Apr 16, 2010

Spring has Sprung

It is Spring!! Okay I know it has been spring for a while but we are truly feeling the affects of the season now. Bike rides, gardening, hikes, backyard play, animal watching, and so much more fun to be had. The kids and daddy ventured out onto this platform over the lake offering them a birds eye view of the ducks, frog eggs, and red winged blackbirds.
Our chickens tend to attract mice with all of their left over scraps and we caught one and allowed the kiddos to examine it thoroughly. Of course from behind the safety of glass. Mice, bike rides, dinner in the backyard, and new chicks (pictures to come) all more fabulous signs of spring.

In home school we are still on the topic of spring and this week one of our stories was How Robin Saved Spring by Debbie Ouellet
In the story Sister Spring is finally awoken by Robin and she begins to spread spring all over. Our own 'Sister Spring' has been leaving signs all over the backyard that spring is here. Some, like our blooming crocus spiral, are natural and are only pointed out by 'Sister Spring' and some are simple representations of the green that will soon be on the trees.

'Sister Spring' has been almost living in her seasonal dress (despite it being Landis' size). She has also taken to sitting often in one tree in the back yard, even fashioning a pulley of sorts to bring aloft her books.

Daddy thought it was time to provide an easier sitting location and of course brother spring needed his own perch too.

Every year I become overjoyed to be back in the garden and every year we have a slow start for some reason or another. This year some illness slowed us down but we also have been busy making the garden a more permanent space complete with enclosed beds. We had a little money to spend on wood for a few beds. Our local building supply thrift store always helps to stretch our dollars. Then when we ran out of wood we looked around the yard to piece to together the remaining beds and structures. I always have big plans and a small wallet. I think it brings out the creative side of me and I can not wait to show you the completed garden with fence and plants when we are done. I am proud of my vine structure and can not wait to see my zucchini growing vertically. In the picture the smaller fence leaning up against our yard fence will be transplanted around the garden and of course we are going to have to build more. All the building has meant that we will most likely buy starts instead of planting seeds but next year our soil will be in, our beds made and ready to go for earlier planting. I do have one cold frame (just a window placed over the box) that is helping my kale and spinach grow.

We were able to borrow our neighbors truck and our other neighbors wheelbarrow to gather some new dirt to help fill out our beds. What is amazing is how much the kids love to do the work. I have such fond memories of gardening as a child and I hope my children will have the same. Following the rototiller to gather worms, picking fresh strawberries, canning green beans, shoveling, digging, planting, watering, sweeping, gathering, and then finally playing in the mud.

Of course Teilee, ever the spring fairy is muddin' it up in style. What could be better!! I can not wait to see the fruits.....nay, the vegetables of our labors.

Apr 4, 2010


For egg dying this year we used beets, blueberries, tumeric, and spinach for the dyes. I never have good luck with spinach. The green eggs are from the blueberries, white is from the spinach (it has a tint of green), orange is from the turmeric, and the pink eggs are from the beets. We left the shredded pieces of beets in the jar and they speckled our eggs nicely. We tried a few color combination with less success than last year, but still a lot of fun!!
Our recipe: Take the food and smash, peel, scrape, mush into the jar. Add 2 Tbl of vinegar and boiling water until the jar is full. Let the jar cool. (You can strain the ingredient out or not) Now add the boiled egg and let sit for several hours (overnight if you can).

Last year we had blue, green, pink, yellow, orange, and purple. Unfortunately I don't remember and I didn't write down what I used. I will figure it out, hopefully in time for next year!

The equinox/Easter bunny or Ostara/Eostre paid us a visit today! The children and adults were gifted a bounty of food, toys, and games. Our celebration is such a mishmash of different traditions, and I love it! I have always been in love with spirituality and a deep connection to every ritual. Every year I expand on our traditions and now it has become necessary to keep a journal just for our family rituals and celebrations.

This year some rascally critters nearly spoiled the fun. We thought that the Easter bunny/Ostara hid the eggs around 1:00 am and between then and 6:30 am they were all gone. No eggshells, no pieces, but a few really well hidden eggs were still there. I wondered if raccoons were to blame. I told that rabbit to wait until the morning!! ;) We took the kids out, all primed and ready for the hunt and headed back in with mom and dad flustered. We decided with the kiddos that the bunny/Ostara must have been aware of some bad weather coming and wanted to wait until after nap time. It snowed a few hours later proving our theory true. The 5 min. of snow quickly turned into bright sunshine and heat. This must have given the bunny time to fix up a solution, or rather soak a solution out. After an early afternoon bike ride to our local coffee shop we came home to a hunt!!

The real fun occurs after the first hunt in all the subsequent egg hide and seek. Teilee is a pretty sharp egg hider and Landis is an observant egg finder. Hopefully next year Ostara will ensure a less dramatic egg hunt. May I suggest inside?! :)

My new umberella!