Spring planting

The planting season has begun for us!  Last Saturday was a gorgeous sunny day, so we planted our peas at the plot we share with several other families.  This year, we are trying something new.  We planted six rows each in two sixteen-inch wide swaths.  The reasoning is that the pea vines will form their own support and reduce weeding  which can be tricky with pea vines.  I also planted some spinach seeds in one of the small beds around our house.  We were so glad to get the seeds sown before we had some cold and wet weather the beginning of the week. 

Look what sprouted!  Our celery seeds.  Last year they did not sprout, so we are excited about that.  Meanwhile, I saw on another blog, a picture of celery sprouting from an old stalk placed in a bowl of water.  We decided to try it, and leaves are already growing.

Celery sprouts
Celery sprouts
Celery sprouting from old stalk
Celery sprouting from old stalk

On the first day of spring, our oldest decided to mow the grass.  We were proud of his initiative.

First day of spring
First day of spring

Yesterday I tucked in some beet and lettuce seeds in a small bed behind our house.

Today is another beautiful Saturday, so we were able to plant potatoes in the plot beside our house.  The plot is 6 feet by 11 feet.  We planted five rows at approximately 12 inches apart.  The soil is fairly rocky, so we will see how they produce.  We had an assembly line going for whose turn it was to plant the next potato!  Onions were also planted in a section between two of the rows.

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blog pics 047

My husband and I both grew up planting in traditional row gardens with space enough to rototill between each row; but since moving to a town, I have been reading up on methods of planting in small spaces.  It is fun to learn and experiment with new ideas.  We pray God’s blessing on the harvest.

Anyone else planting or trying new ideas?

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March Contemplations

Lately I have had many thoughts and ideas swirling through my mind.  Yesterday I told my husband that I think I need a personal retreat.  While I love my roles as mom and homeschool teacher, there are very few times when I am truely alone and able to fully think, plan, reflect… to contemplate.  So my husband enthusiastically planned a fun day with the children, and I am experiencing solitary time, a precious gift! 

While we do not usually encorporate Lent into our family or church celebration of Easter, I felt like that would be a valuable thing to do this year.  We are focusing on a fruit of the spirit each week leading up to Resurrection Day.  This week is love: God’s love for us and our love for God and others.

Lent candles
Lent candles

I have finished the book of Joshua and am reading in Judges.  I am impressed by the continued cycle of obedience to God resulting in victory followed by times of giving loyalty to other gods resulting in defeat. 

I recently finished I Am My Beloved’s by Esther Eileen Dorflinger.  The author is a Jewish believer in Jesus as Messiah.  I was challenged by her testimony of faith in God’s provision, her close and personal relationship with Jesus, and her obedience to what God has called her do which is travel around the world speaking  to and encouraging Jews and Christians.

Rereading my maternal grandmother’s life story reminds me of her love for history, especially familial, and her deep faith in the Lord.  I am blessed to have such a heritage and legacy.

A birthday gift
A birthday gift

A few years ago, I remember reading a blog which mentioned Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts.  A few months ago, I asked about it at the library.  Tuesday, I asked again.  Someone had it checked out.  Before I left the library, they returned it, and I brought it home.  Only half way through, I am undone before the Lord every time I read from it.  Ann’s writing is an excuisite blend of poetry and prose, the sublime and the mundane.  She writes of tragedy and blessing, pointing her reader strait to the glory of God.  I highly recommend reading this book.

Also at the library, I picked up The Duggars: 20 and Counting!  I watched their television show a time or two a few years ago.  I was expecting a fun and interesting story about their family, but I was so impressed by their testimony.  The family has trusted God to provide for them through many different situations and phases of life.  It was inspiring to read how they implement homeschooling, spiritual training, household responsibilities, and relationships.

After contemplating from all of these sources of inspiration, I was feeling like I needed some time to evaluate our homeschool schedule, how we relate to each other as a family, and training and responsibility for household tasks.  So today was a blessing to be able to spend time alone worshiping the Lord, drinking in the sunshine on the porch while thinking through some different possibilities for structuring our school time and household tasks.

We are anticipating the planting season.  The gardens are lying empty, hopefully soon dry enough to till and plant the earliest crops: spinach and peas.  The children and I planted some celery seeds in peat pots.  We did not have success with celery last year, but we are trying again.  The children especially love to crunch on celery sticks.

Waiting for celery seeds to sprout
Waiting for celery seeds to sprout
One of our gardens waiting to be tilled and planted
One of our gardens waiting to be tilled and planted