Little Wife On the Prairie

When you are everything to everyone, well, you had better act like you have it all together.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I come to the garden alone...

 Not sure if you know that hymn (I love the girl who sings on this link) but it is a good one.  It is also oh so true.  Spending time in the garden thinking and talking to God.  It is my favorite time.  I crave more time there. 
Sad little sunflowers were the only ones to come up.  But not to be conquered, I planted more seeds this week!

Beans are coming up!

Found a peanut!!  Seriously.  I make it a point to try something new each year.  This year it is 2 peanut plants and 3 strawberry pants.  We shall see.
 My solo time in the garden has to be stolen. . .nap times, the last few minutes of sunlight after the kids are tucked in, and sometimes an early morning.  Like fitting in exercise, if it is important, you find the time. 
A line of peppers. 

This looks like a mess right now but before too long they will be tomato trees!!!

Hi happy little 'mater!
But I do have to apologize.  If I have ever said to you, "Oh gardening is easy!  You just throw a plant in the ground and add water."  Just disregard that comment.  I must have made it in January, that month when gardening seems mythical and magical.  Gardening is rewarding but it is not easy. 
Faithful zucchini.

Teeny cucumbers.
 Take the picture below for example.  What was last week clean barren dirt is this week a matted pile of weed seedlings.  We had great rain and feel blessed.  This, however, was bound to come next.  I am not sure why the weeds have a deeper root and can withstand any torture you might throw at them while my precious garden plants like to wither if you look at them wrong.  There is a profound and spiritual theory in there somewhere.

This is how they come up, in big clumps of roots.
 As I stoop over the weeds and whack at them with a hoe, I am reminded that not only is hoeing good for the garden, it is also good for my core!  So I guess I can't complain.  Hard work, sunshine, the dirt under my nails and the blisters on my palms are all signs of a healthy, capable body.  For that I sing praise.
Such vibrant green lettuce.  So good.

Been snacking on these babies,

with this baby.  He is my mini-me and I love him.
The only things that I really would like to rid our gardens of are rabbits, who are from the bowels of Hades and the sand-blasting winds which also seem to resemble Satan's craft.  Oh well, this is not Eden.  Its just the Texas Panhandle.  Semantics really.

We are trying roosters again.  Wish us luck!  Hopefully I will not have to relieve this one of his duties as I did the last. 
(The story is too gruesome to share here.)

Bees at the water.  The rocks keep them from drowning.

Corn!  This is the cute Indian corn that I got from my Papa.  Can you still say Indian Corn or should it be Native American corn? 

Even with all of the hurdles, I still love to be in my garden more than any other place.  Ok, so my porch swing comes in a close second.  So I will continue to come to the garden alone.  Hopefully that time will be more, "He walks with me and he talks with me" and less, "Don't go out there because mom is cussing the rabbits."  Hee hee.  We will see how the season goes.

Life on the Prairie is good.  The grass is greening from the rains and it makes for a lovely spot to sit and listen to Spring go by.  Praying the same for where you are!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Levi's Last Day

We got to celebrate Levi's last day of Pre-K.  At his table were some happy kids and some not-so-happy kids.

Micah got to be a part of the party and loved it!

This is Ms. Teresa.  We love her!

And Ms. Courtney.  She and I were childhood friends who ended up in the same town.  She is precious and fun.  We were blessed to have her as a part of our preschool experience.

Something was funny.

This is Gavin and Levi.  They are buds. 
We had rain this week!  Praise God!  Things are greening up already.

It brought out all sorts of critters.  This salamander came to hang out for awhile.

They really are kind of cute.
Zaddok's class studied advertising and how to be persuasive.  They got to create and sell their own cereal.  It was fun.

The garden is well on its way.  And even though it will be awhile before we have any tomatoes or squash, the radishes are producing and are delicious!  We have some lettuces and swiss chard too. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

All around the farm.

Oh intentions.  You know, those things you plan to do and hope to do but just never get around to doing.  That is pretty much everything around here.  But there is still life.  Life still moves and grows and abounds.  Our Spring is coming to a close with no rain or stillness.  Just heat, dirt and wind.  But still, life.
A few things I love around here...
Our swallows.  This is so precious.  They nest together in the evenings.  I watch these birds every chance I get.  They are right out my kitchen window where I do dishes so those chances come around often.

My sweetie built me giant tomato cages!  Can't wait to see how they work.

Trying to cover the dirt here seems impossible.  I love these sweet potato vines and hope they spread wildly!

The bee's favorite thing.  They smell so good.  I though Russian Olives were useless.  So glad we have them.
The tiny herb garden.  Working on it!  So far we have rosemary (a giant bush that was here when we moved in), oregano (also here when we moved in), Basil, thyme and lemon thyme, Sage and Thai Basil.  We have gobs of different mints around the other side of the house and dill coming up in the garden.  So thankful!

I planted some hardy drought-tolerant plants near the chicken pin.  Of course I tested them to see if the chickens would eat them.  They showed no interest.  So I planted them, put in the drip hose and looked on proudly.  After I went inside the chicken decided they were the most delicious plants and promptly stripped the leaves off of the butterfly bushes and cone- flowers.  So we covered and fenced.  Hopefully they will survive and return.  Dumb chickens.

Here is our Elderberry cane.  So glad to have it.  If it makes any this year my plan is to try Elderberry cough syrup.  I hear it is wonderful!

Our new garden space far, far away from any Bermuda grass.  Praying great things for this spot.

My tiny helpers filling egg cartons for Matt to take to work to sell.  He has a waiting list!  Luckily our girls have been happy and productive.

Asher is our chicken man.  He feeds, waters and collects eggs everyday.  From time to time he finds a double-yolker. 

Then Levi has to copy the picture.

And so does Micah, in a more serious and filthy-faced way.


Monday, May 12, 2014

A Helpful Hint.

I have gotten so blog-lazy lately.  Just pictures and short comments.  We have so much going on that I would love to share.  Today I decided to post a helpful hint.  Hope it is helpful!
This time of year we get lots of papers from the school requesting money or signatures for various last days of school activities.  In addition, the summer camps start sending letters with sign-up sheets and deposit requests.  
It can be totally overwhelming.  I can never remember it all. With 4 kiddos in school, I found myself under this pile of papers and needing a better system.  The old one of writing things on the calendar just wasn't working anymore.  
So I came up with one.  I organized the information/request sheets by due date. Then I stapled them together like this.

I put the lists of information on top and then filed the papers under those by due date.

Like this.

Then I used envelopes (These happen to be business envelopes we have collected out of bills we get in the mail.  Use up what you can instead of throwing them away!!) then I label the outside with the kid's name, what it is for and how much money is inside.  I sit down with a pile of 1's and 5's and begin to fill them up.  As you can see in the lower left corner, Levi M. needed 3$ for pizza.  This goes into his folder and to school.  The same goes for the rest! 
Now back to that stapled pile of papers.  I go back to the request sheet and label what has been paid and when it was paid.  This way I don't do it twice if they send a reminder sheet. 

I do write things on the calendar to keep up with everyone.  But it is nice to keep these sheets in a handy spot in case I forget information such as; do they need a sack lunch, will they need sunscreen or extra money for snacks at the event they attend.  That is hard to fit on a calendar.  :) 

When an event passes, I can clean up my stack of sheets by removing the old ones or adding new ones as they come in. 

I probably seems like a lot of work but it really saves stress in the end.  I hate pulling up to the school and having Jolie say, "Oh, I need 2 dollars today for..."  Then I end up digging trough my purse and trying to count change if I don't have cash.  This keeps me from giving my kids the stink eye.

I love finding a system that works for us!  Any help I can get in raising this brood is help I will take.

Party Day!

Micah turned 2.  It was an exciting day.  Jolie and her friends volunteered to plan and execute her party.  I was stoked because parties are not my thing.  I really don't decorate. 

These 12-year-olds had a vision.  They planned the menu and the theme.  It was so fun to watch them work.

It turned out great and Micah loved all of the attention she got from the big girls.  I think we might make this a tradition.

Jolie making a delicious cake.
The girls putting the trifles together.

Messy but delicious!

They did it all on their own.  It was wonderful!

The moment Micah spotted her new plays set.  She was running!


Life with 3 brothers is so much fun.

Oh Asher!  I think those are your color.

Weebies, you crack me up.  He begged me to take this picture.

The table was so cute.


Little goofy.

I was so proud of these girls.  They worked so hard to make Micah's party special.  Thank you!