Saturday, March 31, 2012


I love this photo.
Outside the girls' room this spring are abundant lilac blooms and butterflies.

It's All About Katie

(Except for the random cute U8s in the second and third pictures.) I thought they were so precious I shared them with you.
Katie played her first game today and won.
Her sisters didn't have a game, so they remain unphotographed as yet.
Katie's #6 in the orange, with a bright green pinny over top. Her best friend is #3.
I hope if the pictures are enlarged, Grandfather can see how aggressive and serious Katie's getting.
I was watching the tremendous change in her playing style today and exclaimed, "Wow! Katie's growing up!" It is marvelous to see them mature.
What a blessing Charlotte County Youth Soccer has been over the years!
(I would still say that if we had lost.)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pretty Spring Morning

Here are some refreshing spring images from Katie this morning.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's That Time of Year... Again

We rolled in late last night from the girls' practices hungry but happy. I could hear the click of cleats across the floor, and the stories and the laughter from the living room as they compared notes from each field.
These are the good years!
I'll admit I have a love/hate relationship with the sport.
This spring I coach the U6s on Mondays and Fridays. All three girls help with the coaching. Becky's team practices on Mondays and Wednesdays. Laura and Katie practice (on different fields) on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Games start for Katie and me this Saturday.
So it keeps us busy.
On the other hand, we do get into a streamlined soccer season routine, which is probably good for this disorganized and lazy mom.
Since the girls adore soccer, they all cheerfully rush through school each day in order to be ready to leave at 5.
We're forced into menu planning since soccer coincides with normal dinner hours, and we need to eat the moment we return. Planning makes it more likely that we'll eat healthier, and makes dinner a more relaxed time of day than when I have the luxury of not planning, and say at around 6, "What should we have tonight?"
The crock pot would be within its rights to ask for a raise about this time of year!
We also obey Flylady much more when we're constantly under the gun! We have basic chores (with plenty of extra laundry) and we do them willingly because we've learned how quickly they can pile up if we don't. Since we often have friends coming over on the spur of the moment to eat and play (ok, so they don't "play" anymore! hang out) after practice, it's rewarding to have a clean(ish) house and dinner ready just in case.
And I have no worries about gym class for homeschool in the spring or fall!

Friday, March 23, 2012


And that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pop Up T-Storms

These beauties are popping up all around.
Normally they're summertime weather, but this year has been summery for a while already.
Three players have soccer tonight and are hoping for the rain to go away.
One mom is hoping for lightning.
A spring peeper just started his concert on my dining room window in anticipation of a deluge.

Fun Schooling

One of my students was not in the mood to expend the energy to memorize her math facts. I was struggling to go over multiplication and division facts till she was fluent, but I was getting nowhere fast.
So I typed into google "math video games," and found this gem.
Reflex Math.
You can have two weeks free, which I did. Then I bought a year for my three students because they like it so much.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Red Tail Hawk

Katie captured a bunch of excellent images of this hawk as he circled our farm looking for chicken dinner.

Camouflage Ducks

Here's a view of the garden after Dan plowed and disked it and before I started amending the soil and planting.
Can you spot the two lady ducks in the bottom photo?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Science! Who Knew?

Every year I plant innocent little blueberry twigs from Wal Mart or Lowe's, and every year they die.
This year, Becky the science whiz suggested I test the soil to find out if there may be some underlying reason, besides bad blueberry luck, that they weren't able to survive.
She ran the PH test and now I see her point.
So she and I are off to get acidifying fertilizer for the latest attempt at a blueberry patch.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Flowers by Laura

Laura took advantage of the hot morning by photographing some of the flowers we've planted and picked recently.

Teenagers Rock!

I constantly hear parents and the media talking about the flaws of teenage people.
In my experience, the teenage years are the best so far.
Today we had to go far far away to buy soccer supplies and grocery shop, so all three girls persevered at their school work and chores and got them done early.
Then, knowing we'd arrive back home exhausted and hungry from our long day of shopping, Becky threw chicken with BBQ sauce in the crock pot.
Laura whipped up a big bowl of cole slaw, and we bought Kaiser rolls while we were grocery shopping.
Voila! A dinner that hit the spot on our return.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nuts and Fruits

Katie and Snowflake are two crazy nuts who were cozily watching Dan plant fruit trees. But on Providence Farm, if you put your arm around a dog, sure enough, another dog will come and demand equal treatment.
Lily is the third nut this morning.

Handsome Danny planted two pear trees, three peach trees, and a flowering crab apple in the orchard. He will be planting two sweet cherries up by the garden, plus two (much smaller than the last) red maples down the driveway.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Horse Kennels

Mr. B's got his own dog house and cat bowls in his 10x10 pen.
It seems he's learned to use the bathroom outside of his kennel, too, like a good horse.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Twilight Tete-a-Tetes with Teens and Tweens

One of my favorite things about having daughters is the stories I get to hear after the day is over.

"Today we decided to walk home with our eyes closed." was the start of this evening's surprising communication.
It all worked out ok in the end. But how can three seemingly sane people make the decision to "walk home with our eyes closed?"

Another evening, I happened to see that Laura's jacket was blackened as if with charcoal. "What's that?" I exclaimed.
Laura looked guilty and stammered, "Um, fire."
She had been plugging the air compressor into an extension cord and sparks caught her jacket on fire briefly. At the precise moment that Laura was alight, Devin and Katie had looked away to watch, horrified, as a brand new wad of dropped chewing gum rolled across the sidewalk. It was such a tragedy to those two that they let out a yell at the same time Laura screamed. When they looked back at her, she was extinguished and had to explain with words what had just taken place, which is never as fun as having an audience for the actual event.

I've heard about a near death experience on (then off) a waveboard in order to preserve the life of a caterpillar crossing the sidewalk. Sleds shattering underneath their occupants from impact with a frozen solid cow-pies. Falls from trees, squirrel bites... the list goes on.

I'm glad that I'm not there to see most of this stuff, and I'm especially glad that my kids have what so many don't; a safe environment to be outside exploring the world with their friends.

Porch Pony

JoJo and her ilk were grazing in the yard overnight, and when Laura threw some stale Cheerios out the back door, along with the chickens, a pet pony came running.
The cat is not amused at the prospect of a pony invading his space.

Mega Moon, Mongrels, and Mosquitoes

After school the kids played outdoors and witnessed the moon coming up full over the horizon. Katie ran to get my good camera and took a nice picture of the moon. I thought I could do better, but as I waited for my shutter to close in the dark, Snowflake pounced me, and the top photo is the result.
It was warm yesterday, but very windy. The wind didn't stop the new, improved giant mosquitoes from landing and biting.
I've already been using fly spray on the horses and on me this season.
While I was indoors, 6 mosquitoes found me and got squished. There's a pile of corpses at the computer desk. I think I only got one bite. And the kids got none.