Category Archives: Our Woods

Friday Fave Five

Well it has been a glorious week for this teacher!

My number ONE favorite of the week was;

SCHOOL IS OUT FOR THE SUMMER!!!!



I am also enjoying my simple, little herb container garden.  I planted dill, rosemary and chives.  They are thriving and I just love stepping out onto the deck to cut a bit of fresh herbs for the things I am cooking!  I feel like a cool, pioneer kind of women! Ha Ha

SportTman broke his pinky finger diving for a baseball in center field.   It makes my Friday Faves since he has a huge baseball tournament coming up in Omaha, NE in 10 days,  I wanted to be sure he could still play so I took him to a sports orthopedic specialist.  He made this funky cast for him so he can still throw a baseball this week, and he thinks he will be ready for Omaha! Phew!

My woods is another favorite.  Drums just mowed the weed field that it had become, and it looks lovely!!  I just love to spend time out there praying, relaxing, checking out the wildlife, picking berries, walking the little trail we made etc.  We have all been back there so much more now that it has been mowed.  This is the view from our deck.

The Inventor and her friends also make my list this week.  They got out of school early their last day of school and took over my kitchen while I was still at school.  Well did I come home to a wonderful treat.  They cooked a delicious dinner of twice baked potatoes with cheese, bacon and onion, blueberry crepes and a fresh salad and a homemade blueberry milkshake!  It was so good, and they even cleaned up!!  Wow….I love those girls!

For more Friday Fave Five stop and visit Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.

The Great Outdoors

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I know I have written before about how my kids  LOVE to play outside.  I have often said, some people  have “outdoor dogs”, I have “outdoor kids.”   We are so blessed to have a woods with a creek behind our house.  Over the years playing in the woods has evolved into many things……..fort building, flashlight tag at nights, some serious dam building in the creek, digging of gigantic holes, a mud factory, a clay pottery club, mud pie factory etc….  However as of late our beautiful woods has turned into…..well how do I say this………umm………do I call it a shack city, or a plethora of homeless shelters, or as the kids would say a glorious fort complex!  Please take a quick tour of our woods and let me know what you think. :)

Despite being quite the eyesore for the average mom, I think the latest and greatest forts are a great lifetime memory maker, and it certainly fosters the creativity in my kids. :) Oh and please look carefully at the one picture of The Inventor inside the one fort…….yes that is a copy of the U.S Constitution hanging up in the fort!  Why it is there……that I can not answer, it must be a kid thing…… And I like that.

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It’s gonna be worth it some day…..

I spent about an hour this afternoon planting 50 bulbs back in my woods. They will bloom in early spring and then I can reflect upon the hard work and sweat I put in today. I will also get to enjoy their beauty at a later time….not right away, not today.

I got to thinking while I was planting how we live in such a “instant gratification”, “I want it now”, society. We work hard for something, but we want the results right away! That is why exercise and weight loss can be so difficult, it takes awhile, it takes time.

I think that is how I feel as a christian sometimes. I work hard in this life to honor God, yet I don’t see instant results. Sometimes I even wonder if it is all going to be worth it. I try to live my life in a way that pleases God, yet there are those moments when it’s hard, painful, not fun, and I wonder is it even worth it?

But then I am reminded about the ugly bulb I planted today. Some day it’s going to bloom into a lovely spring flower. It’s beauty and majesty will spread all over our forest floor. Yes, I do believe it’s all going to be worth it someday. I just forget sometimes, but, it’s those glimpses of God’s beauty I got today that help me know……..It’s gonna be worth it someday!

Very random thoughts…..

Beware…this is random…remember I warned you. :)

I am home sick today with some kind of crazy spring flu. I woke up 2 nights ago, freezing. I promptly put on all the winter clothes I could find, and heated up two herbal hot packs to stuff down my shirt to stay warm. After that I soon discovered I had a fever, and soon began to take off all the clothes I had just put on. I missed school yesterday also. Who gets the flu in May?

The first day of May is today, and that brings up a whole new topic. Today is my birthday….yep 29 again! This is my 15th time being 29. It’s a fun age. So I get to stay home sick from school for my b-day.

Hubby did get me this wonderful, relaxing hammock swing for my b-day the other day. I am so excited to put it together and put it under my deck, where there is a nice brick patio with a beautiful view of our woods. Oh, and that is not my fancy backyard, just a pic of the swing from a website. :)  But doesn’t that swing just scream…come and sit and relax!

I am feeling better today, at least I am not sleeping my life away today. I actually ate some food and made a little coffee this morning. Coffee…….don’t you just love the smell of coffee? I know hubby loves the smell, but does NOT drink coffee at all. I often wake up my kids in the morning by telling them to “wake up and smell the coffee!” I then stick my cup of coffee under their nose in a way to frustrate the heck out of them. I think someday they will have fond memories of the creative way their mom got them up in the morning. :) While on the topic of coffee, I must make you all aware of one of my favorite coffee songs. Yes, a song about coffee! You just never know what you will get on my blog, just the other day I posted a wonderful worship song…today it’s a song about coffee! This is a fun coffee song by an old friend of mine. So gather your kids together and sing along with me….

“C-O-F, F -E -E why in the world do we drink coffee?”

If Coffee Smells So Good Why Does it Taste So Bad

Welcome Spring!

Spring has finally arrived in our neck of the woods! I love spring and its beautiful flowers. To celebrate the arrival of spring I went around my house and took a bunch of pictures that represent spring at my house. So please pour a glass of lemonade, and enjoy a cyber spring day with me. And for all of you Northern folks who haven’t felt the full effects of spring yet, stop by as many times as needed to get your spring fix!

God is good, and creates such magnificent beauty!

Welcome Spring!

I have always loved Virginia Bluebells. I have planted them all over our woods.

The weeds are also growing quickly. This is the dreaded chickweed.

The hosta are also emerging from the ground

I have daffadolis planted all through out the woods

Baseball is also a big part of our spring!

Why is it so hard for a 13 year old to find someone to play with?

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Ok, I am not one to vent about things on my blog, but the day has come! My son, SportTman is 13, he is not into “going out” with girls yet, he does not spend endless hours on the computer “I-M ing” his friends, he only has a Play Station 1, so it’s not a big draw for him, he does not want to “chill” with his friends………he just wants to play in the woods or shoot hoops, throw baseball, or play any sport with a friend. But here is the problem, his friends simply do not want to play anymore! They are to busy “chillin” with the girls, using the computer, talking on their cell phone to their girlfriends or sending text messages etc.

Hubby and I are both public school teachers and our kids have always gone to public school, I notice that many of these kids simply grow up too soon! SportTman has many close friends from church, so we are thankful for those dear friends.

I have always been such an advocate of kids having time to play. They have their entire life to be a grown-up, but only about 10 short, precious years to play. So why rush them into adulthood? Why can’t my 13 year old just enjoy being a kid…..why do people constantly ask him if he has a girlfriend yet? Does he like to go to the movies with friends? Does he want to go to the middle school dance? He has said no to all of those questions simply because he just isn’t interested. I happen to think that is a good thing, but it appears to be few parents these days that agree with me.

But for now, I am thankful that he is comfortable and confident in his decision and actions and quite content in this stage of life……….he just wishes he had some one to play with. And as his mom, so do I.

About 18 years ago……..

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Shortly after hubby and I were married a friend offered to sell us a nice waterbed set for $100. At the time we were thrilled, the frame was lovely, with a beautiful, maple, lighted headboard. Our friend even came and helped us assemble the the frame, and set up the waterbed. 18 years ago, we LOVED our new bed!

Well……funny how things change!!!! The last year or so, my back was killing me every morning when I woke up from the dreaded bed. I actually began to despise the bed, and the lovely headboard was looking so late 80s in it’s style, it had lost some of it’s previous glamor! I was quite thrilled when we discovered a leak in the bed back in the Dec., secretly I was excited about the leak. I knew we could now get rid of the bed. So this past week our new pillow top bed arrived. It is so nice, and my back doesn’t ache every morning either.

So for those who are wondering what that picture of my son’s eyesore riveting, lovely, beautiful fort is doing at the top of a post about an old waterbed…..well look closely at the newer wood on the 2nd floor of his fort complex in our woods. That “new” wood is actually part of our old waterbed frame!!!! He is already scheming a way to get part of the nice, maple headboard included in the fort also.

Funny how life is, what once seemed so lovely to us, is now cherished wood for a 13 year olds fort. It’s a visual reminder to me, that stuff ( materialistic things) eventually lose their appeal, and no longer provide joy, and satisfaction. Their joy is fleeting. My constant prayer is that I will store up for myself lasting treasures in heaven. And allow my joy, satisfaction, and contentment to come from the things of Christ, not the things of this world!

P. S. Check out this earlier post to see a pic of the fort in it’s early days. :)

Forget Lazy Rivers, we have our own “Lazy Creek!”

I had the nicest time with the inventor and sportTman the other day. A kind neighbor was cleaning out his garage and brought over 2 huge inner tubes for the kids to have for free! So we loaded the big tubes into the car, and headed to a nearby creek for some serious tubing! It was a beautiful day and a beautiful spot!

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The inventor enjoying that peaceful easy feeling!

 

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Here are the kids floating down the creek

 

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I walked along in the creek behind the kids, and took pictures, that is NOT a purse I am carrying on my shoulder it’s a camera bag. I didn’t want anyone to think I took my purse with me for walking in the creek! LOL!

 

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SportTman running upstream with the tube after his long, relaxing float down the creek.

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Total Cost for the day

Inner Tubes – free

Creek – Free

Enjoying the great outdoors – Free

Time spent together – Priceless

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be Prepared, Be Prepared this message must be shared…….”

I took dear daughter to an outdoor campfire cooking class on Sat. night at our local county park. I grabbed my cell phone (in case I needed to make important calls while in the wilderness) but I left my purse in the car, thinking who needs a purse for campfire cooking.

Shortly after arriving we learned about this very cute idea for cooking bacon and eggs over a campfire in a paper bag. ( place 3 THICK slices of bacon that have been cut in half in the bottom of a brown, lunch paper bag, cover the bottom completely with the bacon, then crack an egg over the bacon. Fold the bag over 3 x, cut a small hole through the folds, put a stick through it, and hold it over the fire. It takes about a 1/2 hour to cook and then you have bacon and eggs !)

When making our brown bag bacon and eggs, I realized I should have brought my purse so I could have used the pocket knife I keep in my purse to cut the hole in the paper bag. Another mom, a Girl Scout leader mind you, overhears my comment, and quickly whips out her fancy, pink, Swiss Army pocket knife. Now this lady was prepared! I also noticed she was the one with the flashlight leading the way up the path as we left in the dark!

So the pink pocket knife incident got me thinking, how many other moms out there have pocket knives in their purses?

What other items do you carry “just in case?”

Beside a pocketknife, I also carry a small flashlight, band-aids, and sunscreen. :) Anyone else prepared constantly “just in case,” or is it just me?????

******** BONUS QUESTION ********

Who knows what movie the title of this post came from?? It’s one of our family favorites. Here’s a hint, an animated singing goat sings the words in the title. :)

Kid’s don’t PLAY like they used too!

There was an article in our Sunday paper this weekend referencing the fact that kids do not have free play time these days. The article quoted college professors, teachers and other experts in the field of play ( now that sounds like a job I would want! How do you become an expert in playing???). The article also said that “educators, parents, child-development specialists are attending play conferences, and teaching courses on how to play, and starting leagues for the kinds of activities that didn’t used to need leagues.” It also noted that parents are now sending their children to seminars to learn how to play games like marbles, kick the can, and other typical childhood games. Seminars to learn to play, Conferences for child-development specialists, teaching courses on how to play…..does anyone else see anything wrong with this scenario?

Kid’s lives these days are so stressed, structured, and stifled. They are given few opportunities to catch lighting bugs outside until it’s way past their bedtime, play in the sprinkler, play spud, free-all, kick the can, sardines or other outdoor games, jump rope, play hopscotch, build forts, jump in the fall leaf pile, play flashlight tag at night……..my list could go on and on. Kids do need time to play, it should be unstructured, FREE time. Let them decide what to do, let them make decisions, use their creativity, and let them deal with the consequences of their decisions. When my kids were little I purposely did not put any toys, swingsets, slides etc back in our woods, I wanted them to learn to play with rocks, sticks, mud etc. And guess what, they did play with those things and had a blast, and I never heard one complaint about their lack of toys. They used their minds to build a dam in the creek, they used their problem solving skills to build a fort and decide the best place for a window and a door, they used their creativity to design pencil holders, vases, and dishes made from natural clay, and they played outside for hours!! Let me also be the first to confess we are the typical, busy, family with many activities, but I always build into our schedule time to PLAY! My kids have a whole life ahead of them filled with structure and stress, they only have one childhood, and time period in their life where they can PLAY.

Do we really need child development experts, seminars or “experts” in the field to tell our children how to play, isn’t that something parents should be making time for?

………Oh, yea, oops, ah sorry, I just realized I was standing on top of a soapbox, wow how did I get up here, I guess I’ll get off of it now. :)

We LOVE our woods!

We have a beautiful backyard, it’s all wooded, and has a creek flowing through it. It’s one of those things in life I am very thankful for. As soon as I step foot back there, it’s like instant relaxation, and tranquility. The kids on the other hand enjoy it for MANY reasons none of which would be tranquility and instant relaxation! Here are 2 of their reasons. My daughter, aka, the inventor, is always making things with the natural clay that she finds along the creek banks. The picture below shows her working on a huge, carved out, heart that she proudly presented to her Grammy.

The other picture is my son, aka sportsmaniac, working hard on his always growing, mega fort. He is currently adding a deck, and has a nice, white resin chair to put on it. He found the chair floating down the creek after a big storm. Cant’ beat those prices for a chair. :)

Thought for the day; Who needs a Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, a Nitendo DS, a TV or even a computer when you have a woods!! :)
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The coolest fort in the world

The Fort……here is SportTMan’s latest fort upgrade, the window comes from the neighbor’s trash, the “new” wood comes from an Amish barn that was torn down. It’s an eyesore to me, but to a 12 year old boy, it’s beautiful! Besides that I think 12 yo boys should have more opportunities to build cool forts and less opportunities for watching TV, using the computer, Nitendo DS, Wii etc……

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