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In The Garden

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I promised a garden post yesterday, but got a little sidetracked trying to rescue a little birdie. (More on this in a later post.)

So today, I am finally blogging about my garden.  I love time spent in my garden…  working in the soil with my hands, pulling weeds while I sing to my plants, and finally, eating all the yummy fruits, herbs, and veggies that grow.  My husband and kiddos also love working in the garden with me and enjoying the rewards for their labor.  I think there is something very therapeutic about working in the garden, whether you grow flowers or edibles, or both.  Everyone should have a garden!


I have landscaped around my entire house with trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, and annuals.  I love walking out every day and seeing the beautiful growth and vibrant colors.  Since I also spend time bird watching, all these trees, shrubs, and flowers have provided a welcome haven for the little birdies and attract more of them for me to enjoy.


For my edible garden, I decided to build garden boxes.  Much of the soil around our house is fill dirt or red clay, and even though I was able to amend the soil for my landscaping, I didn’t want to fight with it every year for my garden.  With my garden boxes, I’m able to till the dirt every spring with a hand rake without having to break my back.  It sure makes gardening more enjoyable!


I have four garden boxes, and this provides more than enough food for my family to enjoy in the spring, summer, and fall, plus canned food for the winter.This is my greens box.  I grew collard greens, kale, romaine, and spinach this spring.  I just put down summer crisp lettuce seeds.  Must have greens all season!  I love my greens!


I have chives, garlic, onion, and leeks in this box.  These are my cooking staples.  I cook with garlic and onion almost every day.  And chives have so many uses…even the blooms are edible, and pretty, too.


I just put my tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers in the ground.  We’ve had a very cool spring, so I didn’t want to risk putting them in early and being hit with frost.  I have 6 different types of tomato plants including Better Boy, Roma, and Cherry tomatoes.  I plant red and green pepper, and slicing and pickling cucumber.  I always make sure to can plenty of crushed tomato to use in the winter, and lots and lots of pickles.  I love pickles!


Although this garden box looks empty, there is a lot of work going on beneath the soil.  This box will be full of corn and beans soon.  I have 3 different varieties of corn, bush beans, and pole beans.  With boxes, you can plant the corn closer together, which helps with pollination, producing a better crop.  So even though I won’t have a large crop, those ears will be full and yummy.


I also added a few garden pots this year for my herbs.  I have an Italian herb pot with Rosemary, Oregano, Italian Parsley, and Sweet Basil.  All the makings for any Italian dish.  I also have a pot for my Mexican meals.  I put Cilantro, Jalapeno Pepper, and a small container Tomato in this pot.  I see some yummy salsa in my future!



I am also experimenting with carrots and squash in pots.  I found this idea on Pinterest, and decided to give it a try.  So far, they look good…we’ll see how it turns out.



All these wonderful herbs and veggies will make for some very yummy food and some very yummy recipes for me to post on my blog!  Here is a sneak peek of my next blog post.  It’s gonna be a southern dinner you won’t want to miss.  This meal has cooked collard greens, and they are delicious.  Here is a picture of the greens just added to the skillet, wilting around a big chunk of ham hock.  Oh, they’re good!


Flowers In Bloom

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I love this time of year when everything turns so green and lush.  All the flowers are blooming, so full of color and life.  My garden is full of yummy greens, and I am waiting ever so patiently for that first ripe tomato to grow on the vine.  The sun is shining warm and bright.  I spend the whole day outside with my kiddos just soaking up the rays.  This time of year makes me feel more alive.   Here are some pictures of just a few of my spring blooms.  I hope they bring you as much joy as they bring me.






Have an absolutely beautiful day!

Trek To The Top

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Behind my mother-in-law and father-in-law’s house, way up on top of the ridge, there is a really big rock, and we call it…wait for it…Big Rock!  The hike up to big rock is beautiful, even though it is straight uphill.  When you reach the top of the ridge, you can see our whole little town.  It looks so quaint from up there.  After a short walk on top of the ridge, you reach Big Rock.  This rock structure is really interesting to look at, and a little unnerving to climb on…especially when you have small children in tow!

A few days ago, my whole family decided to take the trek up the mountain to Big Rock, even my 74-year-old momma went with us!  She’s a trooper!  We really had a wonderful day surrounded by nature and family…two of my very favorite things!  I thought I’d share the experience with you, my wonderful blog followers.  If you have a mountain behind your house…climb it!  You will always see something absolutely beautiful…in your own backyard…so to speak.



Here are my kiddos, breaking for a snack.



I am so blessed with a wonderful hubby and two totally awesome kids.



Up on the ridge…


Here’s the whole gang.  Minus my sis-in-law who was behind the camera.


This picture was taken by my 6-year-old daughter.  I think she might be a photographer one day!


The boys…up on Big Rock.


Big Rock!  I think it’s kinda pretty.


Me and my girl up on the rock.


Say cheese!  What a wonderful day.  I love time with family.  I love hiking.  I love Big Rock.  I love my life!

Spring Is Here!

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Finally, spring is making its way to Mingo County!  I have been patiently waiting to see my spring bulbs bloom and to get out in my garden and plant my spring crops.  Well, maybe I haven’t been all that patient.


I was so excited when my daffodils and hyacinths started pushing their way through the ground, but the weather still felt so very wintry.  Unfortunately, the deer ate all of my tulip bulbs…every single one…silly deer!  My iris bulbs are sprouting, and soon I will be rewarded with their beautiful blooms.  I can’t wait!


This week, my daffodils and hyacinths finally bloomed, and how very gorgeous they are!  It’s no wonder my favorite flowers are spring bulbs, and of course hydrangea, but I’ll have to wait a while yet for those to bloom.


And, even more exciting than watching the flowers bloom in my yard is being able to get in my garden and plant my spring crop.  I love getting in my garden boxes, tilling the soil, and planting my own vegetables.  There is nothing better than eating fresh food from your own garden!  I already have some yummy chives popping up.  I use no fertilizer or pesticides on my plants, so I know what I eat is actually good for me.


I am a barefoot and bare hands gardener.  I have tried to wear shoes and gloves when I garden, but I just can’t do it.  I love the feel of the dirt on my feet and under my nails.   I love the work that goes into tending my garden…I don’t even mind pulling the weeds.  I love the reward of fresh fruits and veggies, and lovely flowers, for all the work.  I just love being out in nature and being able to enjoy the rebirth and growth of spring and summer.  Bring on the warmth!


A Day At The Clay Center

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My hubby was out of town this weekend, and when he isn’t around, my children and I feel a little sad.  So, to keep our minds occupied and make the time pass more quickly, I planned a very busy weekend for us.  We went shopping for spring clothes,  for new books (we can’t ever go shopping without buying books), and for party supplies for little man’s upcoming birthday!  We went to see Oz, The Great and Powerful…wonderful movie, by the way.  My son says it’s the best movie he’s seen in theaters, and my daughter is now in love with James Franco…he’s “cute”.  We also went to our favorite place in West Virginia…the Clay Center!

The Clay Center is an arts and science museum located in Charleston, WV.  We have been visiting this wonderful museum since my children were very young, and they still love it today.  It’s almost like our home away from home.  The center  has three levels of fun and education for children, with some exhibits that always remain the same and others that are constantly changing.  They have giant screen films and a planetarium.  They also offer family fun days to celebrate holidays.  Earth Day celebration is coming up soon!  And they have special concerts just for children.  One of our favorites was the Seussical Musical…all about Dr. Seuss stories!  There are kid’s camps, children’s programs, outdoor programs, adult programs, and so much more.  No wonder we love it so much!

So, we visited the Clay Center and took lots of pictures of the fun!  I hope you all are ready to be overloaded with photos!  I love watching my kids enjoy themselves and being able to freeze those moments to enjoy them forever.  Here is a glimpse of our day at the Clay Center…

We started off the day with a visit to our favorite exhibit, Earth City, where we explored…you guessed it…earth sciences.


Learn about Port Royal, Jamaica’s experience with liquefaction by burying your hands in a quick-sandy earthquake.


Explore the natural wonders through a really neat View Finder exhibit.


Learn myths and facts about how fog forms.  My kids like to try to blow the fog away…that’s what my son is doing in this picture.


Ahhhh!  It’s a giant waterfall!


Try to bury a skull with sand and learn about a land that was “consumed by the sands”.


Learn about locks and dams.  Did you know that dams are usually named after the town that gets flooded when they are made?  Summersville Dam got its name because the town directly in the flood path was called Gad…would you like to visit Gad Dam…I didn’t think so!


Mountain vs. Water…learn all about erosion and how the flow of water has affected our mountains.


Careful…you will get wet in Earth City!  At least if you play like my kids you will!

Next, we went to the Mylan Explore-atory.  This is a constantly changing exhibit, currently displaying the hands-on experience, Little Builders.


Ride on construction equipment.



Pretend to paint the building…two rollers at a time…and don’t forget your hard hat and bright orange vest!


Maybe you’d like to learn how to do some plumbing.  My kids made poop noises the whole time and were racing the clock to get the pipes connected before the poop came rushing out.  Why are kids so fascinated with poop?



Build your own little town…or a giant castle like my daughter did!

We spent some time in Health Royale learning about health and wellness.  I love this exhibit, but I’m still sad they took out “The Yodler”.  It was our favorite part of this gallery.


This is a neat “repeat the pattern” game using…body noises!  Again with the poo sounds!  And burping, sneezing, hiccuping, and so on.


Here you can make interesting faces.  My kids like to try to make super crazy looking faces!



This is the main attraction in Health Royale.  It’s like Hollywood Squares with health questions.  The guests on the show are body parts with names like Mr. P (I pity the fool…) and Pelvis (you know, like Elvis in the shape of a pelvis).


Could there be anything more fun than stretching out an intestine?  Did you know that your small intestine is about 20 feet long?  Where does it fit?

We traveled downstairs to the Gizmo Factory.  This gallery has over 30 exhibits dealing with physical science!



Discover the power of water and how the force somehow balances a ball as it spins it around and around.  Way cool!


This exhibit is all about smoke and mirrors…and laser beams.



Learn about pulleys and how they work as you try to lift yourself into the air.  Not an easy task!  Momma usually ends up doing the hard work while the kiddos sit back and enjoy the ride!


We love these pin-screens in small size, but we really LOVE them in giant size!

We didn’t make it to the planetarium on this trip because we’ve already seen the film on The Planets, but we did take time to see the giant screen film, Volcanoes of the Deep Sea.


Here we are waiting to watch the film which ended up being quite fascinating.  It was really about the sea animals who live in the aftermath of underwater volcanoes.  In waters that should boil them to a crisp, some animals have managed to not only survive, but thrive!  My son says this was his favorite film so far, even better than Giants of Patagonia…a film about dinosaurs!

And, of course, we finished our day with a nice stroll through the art gallery.  Right now, it is crowded with some of the most beautiful quilts.  I’m jealous because I’ve always wanted to learn to quilt…maybe one of these days.

We enjoyed ourselves very much and can’t wait until our next visit.  And, it helped pass the time while daddy was away.  I hope you enjoyed the tour of our day at the Clay Center.  These pictures only show a handful of the fun and interesting things you can do here.  If you are ever in Charleston, WV, you have to make time to check it out!

Here’s To My Health

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Our family makes a point of sitting down together at the table to eat dinner every night.  I try to put a healthy, home cooked meal on the table each night.  I think it is so important for families to have that time to spend together enjoying food while talking about the good and the bad of the day.

Having said this, I’ll go ahead and let you know that I don’t sit down with the kids for our meals in the middle of the day because I’m usually busy trying to catch up on some household chores.  I make sure I feed my children a very healthy lunch with fresh fruits and veggies while I grab an Easy Mac on the run.

I realized today that I am very concerned that my children are eating three balanced, super healthy meals a day while I’m eating junk.  Am I the only mom who does this?  Surely, I am not alone.  Anyone want to make me feel better about myself?  Go ahead, tell me you eat junk, too.

I need to make sure I’m taking care of myself, too, so I can take care of my children.  I made a decision today to make sure I sit down to every meal with my family, not just dinner.  And, I’m going to make sure I’m putting the same good-for-you food into my body that I insist on putting into my children’s bodies…no more Easy Mac for me.

So, here’s to my decision to make time to eat healthy.  Here’s to my health!


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