Around My Yard In Photos






All photos taken Sunday, May 22, 2011.

Garden 2011


I’ve been wanting to do a Garden 2011 post for a while now, but have been busy with said garden and my growing-like-weeds children. So here I sit before they get up this wet Wednesday morning to type a post about our garden.

We are shrinking the 80’x64′ space we’ve used for our main garden for the last two years by two cattle panels in length, so it is now 48’x64′. This year we also switched to raised beds. Andrew has diligently built 13 4’x8′ raised garden beds, which range from 8″-12″ tall. We do have one that is about 20″ tall, it was the first one built and we decided the rest did not need to be so tall. We will use this one to grow long root veggies, parsnips and carrots. We eventually want around two dozen beds in the space, but some will wait until we get the permanent greenhouse set up so we know what space we have in that last section of the garden.

So currently our garden consists of sopping wet mud and a dozen empty raised beds. We can’t have topsoil hauled in until the dump truck won’t be swallowed up by our yard. I can not believe how wet the ground is right now. And we live on a hill.

We do have five small raised beds on the side of the house that I managed to clean and seed before the monsoon season hit here in SE Indiana. We have swiss chard (a new food for us), pak choi, parsnips, red romaine lettuce, goldrush lettuce, spinach, english shelling peas, beets and carrots sprouting in those beds, though much slower than last spring.

Things aren’t as behind as they feel though. Our current greenhouse is teeming with life! It is filled with trays and trays of germinating seeds. To end this post, I will leave you with a list of what is sprouting in our greenhouse, what’s waiting for direct sowing and some photos of said sproutings. I hope we have enough room.


Fruit & Veggies:

  • cauliflower
  • broccoli
  • cherry roma tomatoes
  • amish paste tomatoes
  • green zebra tomatoes (these are awesome)
  • red zebra tomatoes
  • asparagus (seeds finally sprouted!)
  • artichokes
  • celery
  • chinese cabbage
  • leeks
  • small sugar pie pumpkins
  • miniature white cucumbers
  • black diamond watermelons
  • butternut squash
  • bull nose bell peppers
  • brussel sprouts
  • tomatillos
  • cayenne peppers (well, the seeds are there, still no sprouts)
  • jalapenos
  • yellow squash
  • corn (this was ridiculously fun to grow, they grow so fast!


Spices & Herbs:

  • dill
  • cilantro
  • parsley
  • sweet marjoram
  • english lavender
  • thyme
  • large leaf basil
  • sweet genovese basil
  • lemon basil (from my mama)
  • stevia
  • chives
  • peppermint
  • spearmint
  • bee balm
  • german chamomile
  • hyssop
  • lemon balm
  • sage
  • eucalyptus (this is an experiment, grown as a houseplant)
  • comfrey



  • night phlox
  • diablo cosmos
  • love lies bleeding
  • benary’s giant zinnias
  • globe amaranth
  • sea shell cosmos (oldest picked these out, gorgeous)
  • radio calendula
  • bunny tails
  • evening sun sunflowers (from our own seed, collected last year)

Waiting for direct sowing:

  • marshmallow
  • swiss chard* (*successive sowing)
  • cabbage
  • red onions
  • yellow onions
  • beets*
  • turnips
  • radishes
  • carrots*
  • kale
  • sugar snap peas (too late?)
  • parsnips (better bed)
  • pac choi*
  • lettuces & spinach*
  • okra
  • corn
  • chinese cabbage
  • strawberry popping corn
  • kidney beans
  • black beans
  • green beans
  • burdock
  • flax
  • fenugreek
  • rutabagas
  • mongolian giant sunflowers
  • more flowers for ambiance, providing I can find the room

If you’d like more info on our gardening habits, check out this post. You can also check out my absolute best money saving tip.


9 Things I’ve Learned About Photography & Myself


1.  I like photography.


2.  I like real life photography.


3.  I love crisp, clear snapshots of life with my family, my children.

Pearly Whites

4.  I love LOTS of photos


5.  I love shooting things that stand still. Like flowers, spider webs and mushrooms.


6.  I LOVE shooting wide open! And I know what that means now!


7.  Playing with light is super fun!


8. I enjoy playing with SLOW shutter speeds and want to do more of that. Soon.

First Intentional Blooms

9. I really, really like shooting flowers. Like, really.

Flowers for My Mama





Last year I took two photos of my Mom’s daffodils. Then that night a storm came through and the daffodils were no more. They remain two of my favorite shots and I’ve wanted to get some more.

This past weekend I noticed Mom’s daffodils had bloomed, this year rather profusely. Again storms were predicted so I made the point to go take some photos. This year I was shooting with my 50mm 1.8, aka the Nifty Fifty.


I’m mostly shooting manual these days! These were all shot manual with only one adjustment in Photoshop Elements before resizing/adding text! I’m feeling pretty comfortable with manual. I’m still working on the manual focusing. I’m only focusing manual, except in action shots, so I’m slowly getting better. Probably due to the sheer number of photos I take to make sure I get a clear shot.

So, Mom, here are your daffodils. If I knew how to ship them and have them remain viable, I’d do it. Unfortunately, I do not. I love you.

Shooting Manual – Light on a Chair


Andrew picked a pair of these chairs out. I liked them, but not to the extent that Andrew loved them. In this light though, I’m in love with them.

This is the chair I sit in to read my Bible and pray each morning (well, preferably morning, sometimes afternoon, rarely evening). It has become a favorite spot.

Purposing to Find the Beauty in Everyday


Last Monday I said I was purposing to find the beauty in everyday with my camera for the week. I’m happy to say that I actually remembered to do that a few different days. I’m finding it good on many levels.


It’s good for my soul to seek out the good, pure, lovely and meditate on those.


It’s good for my eye to learn to see things more clearly.


It’s good for my heart to see the precious in the middle of the messes.

188.  Nephews and nieces

189.  Safe roads for travel

190.  Convenient library hours

191.  Children growing in confidence with their reading skills

192.  Walking into a clean toy/school room and knowing I didn’t have to clean the mess that was there prior.

193.  Children getting excited to clean house for guests.

194.  Jobs done right!

195.  A precious pastor and his wife

196.  Fellowship with like-minded believers

197.  Being gently challenged

198.  Little boys wanting to buy penguin movies with his own money

199.  Little boys who say “I want a pet penguin.”

200.  Little sisters enjoying big sister’s sweet attention

201.  An “old-fashioned” thank you note for something small

202.  A reminder that cards can brighten any day

203.  And that is never old-fashioned

204.  Sunshine!

205.  Feeling a need to be in His Word (a deep, pressing desire that one as only heard of but never experienced need)

206.  A growing passion for more

207.  Excitement

208.  Sweet little ones who curl up in bed with me in morning’s light

209.  A quiet household

Here’s to a week of more of the same, but uniquely wonderful, everyday beauty blessings.

You’ve Got to be Kidding – Round One


We’ve been anxiously awaiting the arrival of an unknown amount of goats. We bred our two does again this fall and our kids have been counting the days until BABY GOATS.  Each day our oldest treks to the barn with my hubby to see if any BABY GOATS are here.


Today she came shouting up the field announcing the arrival of two. Two precious, white (a first here) does. So we bundled up and went with her and took some pictures. I’m still trying to figure out shooting in artificial light. I like natural light, but am learning to like my photos where they are.


The kicker for us is that these precious babies did not come from the two goats we intended to breed. So we are still awaiting the birth of the BABY GOATS of the two does we were waiting on before, we were just blessed with two extras. And a double blessing it was because they are both does, more milkers. God is good.


This is Daisy, who is patiently waiting to pop. She had triplets last year and seems even bigger this year.

While not my official gratitude post this week, we are so very thankful for our goats.

Shooting Manual – Muffin Experiment


In December I found a Krusteaz muffin mix that I LOVED. It was orange and cranberry. So very good. The problem I have with buying muffin mixes is that they only make one dozen muffins. I know it is cheaper than purchasing pre-made muffins, but I still don’t like to spend $4+ to get two dozen muffins.

So I experimented with my current muffin recipes to try to find a comparable muffin. My blueberry muffin recipe gave me too dry a muffin (which I think about the actual blueberry muffin, too).  Then I tried my banana chocolate chip recipe, sort of. I played very loose with the recipe.

The result was the muffins pictured. They were super yummy, not dead-on the mix, but almost as good.

Now would be the time a good food blogger would share the recipe so you could all join in on the goodness. Well, I’m not a good food blogger evidently. It’s not that I don’t want to share the recipe, it’s that I can’t.

I. Did. Not. Write. It. Down.

Because I would tweak it a little and then write it down. That was the plan. Well, it’s now been more than one minute and I forgot what I did. Doh.

Guess I need to experiment a little more. Darn.