Alicia and the Beanstalk

Back in May, I posted about starting my summer gardenĀ and all the planting I had been doing around our home. This is the first veggie garden I have planted here, since moving from California 10 years ago. Ok, I did attempt one late last summer, but that doesn’t count. Now that I have paid more attention to the season, zones, and all that gardening stuff, it’s for real this time. I was looking back at that post, and smiling over my little shoots and sprouts. Look what they’ve become!




sunflowers, arugula, cilantro



My beanstalks are so tall you can see them from the family room window- even after I snipped them shorter!

WP_20140628_007 WP_20140628_011


I had scattered marigold seed in a corner of the garden, and they never came up. But I started seeing something growing all over the rest of the garden. I assumed my marigold seeds had been blown around, so I let them grow. Weeks later, I realized these were tomato plants, and they were everywhere! lol. Oopsie. I have no clue how that happened.

I think I mentioned before that I had put some green onion roots in a jar of water in my windowsill, after I had cut the green stalks and cooked with them. Well… they’re growing!



And remember my scraggly butterfly bushes? They are filling out, thankfully. I guess we need to make sure we cut them back in the winter. I also think we will be moving them from the spot at the front of the yard, and replacing them with something that will stay green all year. I love them, though, and want to make sure wherever they end up, we’ll be able to see them and admire all the butterflies they attract. See! THey are doing much better- just ignore the super lush grass. šŸ™‚



So… what do you think? Green thumb??? huh, huh? Have I got one??


Crazy Good


As Memorial Day weekend was approaching, Chris and I were keeping our fingers crossed that our uncommonly clear calendar was going to stay that way. With all the meetings and goings-on around here lately, a three-day weekend with nothing on the agenda sounded uh-maaaa-zing. I had visions of trips to the park, and getting fro-yo, and lazy afternoon naps in my head. I saw me in a hammock… I don’t know where, but I saw it. Ha. Continue reading

Does My Thumb Look Green to You?


I love springtime. I love the weather, and the bright green that is everywhere. Once I get adjusted to the pollen that comes with the renewal of all the greenery, it is hard to keep me from being outside. Spring in the Carolinas is short-lived, though. By the timeĀ my allergies ease up, the temperatures rise, and I am engulfed by the heat and humidity. This year, however, has been different. Spring is lingering, and I am so happy about that! There is always a long list of things I want to get done to the yard before the weather is too hot, and I never get them all done in time. The temps are inching their way up, but with a three-day weekend ahead, I am really hopeful that the majority of this list will get done this year- even with a toddler and our extremely busy schedules.

I missed the chance to capture the gorgeous rhododendrons, camellias, and irises that bloomed already. Next time, I’ll be sure to take some pictures. But here are some other’s in the front yard that are perky and bright. Our hostas came back in full force this year, and our crepe myrtle is finally filling out!


We never pruned back our butterfly bushes in the winter, and it was hindering their growth. So I gave them a little trim.





Some of my Mother’s Day flowers are still holding strong, too! They are on their third trimming and vase change, and still beautiful reminders of how much I am loved and appreciated.


And then, I had this weed garden….


It was intense, y’all. So, so bad. Well last week, I got to work on pulling them- at least out of the little garden space I had set aside. Those pictures above are actually after I had gotten started on the weeding already. You can see the cleared space. It didn’t take me as long as I thought, but I worked hard! There were a couple of winter lettuces still in the ground, which I washed and ate up last weekend.


I mixed inĀ a few more bags of organic dirt, and planted the seeds, seedlings, and few plants that I had. I had started my seedlings inside months ago, but Austin kept getting a hold of them, and only a few are surviving. They were small and weak, and I’ll be surprised if all of them make it out in the elements. Fingers crossed! The plants that we had were given to us by a friend that he had started from seeds. Hopefully all the ones I got in the ground will make it and produce a variety of yumminess. He had given us several kinds of tomatoes and peppers, but it took a while for me to get them in the ground. Hopefully they perk up soon!


In addition to my tomatoes and peppers, I put down marigold and sunflower seeds, as well as watermelon, corn, arugula, cilantro, and bean seeds. That was a week ago, and look at what I found this morning!









What is it about seeing seed sprout up that is so exciting? I just LOVE it when that happens! What a little miracle.

Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. Ā Genesis 1:11-12 NASB

a possibility

IĀ have been struggling with whether or not to post about this. Right now, in the early, early stages of this process, and with so little information, and so much that is out of our control, I wonder if bringing it up isĀ the right thing to do. But, I guess it can’t hurt, and we’ll take all the support we can get.

So here’s the news:

We’ve inquired about a little girl in SC that we’d like to adopt. Her caseworkers are reviewing our home study now, (along with who knows how many others,) and we won’t hear anything for several weeks. In a world where you can track the progress of your pizza delivery, waiting in silence is not an easy thing! Waiting is hard enough, but not knowing how many other families are being considered, how the case worker(s)Ā narrow their choices, and knowing that it’s completely out of my hands at this point, makes the waiting that much harder. I definitely like to have my hands in any process or big decision in my life, but this is one that is completely beyond my control. But I know who has all the control, so, I’ll let it go, and pray, and wait. It’s in the hands of my Lord, and His will be done.

We have very little information about this preciousĀ girl, but do have her first name and a picture of her, so when we pray about this situation, we can pray forĀ her by name and see her little face in our minds. I’m actually looking at her picture right now, and hoping. I am praying for patience, and wisdom. I am praying that our family’s hearts are being made ready for a change. I’m praying that this little girl’s heart is also being prepared.Ā Even if it’s not our home she finally comes home to, she will be going home to somebody, and her heart needs to be made ready for them. But of course, I am hoping that our home state gives us a change.

So, while we wait, we will ready our home. Spring is finally starting to feel like Spring. We are looking forward to playdates in the park, and just playing outside with Austin, in general. He loves being outdoors. We also have lots of outdoor projects lined up for this year: landscaping the side yard, planting our veggie garden, and hopefully getting our deck and shed built. We have a bitĀ (ok, a lot) of organizing to do inside the home too. So with lots to get done, hopefully the time will pass quickly until we hear something. Won’t you please pray with us during this time? Ā It would mean so much to us. And it could mean a lifetime of love for this child.

We keep going…and going…and going….

We should change our name from Martin to Energizer. As in batteries. Or more specifically, the bunny. I feel like we could be mistaken for a family of Energizer Bunnies, just drumming along, never ceasing. Except for the fact that I do get worn out, unlike said bunny. Here’s a glimpse into some of the things that have been keeping us so busy.

We’ve been doing a lot of yard work. We built a small retaining wall, and are going to back fill it, frame it with railroad ties, and make us a garden. Yeah, it’s kinda late in the season to be just getting started on this, but hey- better late than never!


the sloped side- before


some of the cinder block


Austin “hanging out”


half of the railroad ties

We are also preparing to lay a concrete slab, upon which we will place our shed. Once we’ve assembled it…


Austin has started eating solids. It’s been fun seeing how he reacts to new foods. He likes carrots, apples, bananas. He could care less about pears. He enjoys dixie peas but not green peas. HATES green beans. Sweet potatoes are a hit. Bell pepper, not so much. On Fathers’ Day, we took my dad to get peach and strawberry ice cream, so of course, Austin got a taste. No reaction- except maybe surprise that it was cold.


After a long week of diagnosis, saline, and force feeding, we discovered my sweet Leia had a tumor in her lungs. A huge one. We had to put her to sleep. It was so hard. I still see her and hear her footsteps all the time.


My crazy little brother came home for a visit. His birthday was in the beginning of the trip, so we threw him a keg party. Like in college- only with better beer. My father played beer pong for the first time. It was awesome.


We have had all three safety inspections of our home- DSS, DHEC, and the fire marshal. They say it’s safe for a kid to live here. (phew! haha.) Next up is the personal interviews with our case worker. Things are moving right along!


Time is just flying by. I guess staying busy does that. We’ve really been enjoying the times we’ve had, though. Even if it is going by at super sonic speed. Speaking of time flying- Austin is six months old today. I just can’t believe it. This morning he fell asleep in my arms- which rarely happens anymore- so I snapped a quick pick of him sleeping. He is so precious, and no matter how much he grows, he’ll always be my precious child. My baby. šŸ™‚


Saturday Morning Blog Update

This is the first lazy Saturday morning I can remember having in I don’t know how long. Well, lazy for me anyway. Chris was up and out early this morning to help a friend move. I woke up around 8:30, and didn’t get out of bed until after nine, just enjoying my quiet time under the warm covers, and in my dimly lit room. It was glorious.

In a little bit, my neighbor is coming over, and we are going to an outdoor yoga class together. But for now, cleaning up breakfast and updating you on our week.

Let’s see… Remember a couple of weeks ago, we were helping my brother move? Well, that day we found a cool dumpster find. This neat mirror. When I saw it, I immediately grabbed my husband, because I knew he would like the shape and color. I had been looking for a large mirror to go over our entry table, and this one just might work. It was in great shape, and I wondered why it had been thrown out. My guess is the top section used to be mirrored, and the glass came out. Oh well! One man’s trash…


So, to make this our own, (and because once it occurred to me that there was probably mirror in that top grey section, that’s all I could notice,) I put a little creativity to work. I hopped over to this etsy shop, and ordered a custom decal. Now our mirror looks like this:


Isn’t it great?! I love how it turned out. Chris really likes it too.

The weather is starting to warm up, and it’s staying light out a little longer, so we took advantage of it. I went out with Chris to play disc golf on Thursday evening. Chris loves the sport, and I really could care less, but it was nice to just walk around together and enjoy the outdoors and each other’s company. I, apparently, am a quick study, `cuz Chris kept praising my… shots? Throws? Whatever. I did good. šŸ˜‰ We followed the game with fajitas and beer. Yum!

We also started on a new art project this week. I am hoping it will be done soon and we can hang it over the big empty space on my desk. I’ll show you a few peeks into it, but it involved leftover 2×2 lumber from the construction site dumpsters, (are you noticing a pattern here?), some leftover white paint from when we repainted the townhouse, Chris’ saw skills, and some glue. Cheap (almost free!) and hopefully substantial and cool. We shall see!

Last night we had dinner at our friends’ house. They bought their home almost one year ago, and it really feels so homey and welcoming. IĀ can’tĀ wait for ours to feel more that way. But it will take time, and I am learning patience. Chris and our friend, Jacob, were working on a couple videos that Chris is going to submit to this inventor’s contest, and I hung out with Sarah and her adorable children. It was really nice to just spend time with them, as usually we see them in a larger group. I hope we do it more often.

Today, after Chris get’s home from helping our friend, I am hoping we can tackle our yard. It looks pitiful. Since the front yard is the first thing people see when they visit our home, I want it to be nice and welcoming. And, well, it’s just not. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we can start a couple of projects out there today and enjoy getting dirty in the nice weather on the one “free” Saturday that we’ve had this year.

What is your weekend shaping up to look like?

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