Wednesday, March 30, 2011


One of the ways I am prepping for my garden, is to start a compost pile. I have interviewed some folks over the years about composting, and organic gardening, but this is new territory for me. I ordered three books from Amazon, specifically about composting. The one that helped me the most: Composting for Dummies.

That's right, Composting for Dummies. LOL

There are so many different ways to compost!
At first, I was looking for a tumbler or rotating composting bin to keep outside near my garden. I realized that I don't need to spend the $150+ to get that when I can simply erect a compost pile anywhere. For free....
I'm sure my compost pile will be moved when I finally build my garden, but I want to keep my compost near the garden area.
So here's my rudimentary first go at composting.

1. Procured 3 product flats from my local strip mall.
2. Prepped the flats by insulating them with cardboard (this helps to heat the pile).
3. Moved them to their location, and tied them together with bailing wire.

Meditation vacation

Making the move to stay home and home schooling has been eye opening.

I have been intentional about observing my children - their tendencies and patterns throughout the day.

There is a time in the afternoon (around 3 or 4) when they become loud, irritable and sometimes aggressive with each other.

3 days ago I instituted a time of mediation for all of us to take a break, relax, calm down. When I start to notice the kids become fussy with each other I call out, "Meditation Vacation!" We head to the playroom and sit in a circle. We breathe and pray, sing or OM together for a few minutes.

I might take this time to look directly at their faces and say something encouraging to them. I might discuss the plan for the remainder of the day. I might remind them of one of our family virtues.
Meditation vacation only lasts for about 10 minutes - but that seems to be enough to press the reset button.

Yesterday, Whitby fell asleep in Half Lotus. She slept for about 10 minutes, then popped up and flittered off with a smile.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

2 months in Tuscaloosa

It's hard to believe we have been in Tuscaloosa for 2 months.

Spring is lovely in the sunny south. The kids and I have enjoyed exploring our property to discover all the blooming surprises. The property was owned by the same family since the early 1900's. They built the house in 1960. They planted some great trees and shrubs and we are reaping the beautiful benefits of their work.

We have about 16 dogwood trees - their blooms take my breath away.

Azaleas are flowering all around our house. They draw our attention every time we step outside.

We have a bamboo forest that the kids spend a lot of time in. I don't know how fast bamboo grows or how long ago these trees were planted, but many of their trunks are 6-8 inches around. I have not seen bamboo this big. Whitby wants me to contact the Chinese government and see if we can adopt a panda to live here.

The creek has become our favorite activity. I love going out to the creek with the kids because the minute we step into the water, we step into another world and I get to observe their creativity and imagination. I'm doing tons of laundry though because everyone comes home covered in dirt and creek water. IT'S WORTH IT!

The children aren't the only ones enjoying this property. Apollo and Athena are in doggy bliss. There are dozens of trails, smells, burrows and critters to keep their attention for hours. They are with us every hour of the day. They come in exhausted from playing outside with the kids for hours. They have found their favorite little comfy, shady outdoor resting places as well.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Some pics of the house

A couple of you have asked for pics of my house. Here are a a few.

This house is so cool. It's a TOTAL fixer upper. We will eventually redo EVERYTHING.

For now, it's totally liveable. We bought it because of the acreage (5 acres) and the proximity to Creighton's job (10 minutes).

This house is about half the size as our house in Overland Park (at least right now, until we get the basement finished).

Therefore, we have had to do a lot of trimming...

It's been great.
Don't get me wrong, I miss my house in KC - LOVED THAT HOUSE (not to mention my friends and my job and the kids's school, and my community and my church...).
But this is my opportunity to simplify and focus on the family! The kids are loving our property - the trees and the creek. They are never bored!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

One Month in Tuscaloosa

I have to say, winter in Alabama has been a balmy dream. We left Kansas when it was 7 degrees outside, with 7 inches of snow on the ground. I think it hovered at >15 for like 2 weeks.
Meanwhile, my kids have been playing outside everyday for hours.

Spring sprung 10 days ago and already I have been gathering up little delights from around our property.