Friday, April 25, 2014

A Garden Update

I have pretty much neglected my garden since I planted it March 15.  Julie has watered it a couple of times, but we have had a fair amount of rain.  Once, not long after I planted the garden, we had a freeze  warning one night.  I covered each plant with a plastic sack secured with nails.  The plants did not freeze.  Then about 2 weeks ago we had an "almost freeze".  I think our overnight temperature reached 33, maybe 32 degrees.  I chose not to cover the plants, and the broccoli and cabbage weathered the cold temperature just fine.  The potatoes had just sprouted, and the tops of their leaves turned black!  But they have recovered now and have tripled in size.

The corn was a complete failure.  Three half rows of corn planted and I think one or two kernels sprouted.  What a flop.  The lettuce didn't do much better.  I planted half a row of lettuce seeds and maybe three sprouted.

This afternoon Julie and I tended the garden.  Overnight, grass and weeds have just about overtaken the garden, so we hoed, and dug, and weeded, and worked very, very hard.  The garden looks great again!  Then we planted the remainder of our planned crop.  We set out 32 tomato plants.  We planted on the row that I had designated for tomatoes, but we also planted tomatoes where the corn and lettuce failed to grow.  We also planted 5 squash seeds and about 20 or 30 green bean seeds (Julie did that, and I can't remember how many she said she ended up planting).

So, still a small garden, but just enough for us.  Any bigger, and I think the hoeing and weeding would put me in the hospital!  I am so sore from our work today!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Our Weekend

I finally finished getting my flower beds all cleaned out, pruned (severely, I might add), and mulched.  Of course I had some help from Jimmy and Clay with the hauling of the mulch bags, and Jimmy put out a good bit of the mulch too.  Anyway, my flower beds look so pretty.  And just in time for our Easter Egg Hunt.  (That was my goal.)

Julie, Clay, and I hid around 500 candy-filled eggs early Saturday morning for our friends and family to find.  The morning turned out hot, and so the chocolate turned to liquid inside the plastic eggs!  We still had lots of fun, and we just encouraged the children to put their eggs in the refrigerator for a while before opening the candy.

 Patiently letting the parents take pictures….ready to go find some eggs!

Back in February, Julie and I undertook a major sewing project:  making Easter dresses for all the girls in our family--including me and a dress for Leah's American Girl doll too!  Except that mine was a shirt, and not a dress.

Julie made her dress and Olivia's dress too.  She used the same fabrics for both, but just switched around the placement on each dress.  We gave Olivia her dress when she was home for Spring Break.  She took a picture of herself and texted it to us Sunday morning.  She looked so pretty!

I made Leah's dress, the doll's dress (those were the same pattern), and my shirt.  Making my shirt (it was actually called a "tunic") proved to be the most difficult by far.  But, I finished it Saturday late afternoon.  The only way that I was able to finish it was because Julie did ALL the cooking for our Sunday meal, and Saturday night's supper as well.  She is a treasure!

I bought new shirts for Clay and Sam in coordinating colors, and Jimmy chose a shirt and tie that matched as well.

We all looked so springy!

 Julie, Clay, Leah, and Sam
(we missed Olivia!)

 The Mama and Daddy

 The whole family, minus Olivia

Grandmomma and Pop with all of their grandchildren, except for Olivia and Millie Janalee.

Aunt Jenny and Julie prepared our delicious lunch that we enjoyed at Grandmomma and Pop's house.  The weather was beautiful, and the children spent most of the afternoon playing outside.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Keepers At Home Awards Night

Monday night was our annual Keepers At Home Awards Night.  After meeting once a month throughout the school year to work on earning pins, we end our year with a nice evening of fellowship and refreshments.  The girls' families are invited to see them receive their award pins.

 Leah with the pretty table.  Amy made the pretty pink cake, and Lynn arranged the beautiful flowers. 

 Here is a picture of Lynn and me--NOT in running clothes!  These kinds of pictures of the two of us are few and far between!  And, I am not really taller than Lynn--I have on heels!

Leah was so happy to earn so many new pins to put on her banner!

This year Leah earned 10 pins.
  • General Bible Memory:  for learning a passage of Scripture once a week.
  • Psalm 103 (memorizing)
  • Psalm 1(memorizing)
  • New Testament Bible Reading:  Over the last 14 months, Leah read the entire New Testament. 
  • Obedience
  • Macrame'
  • Jump Rope
  • Duck Tape Projects
  • Stenciling
  • I can't remember the last one!  I'll ask Leah when she wakes up.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mississippi 8.11K

Last Friday we traveled to Jackson for the Saturday morning 8.11K race.  That's 5 miles.  Jimmy's uncle Sam Johnson, works for Mississippi 811 (the call before you dig people), and he invited us to run in this race.

Friday night we enjoyed a meal at Red Lobster with Sam and some of his fellow crew members.  Saturday morning we went to the Beagle Bagel for an early breakfast before the race.  When we lived in Jackson for nine years, eating breakfast at the Beagle Bagel was a regular thing for us, especially on Saturday mornings.  They have the best bagels ever!  And the coffee is super too.

Then it was on to the race.  Leah, Sam, and I watched, while Jimmy, Julie, and Clay ran.  I also helped work the finish line.  My parents met us to spectate and cheer too, and afterwards we all had lunch together.  We drove on back home after lunch, and got here just in time to get ready for our monthly family Bible study.

It was a fun trip.  Here are some photo highlights.

 Sweet Leah

 Sweet Sam

 Leah and Sam with my parents--Mims and Pops

 Sam Johnson and Sam Johnson

 Julie, Pops, and Clay
Clay got his braces off last Thursday!

 Jimmy and Uncle Sam

 Matt and Pops
Matt is a childhood friend of mine.  He still lives in our hometown, and he runs lots of races.  He even ran the Tupelo Marathon last year!

Julie and Uncle Sam

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Some Things About Sonlight

Today I have a post over at The Homeschool Classroom.  It is called, "Five Things You May Not Know About Sonlight".

I share a few things that I have learned along the way as well as how we use Sonlight in our homeschool


Monday, April 7, 2014

It's Monday

We had a normal Monday today.  Lots of laundry from the weekend.  A full day of schoolwork.  Piano lessons for Julie, Clay, and Leah and gymnastics for Leah.  I had no time for yard work, but it was too cold outside today anyway!  We had lots of rain last night, so maybe my garden will grow!

Jimmy and the boys bought 100 more bags of mulch tonight….all ready for me to put out!  We have to go have pictures made for our homeschool yearbook and also cross country practice tomorrow, so I doubt I will have any yard time tomorrow.  Maybe Wednesday afternoon.

I had a nice, long phone conversation with Olivia today.  We text, talk, or email every day, but longer talks like today are so pleasant.  I still write her a letter most days.  I just keep her updated on the happenings around here and try to offer words of encouragement.  The children write her letters or draw her pictures frequently too.  We try to make sure she gets plenty of mail!  She will be home for the summer in about 3 weeks!

Leanna and I have a run planned for Friday morning.  I cannot wait to run outside again.  Lynn and I ran together one day last week, and it was so nice.  I really miss my running/therapy sessions!

I hope your Monday was a pleasant one.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Yesterday I spent from 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM (with only two short breaks:  one for lunch and one to put supper in the oven) working in my flower beds.  Before I began, our flower beds looked like overgrown jungles.  The mulch was almost gone, the beds were covered in leaves and weeds, lots of big clumps of weeds, and my shrubbery and monkey grass had grown completely out of control.

I had a lot of work to do.  And of course, I thought I could do it all in one day!  I was wrong.  I have two beds in the front of our house, two in the back, one small one in the front yard, and two gigantic ones on one side our our house.  One of those gigantic ones is actually enormous!  It is actually two huge beds with a walkway between them.  So what did I get accomplished yesterday?

All shrubs trimmed in the two front beds and the two (really three) side yard beds.
All monkey grass trimmed (by hand, using scissors) in those same beds.
All trimmings, leaves, debris, etc., hauled off with the wheelbarrow down to our "mulch pile".
20 bags of mulch spread out in the two front beds.

And I am so sore I can hardly walk around!  I feel like I ran a marathon!

I don't have another full day to devote to yard work in the near future, so the rest of the work will have to be done in 30 minute to 1 hour intervals, as I have time each day.

This afternoon I plan to complete my presentation on home and homeschool organization and planning, that I will give this Thursday night.  I have worked on it a little bit here and there, but today is the day that I plan to finalize it.  I will blog my notes when I finish.

P.S.  I realize that if you don't live in the south, you may not know what monkey grass is.  I have the variegated kind that grows in clumps, not the dark green kind that spreads and serves as a ground cover if you don't keep it pruned.  The official name for the monkey grass that I have is called liriope muscari.

P.P.S.  Nothing in my garden has sprouted yet.  My cabbage and broccoli plants are growing, but nothing that I planted from seeds is showing any sign of life.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Catching Up

Well, I have just come to the conclusion that I am going to be a once a week blogger.  I write all kinds of blog posts in my head, but when it comes time to sitting down (or standing at my kitchen counter) and typing my thoughts, I just can't seem to fit it in!

So here is a catch-up post!

We celebrated Clay's 15 Birthday last week.
We began the day with a special breakfast of doughnuts from Shipley's.  Next, Clay opened his presents.  He enjoyed a leisurely day of trying out his new gifts and working in the barn.  His siblings did his chores for him, and we all had a delicious birthday lunch at our local Thai restaurant.  Later, we had cake and ice cream!  Yum!  I think he had a great day!


 Enjoying the breakfast doughnuts

 Opening gifts

 This year, Jimmy did the birthday shopping for Clay.  As I wrapped his gifts, I must admit that I had no idea what most of them were!  He got a welder and all kinds of supplies and tools for that.
Interesting things!

15 Candles

Born to Run 5K
Saturday morning we all drove to Ripley (over an hour away) to run a 5K.  The weather was really awful!  It was cold and rainy, and the wind was really strong.  Sam and I opted not to run once we got there.  I knew that he would be miserable, and that running 3.1 miles in those conditions could very easily stretch into 45 minutes or longer with an unhappy 8 year old.  However, Jimmy and the other children were hard core!  And they joined over 150 other people and braved the elements.  They all had great running times.

A Visit From My Parents
Sunday afternoon my parents came for a short visit.  They came bearing gifts (two beautiful ferns for my front porch, a marshmallow shooting gun for Sam, and various fun things for Leah) and some special items from my grandmother who recently passed away.  We enjoyed lunch and visiting together.  

My Garden
I am not sure if it's going to grow!  I covered each plant last week when the temperature dipped into the twenties one night.  Those plants look ok, but none of my seeds have sprouted!  It is almost time to put some other plants in.  I plan to do major work in my flower beds around the house this Saturday.  I'll have to get to the garden planting another day.

Bible Study
I finished the B90 yesterday!  It actually took me 92 days, but that's close!  That was my 4th time to read the Bible through in 90ish days.
Today I started a new Bible study, and inductive study of women of the Bible.  It is different than what I have done for a long time, but I plan to stick with it.  When it is finished, I want to resume copying the  New Testament.

I am still doing the marathon build-up mileage running plan.  Last week's total miles were 15.  I was supposed to do a total of 18, but it didn't happen.  This week's plan is 3,4,3,4,6.  I fully intend to get in all of those runs!  I ran 4 yesterday, and I plan to run 3-4 with Lynn this afternoon.

See y'all in a week!  :)  But, hopefully, sooner!