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Spring is upon us!

Yes, it’s spring.  The weather is absolutely gorgeous.  We’ve been spending tremendous amounts of time outside doing all sorts of exciting things with all sorts of wonderful people.  Here’s a catch-up:

Rollerskating around the neighborhood- our wheels were not acceptable for the local indoor rink so we are just as happy to enjoy the weather and play together outside at home.

We’re making the rounds of the playgrounds on foot, bike, rollerskates, and wiggle cars.  This run-down jungle gym was an unexpected find on a bike ride one afternoon.  The kids thought it was pretty funny to climb on the window of the school bus.

Several people have asked me, when discussing unschooling, how my kids get PE (aka- gym).  I have to laugh because we’re always on the move! 

FINALLY- winter chill and wetness are gone and we’re getting together every two weeks for our DFW Whole-Life Unschooling Meet-Ups!  Discussions so far this spring have ranged from supporting health and wellness by listening to our children listening to their own bodies to talking to people about unschooling.  These are long days full of thoughtful, supportive, open-minded discussion and children frolicking happily on the playground, in the wooded areas, and in the creek!

We’ve hung out with old friends (Sadie and Rachel eat lunch together at the park).

And new friends!  The kids (after another fabulous children’s theatre production at Casa Manana) explore a 200 year-old pecan tree at the Ft. Worth Botanic Gardens with Milford and Crewe (of New Zealand). 

Creeks are a big fascination this spring.  We’ve spent a LOT of time exploring water!

We’ve got Miss Skooter with us almost everywhere we go.  She’s the kids’ baby and best friend.  She’s gotten quite big (for a small dog, mind you) but is dwarfed by Lulu.  We’ve found some great wild areas to explore near the house and are learning all the time about and because of our sweet pups.  Here Lulu looks longingly at what we presume to be an animal den.  It’s cleverly protected by cacti which keeps her at bay.

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Backyard Tour

So much time has been spent gardening and sprucing and I never seem to document it so here you go!

June 7  2009 111

Here be the vegetable garden! Corn, bell peppers, bush beans, broccoli, sunflowers, garlic, onions, and zucchini were all started. About 6 zucchinis have been eaten in a number of ways and were great! Those plants have now died in the Texas sun. The corn started and we even had some little ears but, once again, heat burned them to a brown crisp. It turns out that the onions and the garlic were not planted at the appropriate time so they were also pulled.

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We’ve eaten 3 green peppers from the garden. I’m hoping for zillions as this is a staple in our house. The plants have gotten much bigger and are flowering again so I’m hopeful.

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The sunflowers went in at Sadie’s request. They were beautiful but did not follow what we had read about them- that their name comes from their flower following the sun throughout the day. Ours would rather peak over the fence into our neighbor’s window. When they passed, we cut them down (hearty, tree-like fellows!) and found where the seeds come from (inside the center of the flower). Not sure when to harvest them as both of our long past flowers had big shells but virtually no seed in side.

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The next bush bean planting will be several more plants. They are delicious and we made a great stir fry with our first harvest of them. They, too, appear to be working on a second round.

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This is the back left corner of our yard. The kids call it ‘the bird corner’ because this is where the bird feeders and bath are and, thus, where the multitudes of mourning doves and house sparrows eat, bathe, and socialize. We also dug a backyard pond which contains hornwort and anacharis (plants) for pond aeration and 3 feeder goldfish that have grown tremendously. There are other water plants that may do more next year than this.

June 7  2009 117

This is the front left corner of the backyard and the final product of the digging of the doggie doo composter (an absolute bear of a job to dig in Texas clay soil- just ask Chris). It is working well. No more plastic bags of poop going in the garbage (2 big dogs make a lot of poop). No smell (I was worried as the heat came that we would become the fragrant home). No bugs. It will make a world of difference next year for our perennial beds which are sorely in need of some nutrients. To the right is an herb garden that we made inside of a tire that the kids and I removed from the drainage area and rolled home. The herbs are all potted because they are pervasive and there is potential for the chemicals from the rubber to leach into their roots should they be directly potted in the tire. Here we have cilantro (killed from the heat while we were in Disney and replaced by thyme (you can never have too much of that :), sweet marjoram, and basil.

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This tire (recovered the same day from the drainage area) sits to the left of the in-ground composter and houses lemon balm, peppermint, and curled parsley.

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Standing by the gate (at the herb tires/composter), this is the view of the sideyard to the bird corner.

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June 7  2009 122

These are two patio/pool shots. There are perennial beds all around the pool which will require more watering (we were cutting back) because they are definitely not as beautiful as last year. There is also a shallow box in the far back right corner with 6 strawberry plants (the kids were eating one every few days but I’ve read that they yield very little the first year) and 2 early girl tomato plants (a tremendous amount of tomatoes were eaten while we were in Disney either by caterpillars, rats, or both. We managed to eat one- delicious- and have two more now almost ready for harvest. Elijah says he will not eat tomatoes from a store ever again. They’re disgusting! Agreed.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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