Category Archives: Christian

Happy New Year 2016

Woooo 2016!

Woooo 2016! (Note the unicorn sculpture; made by Babyzilla)

WOooo!!! 2016!!! Happy New Year!!!

Since this is the first post of the year, I figure I had better enthusiastically set the tone! haha

January mushrooms

January mushrooms

January colors

January colors

Lion's tail

Lion’s tail

Pumpkin (from the grocery stote; going to see if pumpkin plants will grow from this)

Pumpkin (from the grocery stote; going to see if pumpkin plants will grow from this)

Woooo first snow of winter/2016

Woooo first snow of winter/2016

Dexie struggling to keep her eyes open on New Year's Eve

Dexie struggling to keep her eyes open on New Year’s Eve

'Zilla also struggled to keep her eyes open till midnight (but awoke after this photo was taken to celebrate east coast New Year's at 11PM; gotta love central time!)

‘Zilla also struggled to keep her eyes open till midnight (but awoke after this photo was taken to celebrate east coast New Year’s at 11PM ahha)

Disco Nap haha

Disco Nap haha

New Year's Eve

New Year’s Eve

Sitting outside by the fire on New Year's Eve

Sitting outside by the fire on New Year’s Eve

Embers

Embers

Making a torch

Making a torch

Fire

Fire

Making a torch seems like a good new year's tradition, doesn't it?!

Making a torch seems like a good new year’s tradition, doesn’t it?!

When it comes to gardening goals for 2016…

I’ve always been really focused on edibles. Radishes were the first thing I ever grew. As I dug in each tiny seedling into dry, clay soil I remember thinking, “This is a lot of work for a bunch of radishes!” Hahaha but there was obviously some allure; and I was hooked! I think I took about 20 pictures of those radishes I grew Hhahaa.

But this past year edibles just didn’t seem like my forte (aside from a prolific garlic harvest); and so in 2016 I am going to focus on flowers (edible flowers mostly!) and probably will try pumpkins (since they are my absolute favorite!). Also, houseplants. I was so inspired by a post Eliza Waters wrote entitled “Breathe Easy” citing a NASA study about how important plants are for cleaning indoor air.

Very Wizard of Oz. It is good to open all the windows in your home and let the fresh outdoor air circulate through at least 5 minutes per day.

Very Wizard of Oz. It is good to open all the windows in your home and let the fresh outdoor air circulate throughout at least 5 minutes per day.

Inside/Outside

Inside/Outside

Train painting

Train painting

Outside/Inside

Outside/Inside

Gluing

Gluing

Living room looking into dining room

Living room looking into dining room

Playing with filters

Playing with filters

We still have the Gingerbread Empire State Building. It is such a nice smelling decoration and I bet more graham crackers and ginger snaps (etc.) have sat for months in dingy storage warehouses…so when you think about it a few weeks (going on 3) for a fresh-baked good isn’t that old! If you’ll notice, some pieces are missing and tasted quite fresh; crispy and spicy, not stale at all! Though I didn’t eat the icing. Eventually we have to take it down. I have a friend who is setting firecrackers off in her tall gingerbread house to say goodbye to it!

IMG_5565

 

Hahahah.

But setting fire to the Empire State Building would seem really terrorist-y so we’ll not do that. For now I will just keep eating it; maybe let Babyzilla go to town on it.

Rrrraaaghhhh

Rrrraaaghhhh hahah

She’s really not all that destructive, I jest. Check out how clean her kitchen is!

Two kitchens

Two kitchens

I spy a white-tailed deer

I spy a white-tailed deer

Doe a deer ('Zilla loves the movie The Sound of Music)

Doe a deer (we loves the movie The Sound of Music)

Little roses

Little roses

Living Room

Living Room

Headless Dexie

Headless Dexie

Haha

Haha

Orchid

Orchid

So I’m [insert branching out pun] from growing tomatoes/vegetables and want to explore other healthful uses of plants in 2016. Definitely want to make it to the MOBOT herb show and Shaw Wildflower market in 2016!

Love-in-a-mist seedlings popping up everywhere; they are quite hardy.

Love-in-a-mist seedlings popping up everywhere; they are quite hardy.

January sky over Forest school

January sky over Forest school

Violets

Violets

Mushroom

Mushroom

Vertical garden panel (needs to root for 2-3 weeks)

Vertical garden panel (needs to root for 2-3 weeks)

See the dog picture on the rock?

See the dog picture on the rock?

Snowy white kalanchoe blooms

Snowy white kalanchoe blooms

I’ve been prodding the kids for things they would like to do and accomplish in the coming year and mostly I have gotten some pretty mundane answers.

“Go to City Party!” (She means Party City, a party supply store like 7 miles from our house that we went to around Halloween just to browse for random spooky decorations). She also wants to visit the children’s garden at MOBOT again, which of course I am all for!

The Spy wants more baseball cards (“10 thousand more”) hahah and he is continually working on a list of players he wants to get cards for.

He has baseball cards on the brain 24/7. Hahha

He has baseball cards on the brain 24/7. Hahha

Mushroom

Mushroom

Mushroom

Mushroom

Stump...kinda looks like a bear face

Stump…kinda looks like a bear face

Mushrooms/Fungus/Lichen

Mushrooms/Fungus/Lichen

Winter is my favorite season!

Winter is my favorite season!

Winter greens; kohlrabi

Winter greens; kohlrabi

Painting in progress

Painting in progress

Playing with filters

Playing with filters

January garden

January garden

Snow!

Snow!

At Forest School

At Forest School

Living room

Living room

Driveway

Driveway

A blessed and healthy 2016 to you all! Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?

I started a new goal of writing in a journal. The journal is one I got for Christmas and only has a short space to write, with a Bible verse (365 of them). So it’s no pressure; just jot a few notes down. I haven’t kept a journal ever (maybe sporadically in 5th grade?), so it is fun to try a new hobby. In response to,

“He fills my life with good things, so that I stay young and strong like an eagle.” Psalm 103:5

I wrote,

Honey, tea, water, lemon, legumes, rest, stretching, hiking, running, juggling, gardening, dancing, wash face 2x day, swimming, eat tons of vegetables, grains, oils, protein, facials, good posture, taking deep breaths, painting/sculpture/art, walking. Prayer. Paint nails/toes, clean bathroom, organize closets, vacuum, dust, slackline, arabesque;

Plus I wrote a list of places/parks in my area I would like to visit and included some other things; 10 glasses of water each day, tons of vegetables, lots of hot tea, write in journal daily, “Sophomore Year” of DNP Program, watch more TV, learn to unicycle, play outside often. And try out the canoe, of course!

Starting off the new year very under the weather I interpreted as a reminder to rest more (hence the “lots of hot tea” goal haha). Snuggling on the couch watching the X-files (sooo 90s it is great), movies (Jurassic World, The Sound of Music, etc.), is something I’m doing more often; no matter how much writing or reading time I need to put in for school. In order to be productive, creative and spiritual one needs to be well-rested!

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6

Happy 2016!!!

Spy Garden Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is still in full swing around here as we abide by the rule of:

Thou shalt keep thine Christmas decorations up through New Year’s Day

hahahahaha

This kohlrabi looks like the grinch's head!

Doesn’t this kohlrabi looks like the grinch’s head!?

We've been doing lots of painting, gluing, collaging, crocheting, etc., etc. around here: Christmas always makes me want to create!

We’ve been doing lots of painting, gluing, collaging, crocheting, etc., etc. around here: Christmas always makes me want to create!

Here is Babyzilla protesting the very un-wintery (nearly 70 degree) weather in the days prior to Christmas

Here is Babyzilla protesting the very un-wintery (nearly 70 degree) weather in the days prior to Christmas

Chalk tree

Chalk tree

December weather

December weather

See the paper airplane hanging

See the paper airplane hanging

Paper airplane (made by the Spy)

Paper airplane (made by the Spy)

Smoochie painting

Smoochie painting

Decorating...

Decorating…

Tree of toys!

Tree of toys!

I will miss these lights and may need to pick up a few lamps once we take them down!

I will miss these lights and may need to pick up a few lamps once we take them down!

In the front yard

In the front yard

Dexie's chair haha

Dexie’s chair haha

Getting a hair cut (to even out her handiwork)

Getting a hair cut (to even out her handiwork)

Star light

Star light

Gingerbread time!

Gingerbread time!

First I made the base and allowed it to dry completely before adding the tall pieces

First I made the base and allowed it to dry completely before adding the tall pieces

Click here to see last year’s gingerbread (Eiffel Tower) and here for my basic recipe. This year’s version included garam masala and ground flax in the dough and fresh Meyer lemon juice in the icing; mmm!

Leftover building materials! Spicy and delicious!

Leftover building materials! Spicy and delicious!

Here it is drying (hence the chair holding it up). It is hollow and has spots to put in little battery operated lights

Here it is drying (hence the chair holding it up). It is hollow and has spots to put in little battery operated lights

It still dried a bit crooked like the leaning tower of Pisa; it is leaning back so its not too noticeable from the front

It still dried a bit crooked like the leaning tower of Pisa; it is leaning back so its not too noticeable from the front

Fini!

Fini!

This is me after finishing the gingerbread hahaha

This is me after finishing the gingerbread hahaha

Yawning, pre-service (7PM Christmas Eve service)

Yawning, pre-service (7PM Christmas Eve service)

The kids all did a great job!

The kids all did a great job!

After the service

After the service

And then it was…

Christmas

Christmas!

How did Santa get this 16' canoe in here?!

How did Santa get this 16′ canoe in here?!

Woo hoo! Canoe!

Woo hoo! Canoe!

Dexie enjoying her present

Dexie enjoying her present

Babyzilla

Babyzilla

Juggling scarves

Juggling scarves

Choo Choo!

Choo Choo!

The most Christmas-y train station!

The most Christmas-y train station! (Lionel train from 1953!)

Christmas Dexie

Christmas Dexie

Driving the train

Driving the train

Christmas Day

Christmas Day

Trying out the unicycle!

Trying out the unicycle!

Watching A Christmas Story

Watching A Christmas Story

Cozy

Cozy

Choo choo

Choo choo

Christmas kids

Christmas kids

Christmas dogs

Christmas dogs

Christmas in the garden

Christmas in the garden

Smoochie set right to building a canoe rack on Christmas

Smoochie set right to building a canoe rack on Christmas

Christmas Canoe!

Christmas Canoe!

New clothes

New clothes

Leopard is a neutral

Baby says leopard is a neutral haha

Sunset

Sunset

Playing...

Playing…

Jenga!

Jenga!

Christmas boy

Christmas boy

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

 

It’s Still Christmas

At Spy Garden we follow the commandment of,

Thou shalt keep thine Christmas decorations up until the new year.

bahaHaha just kidding. I realize decorating traditions are an entirely personal preference and just because the lights are still twinkling at the church altar doesn’t mean yours can’t already be packed away. But we do like to enjoy ours until January first. Though this year I did put most of it away the day after Christmas. I took all the ornaments off the tree and removed the red tree skirt. I left the gold star on top and the white lights on and put a gold tablecloth around the bottom as a replacement tree skirt and declared it was:

The New Year’s Tree

The New Year’s Tree

And everyone was thrilled with this proclamation. The mantle was cleaned and dusted and freed of Christmas village-dom and no one seems to miss it. We left enough sparkle and light to welcome the new year (you’ve got to have at least some sparkle and light for New Year’s Eve!) The snowflakes fluttering in the dining room can stay until…February? Because they are pure winter perfection! How you chose to “de-Christmatize” (Spy Garden neologism #53) your decor, it’s just stuff that doesn’t really matter, my real point is that:

Advent is over, but it is still the season of Christmas on the church calendar until January 5th! The moment Christ was born was warm and happy and wonderful (i.e. much like Christmas morning) and a moment of perfect peace. The days that followed Christ’s birth were not so wonderful.

“Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt…for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” Excerpt from Matthew 2:13

Yikes! Can you imagine fleeing with your newborn the day after Christmas?! Similarly (though hopefully to a MUCH lesser degree in your lives), the feeling of going back to “reality” after Christmas coziness and joy (back to work, leaving friends/family, needing to lose the 5lbs you gained in…

eating gingerbread

eating gingerbread

NOM NOM NOM

NOM NOM NOM

etc., etc.) can be a bummer and/or shocking to the system. Looking to the church calendar eases the “end” of Christmas in a much more graceful way than the “end” being when the garbage guy picks up the overloaded trash bins.

On the first Christmas, Christ would only be five days old today. And Mary and Joseph were rushing the tiny baby to a safe hideout while King Herod ordered the slaughter of male children in Bethlehem. Now THAT’S DEPRESSING, jeez! Trudging back to the old 9-5 after gorging yourself for days doesn’t sound so bad in comparison. But seriously, Christ was born to a harsh world that today is still full of sin. Focusing on the cruel realities of this world can be depressing. Look instead to the hope Christ brought to this world. The celebration and contemplation of the birth of Christ is not over when your kids are beaming over a pile of toys or when you’ve sealed up a box of sparkling glass and ribbon. Grace, peace, mercy, forgiveness, love; these things are what came with the birth of Christ. And you don’t need to clean them up, put them away, pay them off, or move on from them. Christmas isn’t over yet!

(This post was originally published December 29, 2013.)