Tag Archives: nature

Changing Views

25 Jun



A little over a week ago I made the kids go outside, still in their pajamas, and run around in the back yard while I frantically snapped pictures.  They thought their dad and I had lost our minds, and I am sure they really thought we had gone off the deep end when Jason and I just stood behind our house, Jason shaking his head and me crying.

When Jason came home a few months ago and told me that all of the timber on the land adjoining ours had been sold, I didn’t think too much about it.  You know, it was one of those things that just wasn’t going to happen.  But two weeks ago, they moved the saw in, and the next morning we were awaked by the sounds of trees being cut down: a sharp squeal of a saw followed by a crash.

I know not everyone understands this, but losing these trees has been so sad for us.  We spend a lot of time outside, and the canopy of trees around us that has been forming for the past 100 years or so is one of the best things about living where we do.  It is hard to explain to the kids that even they, in their lifetimes, won’t see that view out of our kitchen window.

So, one by one the trees have been coming down, and every day there is another chunk of sky or torn-up ground visible through the thin line of trees left on our property line.  Jason and I joked about chaining ourselves to one of the trees in protest, but we both know that there is nothing to do but get over it.

So, in my effort to get over it, I am trying to cheer up my kitchen window.  I spend a lot (I mean, a ridiculous amount of time) looking out of this window, because it is where I stand when I cook or wash dishes.  I love to look out that window, but the view isn’t quite what it once was. Plus, I have really been neglecting the window and window sill.  It was really quite pitiful!

Brighten up a windowsill1

Bad, right?  My poor lipstick plant definitely needs to be repotted in a bigger pot, and Maddie’s rock that we brought her from Mexico (sounds ridiculous, but she loves that thing) needs to find a new home.  Plus, the window is just plain dirty.  Definitely neglected.

So, I moved the plant to the back deck (Don’t worry-I am going to save it!) and gave Maddie her rock to relocate (She’s been rolling it around in her stroller all afternoon), and got to cleaning.  That in itself made a huge difference.

Before we built our house, we had to tear down some really old houses that were here.  The people who lived here threw their trash out in the woods, so every time it rains now, glass and other things rise to the top.  We find all sorts of old glass bottles and keep most of them.

I got some of my favorite bottles that we have found and used them to hold some different plants from the yard.  Turned out really pretty, I think!

Brighten up a windowsill3


Brighten up a windowsill2


Brighten up a windowsill4


So, even though the view out my kitchen window is changing, I still plan to enjoy being at my sink and looking out of the window.  I do spend half of my life there, after all, so might as well do everything I can to make it pleasant!




Monday Praises-God’s Creativity

4 Nov

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19:1

In my Sunday School class yesterday we were talking about suffering on Earth, and how even creation is suffering and groaning and struggling.  Creation was cursed when man was, so can you imagine what it will be like when it is no longer restrained and can really show itself in all its glory?  It is going to be AMAZING!

I love nature.  I praise God for his creativity and his vision and his workmanship, and I cannot even imagine how wonderful it will be to see His creations when they are not being restrained by the sins of man.

A beautiful tree in our front yard.

A beautiful tree in our front yard.


Make sure you check out Walk Humbly With God for some more reasons to praise God today!

Taking the Zoo to the Zoo

26 Apr

We are so lucky to live just a short drive from the NC Zoo.  It is a wonderful habitat zoo broken up into 2 continents: Africa and North America.  There are polar bears, lions, chimps (we saw the little baby chimp riding around on its mama’s back today-so cute) elephants, bison, giraffes, and so many other beautiful animals there, all living in miniature versions of their natural habitats.

It was quite a day for a few of my mommy friends and I to take all of our kids to the zoo! All together we had 7 kids, and I will just tell you that I am exhausted.  The stroller logged in many, many miles today, and so did my feet.

I was feeling pretty good about myself when I was pushing the stroller around the zoo, sometimes up hills and with 3 kids squeezed into it. Then I looked over and saw one of my former students AND HER 3 CHILDREN!! Now that was an eye-opener.  Someone that I taught has grown up and has a family BIGGER AND OLDER than mine! Suddenly the stroller became a little more difficult to push.

All I had was my cell phone camera today, so I didn’t take too many pictures, and the pics I did take were mostly of the kids and not the animals.

Madster posing in a boat in the swamp.  She is such a diva-this was before she dropped her pants and peed like a man in the middle of the playground.

Madster posing in a boat in the swamp. She is such a diva-this was before she dropped her pants and peed like a man in the middle of the playground.

There is a spiderweb in the park at the zoo.  This was Charlie's dream come true!

There is a spiderweb in the park at the zoo. This was Charlie’s dream come true!

One of the highlights of my day was seeing Charlie’s reaction to the dinosaur exhibit.  This exhibit is so awesome.  It is full of really big, really lifelike dinosaurs.  They move and roar and make other noises, and one even spits water at you.  Charlie thought they were real, and told his friend John, “No, they are real,” when John told him they were fake.  He still thinks they are real even now.

Charlie was afraid to turn his back on the dinosaurs.

Charlie was afraid to turn his back on the dinosaurs.



Digging for fossils.

Digging for fossils.

So I would consider this a very successful trip to the zoo.  The weather was perfect, and both kids and I were in bed at 8:30.  I bet the former student that I ran into today got in bed even earlier.


Spreading Weeds

16 Apr

Jason is going to kill me if he finds out that the kids and I spent the afternoon spreading daffodil seeds all over the yard.  When I looked out the window and saw that our front yard was peppered with large, perfectly round daffodils, I knew I had to introduce them to one of my favorite ways to make a wish.  We went outside and the kids raced around to pick daffodils (and to argue over daffodils), then they made a wish (Charlie’s favorite wish was “gibbeldy, gook, gook,” and so forth…he loves gibberish right now.), and blew the seeds everywhere.

Running to a daffodil patch

Running to a daffodil patch

Found one!

Found one!

Spreading weeds

Spreading weeds

Maddie screamed out "There's one!" every time she saw a daffodil.

Maddie screamed out “There’s one!” every time she saw a daffodil.


I saw a HUGE patch of daffodils in our back yard later in the afternoon.  We’ll have to take care of that tomorrow!  Sorry, Honey!

*4/17/13: I just woke up and realized those weeds are dandilions, not daffodils! Oh the difference a good nights sleep can make!*

Planting with the Crazy Peoples

1 Mar

Am I the only one who is  SO ready for spring?  I decided today to do a little early planting with Charlie and Maddie and enjoy checking out the fruits of our labor for the remainder of this dreary winter.

All we did was take a glass container (I bought this one at Pottery Barn years ago and use it year-round for different decorations), fill it with glass beads, stick some calla lily bulbs down into the beads, and add a little water.  This would be really cute in mason jars or any type of glass vase or pitcher.

Charlie was being silly for the camera so I had to include some pics of his hilarious self.

Eating cookies and playing with the beads a bit

Eating cookies and playing with the beads a bit

Charlie was cracking me up

Charlie was cracking me up

Adding the beads

Adding the beads

A few more...

A few more…

This is what it looks like after the bulbs and some water were added.  It isn't too pretty now, but when they begin growing they will be gorgeous!  I hope they're ready in time for Easter...

This is what it looks like after the bulbs and some water were added. It isn’t too pretty now, but when they begin growing they will be gorgeous! I hope they’re ready in time for Easter…

This was really fun to do with the kids and I know they’ll be so excited when the flowers start growing.  We’re definitely going to have to talk about planting seeds in people by talking about Jesus (Matt 28:19) and also how seeds grow into big, beautiful things (Matt 13: 30-32).  Springtime is such a wonderful opportunity to teach about God’s love for us and how his love is expressed in nature.

I’ll post some pics of our flowers when they bloom!






Our Snowy Saturday

17 Feb

Hi everyone!  I hope you are all having a wonderful, relaxing Saturday.  Ours has been pretty uneventful.  Because of the rainy, snowy weather we have been having all day, the kids and I  just pretty much hunkered down in the warmth of the house today.  When it snows I always have the urge to cook a big, unhealthy breakfast, so after eating that I felt like doing nothing for the rest of the day!

We did enjoy watching the biggest snowflakes fall that I think I have ever seen.  PeeWee enjoyed watching the snow, also.

PeeWee enjoyed watching the snow falling, but he didn't want to go outside in it!

PeeWee enjoyed watching the snow falling, but he didn’t want to go outside in it!

The birds stayed busy at our bird feeder all day long.  We have lots of big, bright red cardinals, but it is hard to get a pic of them!  It is amazing how much food they eat.  We have to fill up the bird feeder every day or two.

The bird feeder is right outside our bedroom window so we can watch them from bed in the mornings.

The bird feeder is right outside our bedroom window so we can watch them from bed in the mornings.

Charlie spent a lot of time playing with his Lego’s today.


Charlie was so excited that we built a tower that was taller than him!

Charlie was so excited that we built a tower that was taller than him!

So today ended up being a good day to do a lot of nothing!  Now I am full from the big bowl of homemade veggie soup that I just ate (another mandatory snow day  must-have), so I think I will go do more nothing!

Summer Update

7 Aug

Wow, this summer is flying by!  We are having a great time so far.  Charlie is 3, yes 3!  Just saying that I have a 3-year old sounds strange to me.  He had a fire truck birthday party, which turned into a naked fireman party by the end.  We had a blast, and Charlie got his first bike!


On Charlie’s actual birthday, May 20th, we went with our church youth group to the Aloha Safari Zoo, a zoo in Sanford that rescues exotic animals.  It was so cool.  Charlie and Maddie got to feed and pet a giraffe, and we rode on a “safari” (really a few trailors being pulled by a tractor) on a path through fields of zebras, llamas, camels, pigs, peacocks, and lots of other animals that I can’t remember.  There was a pit full of alligators (I’m sure I wasn’t the only mother who played through an entire scene in her mind of her children falling into that pit.) and turtles who educated our innocent youth group about turtle mating habits.




In all seriousness, this was an excellent hands-on experience that you couldn’t have at any large state zoo, so check out their website.  http://alohasafarizoonc.com/index.html