Wednesday, July 31, 2013


As I’m sure you’ll notice, blogging hasn’t quite made it onto my priority list as of late. There are probably an awful lot of things I should have been posting over the past several months, but I have been remiss. For now, I am posting pictures of our garden per request.

I like gardens. They seem like such a miracle to me. I love the way that we can plant, water, tend, and pour as much energy as we like into a garden, but God is the one that causes the growth and makes everything beautiful.

We planted our garden back in May, and it’s the biggest one we’ve ever had. Friends asked to see pictures, thus this post.  I wasn't able to get blog-worthy pictures of everything. Not pictured, we have tomatoes, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, and squash growing.  We also were harvesting romaine lettuce and spinach for several weeks, but those plants have all pretty much gone to seed by now and are no longer producing.

Mom planted these forget-me-nots before we even knew what kind of flower they were.  They were beautiful, but unfortunately attracted flies.  We had planted them right outside the back door.  Needless to say, they are gone now.  We enjoyed them while they were there though!

Growing tomatillo.

My cousin Mariah and our gigantic sunflower!

Cucumber plants.  We've harvested a few of those.

Basil!  Hooray for pesto!

Swiss chard.  One of my Daddy's favorites for juicing.


We tried growing broccoli for the first time this year.  So far we've only gotten little tiny heads like the one below.

Green beans

Blooming zinnia...

... and bloomed!



Corn! Haven't harvested any that was ready yet.  Hopefully we can get them before the worms do.

Some of these photos are courtesy of Mariah Lee.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Holding the Future Hostage

For almost as long as I can remember, I have had a far-off dream of writing a book.  Unfortunately, dreams of this kind take commitment, dedication, and lots and lots of hard work.  I never truly put my effort into this particular dream of mine, and thus nothing ever came of it.  I have a friend, however, who had the same dream, gave it her all, and after three long years of work finally accomplished her goal--and published her very own book.  I am so very excited for Tialla in accomplishing such a great task, even before she finished high school.

I enjoyed Holding the Future Hostage immensely.  The story is about a teenage girl who holds the balance of the universe in her hands...literally.  It is a captivating read, and I found it very difficult to put down.  With adventure and suspense filling every one of its pages, there is not a dull moment in the novel.  I would highly recommend Tialla's book to any sci-fi adventure lover.

You can learn more about Holding the Future Hostage and my friend Tialla here, and you can buy the book here.


Friday, January 25, 2013

What we did during the holidays

How quickly time has flown by. First November, then December with all its delights and memorable moments, and finally the new year have all swiftly slipped away. It reminds me of James 4:14.  "What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes."  All the more reason to look carefully how we walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil.

I hope that you all had a very lovely and special Christmas celebration this year! Our family certainly did. Christmas time is always my favorite time of the year, and this year was no exception. We did something this year we had never done before. Every night for the month of December (to be perfectly honest I should have to say most nights since I am sorry to admit that we did not always remember) we pulled out one of our hymnals and sang a Christmas hymn together.  We went through the songs in the order they were in the hymnal, and in this way we learned many new Christmas songs and enjoyed discussing more deeply the meanings of the lyrics to ones we have known all our lives. I gained a new appreciation for songs like It Came Upon A Midnight Clear after really pondering the meaning of the words instead of merely singing along.

My Daddy is very blessed to be able to (most years) take off the entire week between Christmas and the New Year from work. This year we had special plans for that week: demolition and remodeling. Before we even moved into this house, we had plans to do some remodeling. There was a huge built-in entertainment center in the living room that just had to come down sooner or later (we hoped sooner!). Mom termed it the "entertainment altar."

 The carpet in the living room was also pretty old and dirty and we bought some wood flooring to replace it even before we moved.  Oh, and the walls were in desperate need of a paint of coat. So, the day after Christmas we took down all the Christmas decorations and tackled our project.  We had no idea how big it would turn out to be. We didn't finish until New Year's Day.

The first thing we did was pull up the carpet. And the first thing we noticed upon doing so was a large area of mold against the wall that backs up to the laundry room.  Turns out we had a leak in the wall.  That set us back a bit, but we were very thankful because had we not taken the carpet out we might not have noticed for weeks! While Daddy was fixing that, Mom and Isaac and I enjoyed writing all over the entertainment altar with crayons. Why not?  We were tearing it out anyway! I had my fair share of disobedient and rebellious acts as a child, but writing on the walls was never one of them. This was my very first time and let me tell you, it was loads of fun. All in proper circumstances, of course.  :)

Daddy taking a lunch break before the demolition began

 Next step was the major demo portion of the project, tearing out the entertainment center.  Mom wanted to take a sledgehammer to it while yelling, "TAWANDAAAA!", but Dad wouldn't let her.  He and Isaac ended up tearing the thing out bit by bit, two-by-four by two-by-four.  It was a messy business. 

They got a little torn up themselves, as you can see.

Since I am neither very strong, nor extremely tough, I was set to work taking screws and nails out of the two-by-fours.  We filled an entire 2 quart half-n-half carton full of them.  We joked that the carton was appropriately labeled, since the contents were half screws and half nails.  :)

We spent most of our 6 days on redoing drywall and texture, and painting.  It was Daddy's first time doing texture, and he did a remarkably wonderful job!  Perhaps the worst part was that after the texture dried, Daddy had to sand it, and for the rest of the time we worked on the project everything in the house was covered in a thick layer of drywall dust.  I don't even want to know how much drywall we inhaled in those few days.  After all the painting was done and the walls were dry, Daddy and Isaac laid the wood flooring while we girls tried to cleanse the house of drywall powder.

Once that was finished, our project was completed!  And now we are certainly enjoying the fruit of our labors. 

There, that's better isn't it?  We sure think so!