Planting 500 trees {Lots of photos}

Hello hello, my wonderful friends!

A few weeks ago, in May, my family and I planted 500 trees in one of the areas of our property. Some friends from our church also came out and gave us a hand — It was super fun but also very tiring. And in a few years, we’ll have plenty of pine trees. We also planted so River Birch and Oak trees too, but it may be 40 years before those actually look like something. πŸ˜‚

Enjoy some fun tree planting adventures!

**Note: Some of the photos might be cropped // edited weirdly due to avoid posting people’s faces. Thanks for putting up with that!**

Before we planted, the area had to be cleared from other trees, most of them were either dead or dying. There were also boxelder trees which my parents are not necessarily fans of because they are kind of ugly. Thankfully, the skid-steer makes it go a lot faster. (But my dad and brothers did most of the work by hand because the skid-steer belongs to David, a friend of my parents and he brought it out to help towards the end of the project)

The pine tree seedlings don’t actually look much like trees. More like twigs with little leaves on them. :’D

This picture is a bit over-edited, but I really like it.

After a while, the kids, mainly the boys, started to get impatient and began having running races. They stuck these flags, which are used to show where the trees are, all over the place. I wouldn’t be surprised to find another one around somewhere random. πŸ˜‚ This one was on the driveway.

Ah, I love this picture of everyone working! It was a fun day, and we are super thankful for our friends who helped us! ❀

All of the trees were being stored in the root cellar until we could plant them so they wouldn’t dry out or get too warm. They need to be kept cool until they are planted. We don’t really use the cellar for anything. . .though we probably should since it’s really nice. When we first bought the house, Mercy, a friend of mine, and I all cleaned it out. So it’s just an empty dark place now. It has a very long story that I made up about it, and it’s also kind of creepy. (Comment if you wanna know the story — Please note that my 9 year-old-self made it up so it’s very wild and crazy. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‚)

We used a dibble bar to dig the holes so they wouldn’t be as wide as a hole as a normal spade would make. There was a great difference in the dibble bars we had. They were loaned to us by the DNR. Some of them were very pointed and worked great. However, some of them were flat and my mom started calling them a pointless shovel. The flat ones did not work nearly as well as the pointed ones and we did really wonder whose idea flat dibble bars were. We also used whatever other digging objects we had because there were a lot of people, a lot of holes to dig, and a lot of trees that need to be planted.

The dirt, in some places, was really dry and hard to dig into. Twice, we had to move to different spots for our holes because we hit rock!

Dad had started planting before we got down there. He was already very busy! (Note: he has a dibble bar.)

Once you put the tree into the ground, you had to form a sort of rim around it to keep the water in the hole so the trees would get the maximum amount of water to the roots. Many hands make light work!

It was SUCH a gorgeous day out! Later, it got cloudy and less nice, but in the morning, the sun was so bright and the sky was incredibly blue.

We were marking the spots where the trees were supposed to go with spray paint, and a random wood pole to get them measured right. The trees needed to be 5-7 feet apart.

Umm, yes, that is a shoe on the stump. I don’t know how it got there or why it was there, but it was apparently.

Dad borrowed a tank from my grandparents to water the trees. We had to drive the ranger up to the house and fill it with a hose. The younger kids thoroughly enjoyed moving the water from the tank, to a five gallon bucket that we used for tapping trees and then watering the trees.

Luke accidentally spray-painted his hand while marking the spots for the trees. Thankfully, it all came off after he rubbed it in the grass and then rinsed it with water.

This tree ended up getting a bit overwatered. Hopefully, it will grow fine. Otherwise, I may have killed it. πŸ˜› πŸ˜‚

We shall end with a picture of the yard (while yard might be a stretch on the word. . .I don’t know what to call it. :P) with plenty of flags in the ground with little twigs in the ground next to them. Okay, okay, fine, seedlings. Plenty of seedlings in the ground. πŸ˜‚

Have you ever planted a tree? What was your favorite photo from this post? Do you have a root cellar?

Thank you for reading!

Monthly Review: March 2022

Hello, friends!

**Please note that this post contains affiliate links — If you buy something from my link, the price won’t change for you but I’ll get a small commission and you get to support this blog for free!**

Happy April! Today, I bring you my Monthly Review for March. I hope you enjoy reading!

Writing

As writing goes, my friend Anna and I finished the project we’ve been working on for months now called Love Times Two – It’s a little over 10K, which was about the word count we were aiming for. As of right now, we’re working on editing. We may indie-publish it later down the road, but we’ll see. This project has been so much fun to write, and I am blessed to have such an amazing co-author. ❀

I’ve finally made some progress in my main work in progress (WIP), The Bensons – I’ve been trying to get the motivation to just sit down and write on this project, and I finally did that. I wrote almost 5K on it the past two weeks. (Which is a low word count for me, but I’m getting somewhere I think!)

I finished my article for The Young Writer Blog and submitted it! Right now, I’m just waiting for it to be published, I’m hoping it will be sometime this month, but we’ll see. That’s been a lot of fun and hard work to write, but I’ve really enjoyed the process.

That wraps up writing for this month!

Reading

I’ve done a lot of reading this month again; I just got some books from the Library too when my younger siblings went to get their library cards. A few of my favorite books from this month:

The Line Tender by Kate Allen

This book was amazing! A friend recommended it to me a few months ago, and I finally got around to reading it.

The wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

I had to read this for school; I was kind of dreading reading it because I haven’t enjoyed a lot of the books I’ve had to read this year, but wow. I was wrong! This book might be one of my new favorites, at least one of my favorite middle-grade mysteries. If you’re looking for another historical fiction, middle-grade mystery, this book is for you. I also really enjoyed the audiobook version of it too.

the teacher’s funeral by Richard Peck

This book was really hilarious in a lot of different ways, but with a good plot too. Like The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, I was not expecting to enjoy this, but once again, I surprised myself and I did! Apparently, I need to slow down in my judging books by their covers, yes?

Annie’s war by Jacqueline Levering Sullivan

I’m not yet finished with this one but I’ve really enjoyed it so far. It has a really interesting plot, and it carries an intriguing message. I’m really excited to finish it and see how it ends.

Doing

Goodness, a lot happened in March! A few highlights:

Our trip to Lutsen! This was a super fun trip, and it was such a blessing to be able to go and ski there again. You can check out my blog post on it if you want to hear about it more.

We also had our last ski trip of the season too! We snuck in one more trip the week after we went to Lutsen, it was so slushy; there were puddles at the end of a lot of the runs, but I guess that’s what it’s like when you ski in the Midwest in March. :p By the end of the day, we were skiing with no gloves – And Malachi and Tyler, our cousin, skied in short-sleeved shirts the whole day. It was so warm!

We made pretzels one afternoon which was quite fun! I’d been wanting to bake them again for a while, and I finally got my chance.

All the younger kids enjoyed helping roll them out and getting them into pretzel shapes.

Ahh, they turned out amazing! Some of them lost shape in the baking soda bath, but other than that, they were great. We used this recipe in case anyone is looking for a good pretzel recipe.

I’ve also helped a lot with tapping trees for making syrup! I’ve already done two posts on this, so I’m not going to go into detail. You can read Part One here, and Part Two here. (Keep an eye out for the third and final post coming up along with signs ups for the syrup give-away.)

It’s been awfully cold the past few days, we’ve gotten a lot of rain, snow, and hail, with few sunny days. One time we had all four of them together! The weather here can be so weird at times. But the cold weather hasn’t discouraged my younger siblings from getting out their bikes. I even have had to face the cold because I was so tired of being in the house all the time. So Mercy and I have taken a lot of walks, and there has been multiple soccer games and capture the flag too.

I wrote a lot of letters this month too, around 10 I think. I also got a second penpal too which is super fun.

I got a new set of watercolors too which have been a lot of fun to try out too. :’D

That’s about it! I ended up having a very busy March, hopefully, April will be slower, but I doubt that with Track starting up for my older siblings. 😜

How did your March go? Have you ever baked soft pretzels? What’s the weather like where you are, do you have Spring or are you still waiting?

Thanks so much for reading, friends! ❀

A Winter Day in the Woods

Hello, my friends!

On Saturday, my siblings, and I ventured into the woods and played hide and go seek, had a log rolling contest (not the normal log rolling contest – Something a bit different!), wandered around in the woods, enjoyed the spring-like weather in February (although Winter has now returned.) and generally had a blast.

Here are a few photos. Not the prettiest because the woods are dead and brown right now but there are a few fun ones in there.

We’ll start with while we’re walking there. . .

Walking in the woods

I love this one of my youngest brother, Zekey. And the black and white version makes it even cooler in my opinion.

Here is one of the trails, we call Maple Grove because it’s where a lot of our maple trees are at. It all looks kind of dead right now though, in the spring, summer, and fall it’s pretty.

I made Mercy pause and let me get this one of her. . .she wasn’t supposed to stop walking all together though, just stop running, but we’ll go with it. πŸ˜‚

The Log Rolling Contest

Alright, so we had two stacks of wood, one on the top of the hill, and the other at the bottom. Mom had the brilliant idea to have a contest to see which of the kids could get the most to the stack at the bottom. . .

They were trying to get the wood down this path. Note I said they. . .I opted out and just stood at the bottom grabbing random photos of them and dodging pieces of wood and younger siblings.

Onto the actual photos. . .

I’m not exactly sure what happened in this photo. . . I think Jewel slipped but I’m not 100 percent sure. . .anyway, I thought it was kinda cool how her boots stirred up the snow.

I can’t tell and I don’t remember if he fell or if he was crawling on purpose, after all, it was a decently steep hill (despite how the photo made it look) and it was snowy and icy. So he might have fallen or found the sliding was faster but I have no idea.

A random floating chunk of wood. I think one of the kids dropped it on the way down. . .

And the fruit of their labors. . .a neat stack of wood at the bottom of the hill. Overall I think the log rolling went pretty well! :’D

Hide and Go Seek

Next activity! Hide and go seek! Luke started out as the finder so all of scurried to find our hiding spots.

I hid in this mess of tangled vines and such. . .it was poky but thankfully I came out unscathed.

Can you find Mercy? πŸ˜‚

My hiding place for the second round which Jewel and Levi were the seekers for. This spot was better and just hit myself between the trees. Much more comfortable and less poky.

One of Luke hiding by the creek! He was actually better hidden than the photo shows.

Random Tidbits

Just a few random photos I caught from that day.

I love this one so much! The tiny pine cones and the trees in the background, despite the saggy winter evergreen branches it is pretty.

Here’s Luke (Wow, I took a lot of him. . .) climbing up into the tree house up there that they’ve been working on fixing up.

And we’ll end with this one of Mercy swinging! (There was one of me that Mercy took but I can’t find it now. πŸ˜…) I love the shadow on the ground.

Overall, it was a really fun day! I enjoyed having a bit of spring in the middle of February. (And now winter’s back–it’s snowing and cold outside right now.)

Did you enjoy seeing all the photos? What was your favorite? Do you like spending time in the woods?

P.S. As you probably noticed, I’ve been playing with my blog design again because I didn’t like how it looked before. So please bear with me as I change it around and find a style I like. πŸ˜… I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you think it looks too. :’D