Saturday, April 7, 2012

What I did on my spring break

The goats don't know what to do with their newly clean barn.  We used hay that had been ruined for bedding, so they decided it would also be a good snack.

A week and a half ago, our family caught a cough/fever/croup type bug.  It started with one of the youngest and made its way through all seven of us slowly and frustratingly, and of course during spring break.  If you know me, I'm a very busy person, and I had put a lot of visiting and projects off until the break, when I wouldn't need to also be teaching and correcting papers.

 I looked at my calendar and had a different person I had committed to visit with each day!  I had a list in my mind of tasks that needed doing that would overflow the calendar.  A few days ago, I started to wonder if we had accomplished anything this break, and my friend encouraged me to look back and really notice how much happened in our home over the week.  She's good at that: helping me to see how God worked in spite of the change in my plans.

On Saturday, the first day of break, we had a big story time yoga birthday party for Saraiah and 10 of her friends.  After that, I was crazy enough to tell Isaac he could have 3 friends overnight.  A friend came over and helped me to sort through the school supply drawers that had become a chaotic conglomeration of glue sticks, chalk, crayons and old stickers.  I made sourdough bread, almost lost my starter, then resurrected it.  I did blog posts.  I changed my facebook password to something I don't remember so I would stop getting sucked into its vortex.

We took Isaac to 3 extra taekwondo classes in preparation for the first segment of his black belt test, which happens tomorrow.  Eva went for three days to an alpaca show and learned how the big shots show those fuzzy camelids.

We skipped church and two dental appointments to avoid sharing our precious gift of germs, and weren't well enough to see friends who hadn't already been sick until Thursday.  Levi went to the urgent care for what ended up being croup.  We had friends over briefly, and, while remarking on the beauty of the day, a majestic heron flew by, as if on cue.  We dyed eggs twice.  Well, three times if you count the natural dyes we did too.

We planted carrots and peas in large hills, covering them with chicken wire to protect them from, of course, chickens.  We cleaned out the goat barn entirely, then spread the manure around the edges of the veggie garden to use later as mulch, then cleaned out the chicken shed too.  Ew.  We made a new garden bed near the house for some of the peppers and tomatoes because some tomatoes got late blight in last year in our garden.  We weeded.

The sun decided to shine a few days, and the kids played with neighbors and on another day we got to go visit a friend I've been trying to see for weeks.  We went to the beach with friends.  Eva checked on her pregnant goat many times a day, wondering when she might see babies bouncing after their mother.  I cleaned out the refrigerator.  We did laundry, mopped floors, cleaned counters incessantly, and ate more than 21 times.  I shopped late at night with a friend for dog food our poor starving dogs and mechanical pencils and art pads for easter baskets, bargaining with the store manager for various deals.

I watched and listened with the kids to many different performances via Youtube of Handel's "Behold the Lamb of God" from the Messiah, entranced by the deep tones, and singing along to it with Levi.  We looked through the resurrection eggs, reading each relevant scripture.  I prayed at least 35 good night prayers, and snuggled or hugged 5 different children several times each day.

And today my father in law showed up and told us he was going to make stairs for us to walk down below!  I have slipped four times on the hill that goes beneath our deck and to the animals and gardens, as have many other people in our family, so this is like a dream come true.

I have sat down and taken the time to reflect on all the beautiful, icky, mundane, precious, deep and forgettable things that happened this week.  And now I thank God for all of them.  I encourage you to look back at your week with new eyes too.

Honey, our pregnant pygora

Cinnamon, honey's mom

Tomatoes and other things...alive and well
Celery starting to grow from cut store celery
heirloom hollyhocks

Our front flower/strawberry bed, weeded
Our new garden bed for tomatoes and peppers.  We will take down the Christmas lights and put up a row cover over the fence when it's time for them to make their debut

The newly cleaned garden bed in front of the house... there are poppies, motherwort, lupines and more.  

the treacherous slope down below

The steps my father in law is putting in

Rhubarb and old barn hay

Carrot bed newly planted with overwintered carrots in the middle

The pea trellis, hilled up, planted with peas, then protected with chicken wire
Eva's garden frame, made by her grandpa


  1. You got a lot of weeding down! I'm jealous of your big rhubarb plant...I need one of those.

  2. AMAZING!!!!! I can't even imagine how much you would have gotten done without illness. Your list seems impossible it's so awesome the way it is!!!!

  3. Hi Ange--

    I love you! Reading this post was a lovely glimpse of your life...thanks for stopping and sharing the beauty of it with me. It is very inspiring! I am also jealous of your rhubarb--I don't have one right now and I've been craving rhubarb lately. I actually gave in and bought some at the store--it is still too early here to be harvesting it from gardens. My mom and I are going to make a rhubarb cake today. Yum!
    Love you! Monika

  4. Monika, if you didn't live so far away, I would give you some rhubarb. I want your rhubarb cake recipe so I can use my rhubarb! Angela, I can bring you some at church.

  5. Hi Ange! If I didn't live so far away I'd come and help you garden! and hang out endlessly! :)

    Rhubarb Cake: (so easy!)
    1 box yellow cake mix
    4 c rhubarb
    2 c sugar
    1 pint heavy cream

    mix the rhubarb and sugar together. let it hang out while you do the rest (ps--I think this is too much sugar--we used 5.5 c rhubarb yesterday and 2 cups of sugar made it very sweet still.)
    prepare the cake mix as directed. spread it in a prepared 9x13 pan.
    pour the rhubarb/sugar on top. pour the heavy cream all over the top.
    We baked it at 350ish for an hour--the recipe said to do it 10-15minutes longer than the box said, but it took a long time. and it bubbled over, so throw a cookie sheet under it. the cream and rhubarb mix together while it bakes and makes a sort of custardy layer under the cake. enjoy!

  6. Thanks SO much monika. I know we would hang out tons if you were here. Make sure you visit me next time you're in the area.


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