch in the 70's. It was originally enclosed to be a place for the original homeowner to do his dialysis every day. When we bought the house it was all brown cheap paneling, and there was this weird hook up for a sink with only cold water. There was one aluminum window and an aluminum glass slider (a very poor design choice if you ask me). The window didn't open and the screen fell off the door shortly after we moved in. We have replaced the window with a new wood window that opens to get some air, but we can't agree on what to do about the door, so there it remains. This room has always had temperature problems, freezing cold in the winter and super hot in the summer. There is no duct-work from this room to our central air and furnace and it is completely sealed off from the rest of the house, as it used to be the exterior. We use it as a mud room even though we don't use the door. We tore down the rotting deck that the door led too a couple of summers ago. The temperature has been better managed since we added the new window, but the sun beats in that back door from noon until dusk and it heats up the room to at least 85 degrees on any sunny day. This in turn, heats up our house and we all know that it is nice to have a cooler house on warmer days. Especially our house since it is like a little brick oven. This last week I decided that enough was enough and I sewed up some curtains for the door to reflect some of that heat back out.

Yes my sewing room is my dining table. I wish I had a craft room, or better yet a studio, but sometimes we have to work with what we can.

I estimated this project to take me about an hour and I used a flat sheet that we used to use on our bed before the fitted sheet ripped last fall. I wasn't too upset as I had gotten them used when we were first married. So now this old sheet is getting used for the third time. I like to use things until they can't be used anymore.

This fun little project took me almost three hours to finish because I never take into account the time my kids seem to need from me when I am involved with something other than them. They can play for extended periods of time and not need me at all, but when I pick up a project they need me non-stop. My littlest one got her blanket out when I was rounding the corner and could see the finish line and started bouncing on her bum on the couch saying "nuggle me momma!" That means snuggle me in two year old speech. What did I do? I nuggled her of course. Oh and it took me so long because I no longer have an iron. Mine broke, again, at Christmas right in the middle of sewing Christmas presents at the fastest rate I could (that's the second time my iron died on me in the middle of trying to sew Christmas presents). Due to living in the modern era I can never remember to buy a new iron, or prioritize it since everyone always needs new shoes, or shampoo, or art and craft supplies. Nonetheless I found a way to get the curtains done and they work great at cutting the heat down and they look much nicer too, inside and out.

Oh and the sweetness of these kids when they want to be. I have been trying to sneak pictures of them on these moments. They can do such nice things together. I think they are pretending to read to each other. I hope someday when we have moved into a larger house that they will remember these times here. Days full of closeness, and simple things.

And yeah they are totally in their pajamas...

Friday, April 17, 2015

Easter In Pictures

Spring Projects

So I have decided I have a happy spring garden. I am also pretty sure I like to have a lot of work to do all the time. I take care of my house, my yard, my kids, my animals (a dog and 5 chickens) cook and bake all my food from scratch, and home school my kids. None the less I seem to feel the need to create more garden projects every year. 

This picture is my front lawn. Last year I planted a fleur de lawn seed mix from here. I love the English daisies that grow in it. There is also a lot of clover that grows from the seed mix. We cut the clover sparingly and let it flower for the bees. Plus it makes our house look like an English cottage. I wish I could figure out how to get rid of the dandelions though. 

Grape vines make for a great late winter early spring project. It is not perfectly round but it was fun to make. It was also nice to have something to use the vines for instead of throwing them away.

This year I decided to over haul my back yard. I AM SICK OF MUD. As it turns out our back yard just got too much traffic from the kids and dog that it always turned into a giant mud pit in the winter and spring. Also we have some really odd drainage going on back there. If it snows it eventually melts and then it doesn't drain and I would get huge sheets of thick ice completely covering my lawn. It is so weird. So this year I was determined to fix it all. I am not done yet but it is coming along nicely. So far so good. Everyone loves it. I had my suspicions that it would be more fun but it is nice to see the kids liking the new set up. Even the dog gets more excited back there. She runs and runs and runs and we have concluded that she must see it as an obstacle course. In the end I have high hopes as we will convert our sprinkler system into drip.This summer the hot summer sun that beats down back there, with no shade, will get to do some use by giving garden plants energy instead of beating on a lawn no one wants to play on because it is too hot. The part that is the paths will eventually get gravel.

Its a lot of work but I love it and it is so fun to see a project come together. I think it is going to fill in and look amazing when I plant my garden seeds and starts. Just picture it full of herbs, veggies and flowers. Finally my dream garden.