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! ❀

Photography Challenge: collab with Alicia

Hello, my friends!

For today’s post, I have a collab I am super excited about! A few weeks ago, I asked Alicia @ Alicia Marentette if she wanted to do a collab, and she agreed – We decided on doing a photography challenge where come up with a list of things to photograph, and share the photos! So that’s what I will be sharing today.

To get started, here’s a list of all the things we took photos of.

Time for the real photos now.

1. Spring

To be honest, I had a really hard time finding a photo in this category. Spring is not here yet; it’s been in the 30s all week, and it was hard finding something springy. But then, one of my younger siblings found this little bird’s nest on the ground. I definitely think of seeing birds building their nests as part of spring.

2. fLOWERs

Ooh, I love these flowers! It’s actually an old photo because as I mentioned above, we do not have any flowers blooming yet. It’s so pretty though!


3. Sunset

Mmm, this sunset is gorgeous. Sunsets are some of my favorite things as you have probably already figured out by now – I love the clouds in this one.

4. morning SKY

This is honestly one of my absolute favorite photos ever. ❀ It was such a beautiful (And early) morning to be out on the beach to see the sunrise. And the trees too.

5. Animal

This is from one of trips to Lutsen a few years ago. It was really neat being able to go that close to this seagull so we could get a picture. He was just sitting there on the railing while we were up looking at the view, and I just snapped a photo.

6. Colorful

I wasn’t sure what to use for this one; then my Mom had the idea to take the kids out to our monkey line that we all got our birthdays last summer and get a picture there. I love how it turned out, and it is definitely very colorful.

7. Clouds

I always love looking at clouds – One of my favorite things to do is just to lay down in the grass and stare up at the clouds. (When the grass is dry, and there are no siblings with soccer balls nearby that is.)

8. Books

I just got some new books from the library, and they were perfect to grab a picture of! Have you read any of these books?

9. RAIN

I’m not sure if this one counts. . .I realized too late that I didn’t have any photos of rain, so this was the closest I could come. It’s a mud puddle from when all of the snow melted and it rained, so I think it counts?

10. Roads

Ahh, I love this one! These two roads are glorious in the morning when the sun’s shining, and that morning was no different. I love the shadows especially.

12. Peaceful

Kook at water droplets coming off the wave. And even though I’ve said this multiple times about the photos in this post, I love this – Especially the icy/crystal look to the wave.

13. Artsy

I had a really hard time deciding what to use for this – Finally, after coming up with a bunch of ideas, but none of them seeming like they would fit, I decided to look up some inspiration. I found this photo of the ice on our creek melting, and it seemed to the fit the “artsy” look. What do you think? Is it artsy?

14. Water

I have so many favorite pictures of water that it took me a while to decide. But I picked this one because I love the lighthouse and the bridge.

15. Indoor

I LOVE the shadows and the light here.. One afternoon I noticed the hydrangeas shadows from the outside shining through the window, it was so pretty! This is probably my favorite indoor photo I’ve taken.

And that’s it for the day! Did you enjoy seeing all of these different photos? Which one was your favorite?

Before you go, make sure to check out Alicia’s post here.

Have a beautiful day, friends!

Sapping {Part Two}

Hello, friends!

I hope you are all having a lovely week! Today, I bring you the next part in my tapping trees series. If you missed part one, you can check it out right here.

(This post is shorter than usual to due to some internet problems. That is also why this post is out on Monday instead of Friday. )

Once we tap the trees, we have to do multiple rounds of collecting each week. We usually go up two-three times a week and bring buckets of sap down.

We first run around checking buckets in our main grove and seeing which ones have sap in them. Zekey is over heading over to check buckets in this picture.

Once we check the buckets, we bring new (empty) buckets over and pull the full buckets off the trees.

Then, we pour the sap into an empty bucket.

Once it’s in, we put a lid on it and carry it over to the Ranger. (Before we had our Ranger, we would carry all the buckets down the hill.)

From there, we load up the buckets and repeat with each of the trees.

One evening, we went collecting right as the sun was setting, it was so pretty! I love how the sun is shining through the trees here.

And also, this one! All the pine-trees make it even more beautiful. ❀

Once we’re done with the collecting, we drive all the buckets down in the Ranger and bring them into the mudroom, where we have our Reverse Osmosis (RO) set up. And for this part, we have a video! It’s not the greatest, but you get the picture from watching it. So here it is!

Did you enjoy the video? I hope it was interesting and made sense. =D The reverse osmosis process removes about half of the water from the sap. Typically in reverse osmosis one would want to keep the clear freshwater, but in our case, we want to keep the sweet more concentrated sap instead.

After we run it through the RO, we bring it back outside to the boiler. The sap sits in a large pan (about 3 feet by 3 feet and 12 inches deep) on top of the stove. We boil the sap so it lets out steam for the sugar content to increase and the water content to decrease. It takes about 35-40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.

It takes a LOT of wood, so dad and the twins were splitting it while we were boiling.

We keep adding sap to the boiler as it boils to continue the process of removing water. We boiled for about 13 hours to boil around 80 gallons of sap into about 4 gallons of syrup. (The RO removed the first 80 gallons of water for us.)

And we’re going to stop there! In the next post in this series, I’ll share the bottling and finishing process, as well as the sign-up for the giveaway. Expect that in the next two or three weeks!

What’s your favorite thing to put syrup on? Do you have any questions about the process?

Thank you so much for reading, friends, and have a wonderful day!

A Family Vacation at Lutsen

Hello, my friends!

Last week, my family and I went on a vacation to Lutsen, Minnesota to ski, enjoy God’s wonderful creation, and have a bit of an escape from everyday life. We had a lovely time and it was wonderful to ski up there again. Today, I’m going to be posting some of the photos I took, as well as a few of the adventures we had. It’s going to be quite a long post, so get ready!

We started the 7-8 hour trip off at 6 o’clock in the morning. We drove for about 15 minutes, and then we came across this sign and had to turn back around, because of water on the road. It had rained the night before and the rivers had escaped it’s banks.

After that little adventure, we were back on the road–backtracking our original route and going in the opposite direction and then finally getting headed on a road in the right direction that wasn’t flooded.

I loaned Zekey my pens, and notebook and he thoroughly enjoyed coloring, while all of the other kids slept.

After about 3 hours of driving, we stopped at a Kwik Trip to get gas, and grab some donuts for breakfast.

It was so foggy out! ^^

While we drove, I amused myself by finishing up a letter to one of my pen pals. A great way to make the time pass!

Once I finished my letter, I just sat and watched the scenery go by. Look at how tall this tree is.

We took our second stop at Olive Garden for lunch. We decided to get carry out to get back on the road faster. Eating in a car with 9 other people is a bit chaotic, but it was delicious.

Once we had finished lunch, we got right back to driving again. I’ve always loved driving through this city because of how much there is to look at it and you can see Lake Superior almost everywhere. We’ve only driven through a few times, so it’s always interesting and you are always seeing something new. We drove over this huge bridge which I thought was really cool!

There were all of these cute little cottages along the edge of the Lake.

Ooh, these factories are always something to see–Look at all cranes and that huge boat!

We always pass through this really neat tunnel called Silver Creek Cliff. (Wait, is that the name of the tunnel or the cliff? Maybe both. :’D)

The view from inside the tunnel

Once we were out of the city, and tunnel, the view isn’t as interesting. It’s wooded and you can see the lake occasionally through the trees. So, I got a turn with the iPad and read some of my friends’ blog posts that I’ve been meaning to catch up on.

After a bit, we could see the lake more! I love this picture! It’s a bit blurry, as a lot of the other ones are because I took these out the car window, but I do like it a lot still. It was so cloudy out!

Then, I worked on writing my blog post for that week!

Sorry for the terrible photo. 😦

At long last, we reached out destination, Lutsen Mountains!

Once we had checked in, we went to our condo and started unpacking. I took this random photo of lights, I LOVED the shadows//reflection it was making on the ceiling. Look at the trees!

After that, we ate supper, and then went ice skating! The rink was really nice, and it was really fun to skate since our town doesn’t have an ice rink anymore, and we haven’t tried skating on our pond yet.

It was so pretty down there! Look at all the lights!

There was also a fire going which was really nice since it was quite cold out.

Once we got on our skates, we all had to remember how to ice skate. Luke and Levi took a few spills before they caught on since they hadn’t skated every before.

I love this one of Jewel! She looks so happy. At first, she was very nervous, but the more we skated, she got a lot more confident.

We skated three times that trip! Everyone was too tired and it was too cold the last two nights we were there, so we didn’t skate those nights. Having the rink there was really fun since the other times we had come, it was a puddle!

We skied the next morning, and here is when the photos are in chronological order anymore. Mom wanted to get a picture like we do at the lake each year (Check out my “About” to see it!) I love how this one turned out.

Ahh, look at the view. It was glorious up there, God created a very beautiful world. ❀

The whole trip is quite exciting, but then there’s the gondola which adds to the excitement. It’s the only one in the Midwest too and it is the only way to get across from one mountain to the other, so we rode it at least once a day. It’s such a beautiful ride, but a bit terrifying at the beginning because it feels like you are about to drop down this cliff, but then you just coast along.

This one of Mal is probably one of my favorite photos out of this whole post. Dad wanted to try to get it with Malachi bending his skies, and I’d as he was successful. He thought it would be really fun to have the lake in the background.

Photo credit to Dad ^^

Aww, these shadows are so pretty! I believe I took them from on the gondola. They are a lot like the ones the light made on the ceiling.

One day in the late afternoon, Dad, Mercy, and I went out to get ice cream, and hopefully get some close-up photos of the lake. Getting the ice cream went fine, we stopped at this cute little general store that sold practically everything, from postcards to groceries, but getting the photos of the lake didn’t.

^^The ice cream

We wanted to go to the park we had been to the year before, but when we drove by, it wasn’t plowed at all and Dad didn’t want to risk getting stuck in there. So for about fifteen minutes, we drove looking for a place, and then once we found none, we decided to turn around. Well, apparently Minnesota doesn’t have many good side roads to turn around in, at least Hightway 61 North didn’t. We drive for a while longer and thought we were going to hit the Canadian Border before we were able to turn around.

Thankfully, we found a road to turn into, but that caused a bit more chaos. There was no dead end sign, but after about 10 minutes of just driving along, we started to wonder if it was a lane which mean it was a dead end. And of course, we didn’t have service so there was no way to look on Dad’s phone. But finally, the road ended, and we were able to get back onto the highway, and head toward the condo.

That was definitely a chaotic (and fun) adventure. Except I am a bit disappointed that we never got any pictures of the lake. Oh well, there was a pretty sunset to make up for it.

I also got post cards to send to my friends and penpals! I had a lot of fun writing them out.

Ooh, I love this sign! Moose Mountain is what one of the four mountains here is called.

The afternoon before we left, we drove up to the top of the mountain, and got a family picture. I also snapped these ones while we are there. The view was beautiful, and the ski was so blue. It almost blends in with the lake.

Ooh, you can see the gondala right there!

I love this one of the whole mountain.

This honestly doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the other photos, but there were these really pretty flowers in the snow by the top. I wonder what they look like in the summer when they are blooming and not brown and dry from winter.

We loaded up and headed home one morning at the end of the week after skiing in the morning. We were supposed to stop partway through the trip, and stay overnight so we could have more time to ski that day, but it was SO cold out that we decided not too, and just drive home. I don’t have a lot of pictures from the way home, but I do have a few.

We stopped at Olive Garden again and this time, went inside for lunch. It was really a nice way to end the trip. It was the first time we had really eaten inside a restaurant since the beginning of COVID and me and mom were wondering if any of the younger kids would remember how to eat in a a restaurant. But they did for the most part and they meal past uneventfully.

It was so sunny out and the lake was so pretty!

We drove by this really cool clock tower//building on the way home.

We had a beautiful sunset as the end of our trip set in. The last few hours of the trip seemed to go on forever, but we survived. We got a new audiobook(The Penderwicks at Last by Jeanne Birdsall. for anyone who’s wondering.) and listened to that. Eventually, all the younger kids fell asleep, and I tried to do some writing, but we had no service, so my document wouldn’t load. Then I just sat. We got home around 8:30-9ish, and went straight to bed.

It was a lovely trip, but I was ready to come home at the end. I am very thankful to God that we are able to go and ski. A nice break from what we usually do!

Have you ever been to Lutsen? Or rode a gondola? Or taken a long road trip? Have you read any of the Penderwick books? What did you think?

Thank you SO much for reading, friends, and have a wonderful day!

P.S. I’m getting very close to hitting 100 followers on my Newsletter! If you aren’t already subscribed, or just following through WordPress, I’d love to have you on board. You can join by signing up right here: https://thehomeschooledgirl.ck.page/0217c0cd50

Monthly Review: February 2022

**Note: My newsletter once again decided to send while I was still working on sending it and I didn’t want the email to be sending you all to a broken link which is why this is out so early. I’ll get back to my normal schedule next week. Thanks for putting up with me and my tech problems. =D**

Hello, friends!

Happy March! I thought it might be fun if I did a post to recap February so that’s what we will be doing today. πŸ˜€

Writing

We are going to start with a update on my writing and how it’s going this year.

Well, I am almost finished with my outline for one of my projects The Bensons (Title subject to change) and I am super excited to start writing that.

I’ve also been working on a project I am co-authoring with my friend, Anna, which we are almost done with which is super exciting! It’s a novelette that we’ve been working on for a few months now, and we’re both really excited to be finished it. It’s one of my favorites out of all the stories I’ve written.

I’ve also been working on writing an article for The Young Writer Blog which has been fun, and a lot of work too. But I’m excited to get published on there.

That’s about it for what I’ve been writing. =D

READING

I’ve read a lot this month! More than I thought I would. Overall this year, I’ve read 18 books which makes me happy. I’ve enjoyed having more time to read and reading more.

A few of my favorites from this month. . .

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

I’ve actually read this one twice this year, once right at the beginning, and then I read it again a few days ago. Don’t ask me why I like rereading things so much, but I do. πŸ˜†

The Giver by Lois Lowry


I finished this one in a day. πŸ˜… I really enjoyed the story, which suprised me because I don’t usually like books that are dystopian or sci-fi. The ideas it suggested were definitely uncomftarble, but overall, I loved it.

Needle and Thread by Ann M. Martin (Book #2 in the Main Street series)

Ahh, I love this series and book so much. The characters and everything about it. . .it’s such a sweet story, yet it’s so sad.

The Holly’s Heart Collection by Beverly Lewis

This is one of my favorite series of all time. I’ve read it at least 5 times. Anyway, I loved reading it again this month.

That wraps up what I’ve been reading this month.

Doing

And I have done a lot this month, some of which I posted about it, and some of it I haven’t. A few random photos from this month, and what I have done. . .

We went skiing six times in February which was super fun. Once we were able to go night skiing and that was awesome.

We’ve had so many gorgeous sunsets this month. :’D I love watching the sun set. ❀

My brother got a drone for Christmas! He enjoyed flying it around (and trying to fly it at us. πŸ˜‚).

My younger brothers, Luke, and Levi, had the brilliant idea to go play in the mud behind our house. And they convinced me to come along. . .Let me just say my boots were nearly spotless before we started. But that was definitely a highlight from this month.

While we were playing in the mud, they also decided that it would be a good idea to try to go sledding in it. And they picked me as the first contestant. Lucky me. :’D

Ooh, there’s a rainbow in this puddle! Getting all muddy was definitely worth all the fun we had that afternoon.

There’s been a lot of different weather this month, from the weather in the 50s to below zero some days. We got two snowstorms and have had a lot of sunshine. I’ve enjoyed having the nicer weather after so much winter.

This is my science. =D

I’ve done so much school the past few weeks. I know I am going to appreciate getting done early but it seems like a lot right now.

We decorated cupcakes twice this month. Once for a family celebration, and then again for an activity at Church.

I’ve also been working on my bullet journal, and I finished my 2022 spreads (I’m hoping to do a post sharing them soon!) and my March spreads. I’ve really enjoyed bullet journaling so far.

I put together an art binder (I need to come up with a better name) for all my art supplies. (I’m also planning a post about that soon but here’s a sneak peek.)

How did your February go? Did you do anything special?

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

Cheerio 2021: A look back on this past year

Hello, my friends!

I don’t know about you, but I loved 2021. I learned so much and did so much, but I am ready to have a fresh start in 2022. Today, I thought I would share a highlight (Well, it turned out to be a few more than just one highlight) from each month in 2021.

January

Nothing big happened in January 2021, but there were a few small highlights. My siblings and I enjoyed getting pulled behind our UTV in the snow, a few ski trips, and night sledding activities with our youth group.

February

We were finally able to see my grandparents inside during February after not going inside with them since the beginning of COVID. Also, Valentine’s day was very fun. We did a sibling exchange called Secret Valentine for valentines day. I wrote a short story and submitted it to a contest.

March

We went on a really pretty and ski trip in March. It was wonderful to do be able to ski again there. And, I got first place in the short story contest I entered in. March overall was a blessng.

April

We had our one last snowstorm. We had a very nice Ressurection Sunday celebrating our Savior’s death and resurrection. My uncle and aunt and cousins were able to visit and we had a wonderful time decorating eggs, and renting the movie theater, and watching Tom and Jerry with my cousins. Also, another season of spring soccer which with my sister, and two cousins on my team, it turned out to be. . . .eventful to say the least.

May

May was busy! I joined a writing program that I’ve mentioned before called the Young Writer’s Workshop, as well as participated in the event I just did last week, called Crazy Writing Week. I finished up my school year too. We ended our 2021 spring soccer season sadly with one to nothing loss. It was a fun season anyway, and some events that I will remember forever.

June

All of my siblings except the two youngest did swim team, which turned out to be really fun. I made a few new friends and was able to catch up with some old friends. I had a personal best time in the freestyle which was exciting. Also, I won third place in another writing challenge which I truly enjoyed.

July

My birthday’s in July and it turned out to be a really fantastic day. We had my grandparents over, and then my best friend slept over that night, and it was almost like my Birthday lasted for two instead of one. I got some really neat gifts and went swimming at my grandma’s with my cousin and aunt. We finished up our swim team season by losing our first conference meet in eight years. That was quite sad, but swim team had been a fun season besides that disappointment.

August

We took a trip up to my mom’s cousin’s lake house for ten days in August, we enjoyed swimming in the lake, jumping off the dock, kayaking, paddle boating, yard games, campfires, eating ice cream and smores, and much more.

September

School started again! As well as the fair here. My family and I had a fun time checking out the fair and entering some art projects and creative things. Also, my older sister and brother both had sports, soccer for my brother and cross country for my sister. I enjoyed going to most of their meets and games. Plus, I started a new writing project in September.

October

We had a great fall camping trip in October, it was incredibly beautiful with all the leaves turning, too cold to swim though. We ended up losing our frisbee in the water which required some wading, but we didn’t end up finding it. We also took a few hikes along the rocks.

November

I launched my blog in November! That was definitely a highlight. I really enjoyed designing this, and I’ve loved writing posts and becoming a blogger. I still have a lot to learn, but I’m looking forward to the journey ahead. As well as launching my blog, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration, and we picked out our Christmas tree and got our decorations out.

December

Well, December is always busy. Christmas brings so much busyness, along with trying to wrap up those last few goals you have waiting. We had our first ski trip and did so much more. You can check out my post here for more details on what I did in December.

Overall, this year has been a year for beginnings, and for endings. I am so thankful for God blessing me with all of these wonderful events. I am excited to see what 2022 is going to bring as well.

Thank you so much for reading, and I’d love to hear from you; what was your favorite highlight from 2021 for you? Let me know in the comments.