Thursday, July 16, 2015

Beauty in Our Midst

This song is ringing in my head as our garden unfolds and new growth
comes from the ground, life from an empty shell, emerging into the most wondrous
and beautiful things, to look at, to eat, and to truly enjoy.
  1. Beautiful Things
    Song by Gungor
  2. All this pain
    I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
    I wonder if my life could really change at all
    All this earth
    Could all that is lost ever be found
    Could a garden come up from this ground at all
    You make beautiful things
    You make beautiful things out of the dust
    You make beautiful things
    You make beautiful things out of us
    All around
    Hope is springing up from this old ground
    Out of chaos life is being found in You
    You make beautiful things
    You make beautiful things out of the dust
    You make beautiful things
    You make beautiful things out of us

Life is full of beautiful things even in the midst of our busyness, plans and the scorching heat of summer.  

 Pool days, fun with family and friends, summer salad series, gardens full of color and life, crafts and organizing before the start of school and a different busyness ensues. 

 Through it all God is in the midst, making beautiful things. 
Only a few muscadines this year, we hope second year growth will encourage more fruit.

Our garden is in a new stage, the corn has come and gone as have the green beans. 

A second green bean crop sprouting

Blackberries climbing this trellis.  I might as well make a home for them somewhere

Uprooted to make room for new crops to grow, the soil enriched with nutrients.

Seedlings encouraged quickly by our rainstorms.  

Malabar spinach climbing this new trellis

  Color abounds everywhere and we look forward to full grown trees years from now ready for harvest

Oregano, thyme, marigolds, sage and a small olive tree in the center.


A dwarf Pomegranate tree with beautiful bright red blooms from which we look forward to lovely,  round, sweet fruit. 

We have eaten 3 watermelons so far, I harvested one today ( a bit early but still good)  and we can't wait to try more.  The rains of late help the watermelons to grow larger, faster and without dry spells they don't split but get sweeter as the days go by.

Everything in bloom makes me smile, a riot of color, a patchwork of God's plants, His colors and His beauty.  How amazing!

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Father's Day Ideas - 2015

Every year our family has it rather easy for Father's Day as it always falls 
on the same day as the U.S. Open. 

Photo from the U.S. Open official site

 My father and David love to have the afternoon to themselves, order whatever food they want and watch golf for the entire afternoon and into the evening.  
They also enjoy having some cold drinks to enjoy with the game. 

Note:   We, of course, spend the afternoon going out to lunch, a movie and some girl time.

If your guy is not into golf, an experience normally trumps a gift:  a Jurassic World movie day, a dinner at his favorite restaurant, take him to a place he loves and enjoy the day with dad.  

Coming up with a thoughtful Father's Day gift is nice and appreciated but the DIY gifts never seem to get a lot of use.  Our favorite gifts are:

Beers Around the World  - A 12-pack of beers from around the world to enjoy during the game.  They can purchased at World Market or European Street.  

If dad is not a drinker - then root beer would be a great choice!

Wine Glasses - Once again World Market has great choices for the discerning taste.

Food - Crackers, sausages, cheese and chips - without any remarks about carbs, salt, fat, etc.  
You can go simple here or order a nice gift basket - Hickory Farms would be great choice that would be highly appreciated ( unless your guy is a vegetarian or very healthy eater)

We love these mouse pads!

 Photo Memorabilia - Anyone these days can make a memorable gift through Shutterfly,(40% off coupon with code: 40TOSHARE good until June 23), Snapfish, ( 50% off with code: Summer15 good until June 21), or even your local Walgreens or CVS
 (personally, I love Walgreens as I can pick up my item that day and not incur any shipping fees.)

 I have to admit with Instagram, facebook and other great websites you can make a truly memorable gift for someone in your life.  A card, mug, mousepad even an annual calendar with family member's special days and pictures of those you love or special places you have visited.

Hope you have a wonderful Father's Day and that you and your family are truly blessed!

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DIY Chalk Paint Table

Chalk paint table

Victoria and I had fun making chalk paint and painting our coffee tables and end tables. Now, I need to paint an old, worn desk. Thanks for the homemade chalk paint recipe Beth Leavitt!



I used the plaster of paris and latex paint recipe and a polyurethane coating instead of a wax coating because the tables will get a lot of wear.   I got the recipe from a wonderful website called Salvaged Inspirations .  

Love the after table with a tray I painted last year, some found tests (sea anemones) and Zane Grey books to add color

She also gives detailed information regarding 4 different recipes and wax vs. polyurethane as a coating.

To be honest, I used the plaster of paris/paint recipe because I had both and they looked good and it was worth a shot.

After we painted the desks (2 coats) Victoria used a palm sander to get the distressed look, then we wiped on the poly with old rags (that we then threw away because they could ruin your washer).  I can't wait to start on our old, worn desk and a dresser and mirror for our craft room!
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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Photographer In Our Midst

I must share with you Victoria's pictures.  

She may not always want to dig holes and plant flowers and seed with me, but I get to see what she loves through the lens of the photos she takes on our camera.

  As our young lady takes the camera outside she snaps photographs of the things that she finds beautiful and now she is working on a little photo editing.  

Our homeschooling approach involves nature study and I have to admit, at the beginning of the year I had the best intentions but then, math got in the way.

  However, over the year as we went on walks and watched the flowers, trees, birds, aphids, 
good and bad bugs, snakes, lizards and cats in the yard we were learning all about nature all along.  Not forcing the teaching but letting her discover what she likes, enjoys, and how our world
 is constantly changing.

I think I truly love looking at her world through her lens and I hope to share more!

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