Backyard: Winter

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They think it’s spring.

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The girls are fascinated by the sap, but thankfully have learned to stay away from it.

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Kale still growing strong! And cauliflower leaves.

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The only actual cauliflower we got.

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And we finally got around to pulling up all the vines.

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We had snow twice in February, but never more than 2 inches.

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Backyard: Fall

There wasn’t a lot going on in Fall in our yard, but what did happen was surprising – roses, snow, and wind!

28 October clam chowder 6

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A surprise November rose!

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My camera was having issues but we had snow in early November.
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And then a wind storm blew over the tomato plants. I can’t remember when but at some point we went out and picked all the green tomatoes and made green tomato salsa.

Backyard: late June

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The fuschias are dying but the butterflies and hummingbirds still love them.

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sweet peas

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vegetable garden! We’ve harvested some greens to put in salads.

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planting sunflower starts. If we plant directly in the soil the squirrels dig up the seeds.

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No idea if the squirrels are going to let us have any of these to eat but I sure hope they do!

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peonies grow well here! We have enjoyed cutting them for ourselves and others and haven’t felt bad about that because of how big and heavy they get.

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my favorite flowers are asymmetrical ones like columbine and fuschia, but peonies are beautiful too.

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Ezra fixed the bird house.

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jars to protect plants and help them stay warm

21 June

26 June Simon the Baby bunny
The sunflower-eating culprit.

Backyard – April

We are loving having a backyard, and I love watching it change with the seasons. Here’s where our plants were all at in April! We also love pulling out our field guide and identifying birds we see (and trying to identify the ones we hear!).
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we don’t know what everything is but everything is beautiful nonetheless.

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We are trying to garden, but we’re fighting the squirrels and lack of sun!

A Forest Hymn

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THE GROVES were God’s first temples. Ere man learned
To hew the shaft, and lay the architrave,
And spread the roof above them—ere he framed
The lofty vault, to gather and roll back
The sound of anthems; in the darkling wood,
Amidst the cool and silence, he knelt down,
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And offered to the Mightiest solemn thanks
And supplication. For his simple heart
Might not resist the sacred influences
Which, from the stilly twilight of the place,
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And from the gray old trunks that high in heaven
Mingled their mossy boughs, and from the sound
Of the invisible breath that swayed at once
All their green tops, stole over him, and bowed
His spirit with the thought of boundless power
And inaccessible majesty. Ah, why
Should we, in the world’s riper years, neglect
God’s ancient sanctuaries, and adore
Only among the crowd, and under roofs
That our frail hands have raised? Let me, at least,
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Here, in the shadow of this aged wood,
Offer one hymn—thrice happy if it find
Acceptance in His ear.

{read the whole thing here. Photos from recent hikes!}

Favorite Shots of 2013

{Dubai Festival City at night}

{out my window at gramma’s}

{hiking with friends in Southern California}

{mosque near our house}


{blue souq}

{brother gets Eagle}

{one of my students}

{Field of Dreams at midnight}

{moss lake}

{clouds over Snow Mountain}

{rose gardens at Point Defiance}

{baby quilt}


{homeschool co-op: PE}

{down in Satwa}

{with Hope}

{brother pitching}

{Jazirat al Hamra}