My Garden: New Layout

Spring is really here! The last of the snow on our front yard finally melted. I may have taken a hoe to the snow mound while drivers-by gave bewildered stares. I believe it was therapeutic after the winter we had (did anyone else get a weekly 20cm dump of snow from December to April?).

Over the last week I’ve built new garden beds and raked the lawn to encourage the grass to grow. The grass is already greener in some spots. I also planted a few more seeds. Some of the last batch didn’t take. In the newly planted egg carton cucumbers are already sprouting. This is my first attempt starting from seed. We may be a bit behind on growing but I’m hopeful.

The plan this week is to get compost and mulch to fill in the beds and make a pathway for walking between. The garden centres are preparing to open this weekend and you can guarantee I will be there! There is also a farm that delivers by the scoop and a decent price. Playing in the dirt is still fun as an adult!

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All seven garden beds. Four 4×4 beds to grow our main veggies, strawberries, gourds, and herbs. Two 2×3 for the kids and one to house our existing rhubarb.

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The four main vegetable beds. The bottom left has garlic growing in it.

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GARLIC!

What has the Spring been like for your area? Do you have any garden plans in the works?

My Garden

So…the snow is FINALLY melting. I’ve been planing a garden since February just to keep my spirits up. There is finally hope!

My plan for the 2014 growing season is to expand on things I’ve done before and to try some new things. I want to increase my cucumber and tomato production to finally be able to can pickles and salsa. I also am trying out pumpkins and melons (two varieties). That’s just for fun!

I peeked at the garlic I planted in the Fall. Nothing yet (obviously because the ground is still frozen) but I was being hopeful. But we do have some seedlings that are growing! Not as many as I need so I’m planting another round this week.

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This was our garden plan from last year. I’ll be redoing the beds before I plant to get better sun exposure and make it look prettier.

So far I have 2 tomato, 1 pepper, several kale, a lot of onion, many spinach and a bagillion lettuce seedlings. I’ll need more tomatoes, peppers, and to actually grow some cucumbers, pumpkin, and melons. I have plans for beans, peas, herbs and carrots but I will sow those directly into the garden beds.

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A picture of the seedlings two weeks ago during a 40cm dump of snow – my only hope of spring

My plan is to use the “Square Foot Gardening” method. If you’ve never checked it out you can watch this. I love the compact nature and simplicity of this method.

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My unruly seedlings tonight. I think they are in the awkward adolescent phase and need some watering.

Well, that’s it for now. I can’t wait to get out and start moving dirt! Once the snow has cleared enough I’ll be assembling our compost “bin”. Heck, I might just move the snow myself.

Do you have any gardening plans for this growing season?

Teacher Mom

Train up a child in the way he should go; when he is old he will not depart from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-7

The plan was to homeschool. Sometimes plans change. One week ago we enrolled Natalee for Public school. She is so excited to start school and I am excited for her!

I fully believe that every parent needs to intentionally make decisions that fit their family. I also heartily believe that the Bible teaches us how to be fully involved in our child’s education. Not all learning happens in school. Most behaviours & habits are developed in the home, within our families.

I look forward to the things I can teach my beautiful girl as we do life together – faith; cooking; finances; a love of reading; a passion for people among other things. I get to be Teacher Mom – a prestigious roll.

It is going to be a wonderful year. Happy Labour Day!

Cheers to new beginnings!

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An update

We had our baby😉

His name is Clark Jordan Keezer. He weighed in at 8 Lbs 6 oz. and was 21 3/4 inches long (exact same as Oliver). The kids love him! He’s the perfect addition to our family. Now to keep on top of the laundry.

We were at the doctor today for Clark’s six week check and he’s already 11 Lbs 7 oz!! Here are some pictures of the last six weeks.

Clark’s Birth Day: May 10

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How the kids spent their first two weeks with Clark while mommy rested

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Big brother

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Lazy days

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Growing boy

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A Family Weekend

This weekend has been full of blessings. Yesterday Chris took the morning to clean the house for me and he cooked some meals for the freezer. In the evening ladies from the church threw us a baby shower. Natalee and I enjoyed games, treats, and opening lovely gifts for the baby (the homemade things were some of my favourites). Many people from the church pooled to buy us a new car seat too! We are so grateful for the generosity of the people around us!!

Today Chris spent the morning making a huge batch of delicious waffles to freeze. We did get to enjoy them for breakfast too. Then we took a family drive to Cavendish beach. It was SO cold we decided to eat our picnic in the car and only walked the beach for 15 minutes – there are no pictures because we were all stiff from the cold & shivering.

We are now baby ready – or as ready as you can really be. Now it’s just a waiting game.

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The Kitchen Can Wait

I am the worst for pushing aside my children so that I can get a task done. I feel guilty to be in my pyjamas at 9am (not to mention noon). I have high expectations on myself as an at-home mama.

Being 8+ months pregnant with a 2 & 4 year old does come with challenges. I’m sure I say this every pregnancy, but, ” I don’t think that I have ever been this tired!” And it’s only going to get worse – some things will be better, like having a cute newborn to snuggle, but the sleeplessness will not be better for a while.

So, how can you cope with times of excessive exhaustion or transitions in life? There are a few key things I’ve been learning and would like to share

Change your expectations:
Don’t mistaken this with lowering your expectations, that’s very different. Life is in transition and now is not the time for change or big projects. I often ask myself, “is this a reasonable request?” I have many projects that I feel should be done before the babies due date but I have to decide what is realistic. 4 sewing projects, organizing 3 main rooms of the house, and a freezer-meal marathon? Probably not.

Define daily goals:
Every day is different. Some days I have lots of energy and other days not so much. There are key things that HAVE to be accomplished. Feeding kids is #1. Getting dressed is optional. I like to have a tidy home when I go to bed to start the next day with a clean slate – that could be as easy as loading and running the dishwasher and doing a pick-up of things around the house. I am ok if I don’t wipe the table or sweep the floor.

Don’t make life harder than it has to be:
Remember KISS: keep it simple stupid (some, who are more refined than I, use sweetheart as the last “s”. I like the directness of the current statement). Even in good times we can overwhelm ourselves with high expectations. There is life after housework and meal planning. Remember to enjoy it!

Soon this baby will be here, we will be back to a regular running day, and life goes on. For right now I will focus on what needs focus and forget the rest.

I’ve been trying to focus my time on the kids these days. Soon a new baby will make them feel pushed aside. Also these are the last days of Oliver being the “baby” of the family so I’m just enjoying my kids.

This has been our week:
Dressing as a superhero

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Playing in the glorious outdoors

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Holding hands while watching a movie

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Baking together (went much better than past experiences)

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A Busy, Blessed Weekend

Over the last few weeks I’ve drafted up a few blog posts. Because of the long winters we have I can get grumpy and have a tendency to whine. So, needless to say, I’ve opted to post nothing. Like the old adage, “if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.”

This year my focus has been thankfulness. We are facing several trials in our life but through it all God is faithful and blesses us greatly. This weekend was an example of that. We were able to spend some time in Charlottetown and do a bit of shopping. Natalee also participated in a Fashion Show Fund Raiser for the IWK (children’s hospital in our area). She’s a natural model!

My favourite part of this weekend was letting each child pick a toy at the toy store – within a price limit. We did have some tears due to difficulty of making a decision but it was fun to spoil the kids a bit. We also had supper at a restaurant which is a nice break for me. Overall, I love spending time with my family!

Here are a few photos we took over the weekend:

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Chris’ sermon prep (the kids’ puppies were snuggling him)