Week ending 4-30-23 Blueberry Hill, planting flowers, last day of school

by Marcie
11 year old girl watering a newly planted azalea with an old watering can

This week was busy with work. We worked extra hard to finish up all our school work by about 9:30am. Then I worked on a music curriculum I want to sell online. After lunch we worked outside for an hour or two, tackling a list of projects. I make the list and the kids call out or initial which job they want and we all get to it. Some days we do a group project like Blueberry Hill, burning brush, weeding the garden, or hauling & stacking wood. Other days we all grab our own chore off the list like cleaning gutters, planting flowers, hauling mulch for the flower bed, cleaning the chicken coop. Either way, working outside with my children is my favorite thing to do.

The van is still in the shop as transmissions everywhere are on backorder I’m told. It could be a month or more. Meanwhile we’re borrowing our bishop’s Expedition, which is super nice of him. I’m planning just to stay home mostly but it’s nice to have for church.

Working on Blueberry Hill

Tuesday we worked on Blueberry Hill for 2 hours. This is a big pasture hill we have that once had 100 blueberry bushes on it. A couple of rows have been bush hogged over and the rest have been neglected for quite some time. They have trees growing up through them, briars, thorns, wild roses, all kinds of things. We’re trying to clear out everything but the blueberries so people can come pick them. Last year we did the first 3-4 rows pretty well and we were able to get quite a bit of blueberries. This year we’re working on the last 3-4 rows plus having to clear out everything that grew back in the first rows.

Kaitlyn took these pictures but they all turned out blurry which is too bad. Our work parties are pretty fun.

a mom working in a blueberry patch
Me working in the middle of an overgrown blueberry row.
mom and 2 sons working in a blueberry patch to remove briars.
15 year old boy making a cool move while working in a blueberry patch
Thomas carried some really big 15′ trees out of here but Kait never caught it on camera. He’s a great worker.
brother and sister hauling branches out of a wild blueberry patch
Makenna carrying a small tree to the brush pile. Thomas, Samuel and I cut stuff as fast as we could and Kait, Kenna, Andy and Tilly hauled it away.
selfie of 13 year old girl while working in a blueberry patch
Kaitlyn, the photographer
11 year-old girl in yellow shirt hauling branches
Makenna dragging a small tree to the brush pile.
big pile of brush cleared from a wild blueberry patch
The pile of trees and briars we cut out of the blueberries so far today.
view of pasture and fields beyond in spring in the Blue Ridge Mountains
View from the brush pile looking at the rows of blueberries. The ones on the right we cleaned out last year.
view of pasture and trees beyond in spring.
View of our pasture looking down towards the house.
tunnel of blueberry bushes
Samuel hauling out a small tree.
9 year old boy hauling branches out of blueberry patch
lady cutting thorns and briars out of blueberry bushes.
2 kids in the distance in a pasture in spring
Doesn’t look like they’re hauling much but most of the stuff has a million thorns.

Makenna’s Watermelon Bed

girl standing next to a raised garden bed she just got ready to plant
Makenna preparing the new garden bed Thomas built. We’ve hauled a lot of loads of compost, dirt and mulch to make this. She’s going to plant watermelon.
New raised garden bed ready for planting
mulch pile used for the good soil underneath.
The mulch pile that has good soil underneath so we dig it out along with dirt from the compost pile.
10 raised garden beds in a big garden
The 9 garden beds that were already here plus the new one we built next to the asparagus.
garden bed of lettuce
The lettuce bed looking really pretty and packed with lettuce!
bowl of fresh picked lettuce
A bowl of fresh picked lettuce for dinner.

Planting Impatiens

3 little kids planting impatiens in spring
We had a list of outside chores and these 3 chose to plant the impatiens. We made this flower bed last year and it turned out beautiful. It was about the only color we had all summer. It’s super green here and spring and fall are popping with color but all summer it’s pretty much green, green everywhere! So it’s nice to have a bit of color with impatiens which can grow in our very shady yard.
24 new impatiens planted
By mid summer they had spread out and grown tall and were beautiful.

Planting an Azalea

Makenna chose to plant this azalea for her chore. The summer we moved in (2021) we pulled out huge boxwoods right here. Since then I’ve taken some of the azalea and planted it in one hole. It’s looking good but is slow to grow. I like propagating because it’s free and then all the azaleas along here would be the exact same color but I saw this one for $12 and it looks the exact same as the one I have so I bought it for the first hole by the steps. Hopefully it and the one in the 2nd hole will catch up to the 3rd one in a few years. Makenna is a terrific planter. She and Talea have helped me plant almost all the trees, shrubs, bulbs, and garden seeds we got this year.

11 year old girl watering a newly planted azalea
11 year old girl watering a newly planted azalea with an old watering can
newly planted azalea
It’s hard to see the one in the middle, but it actually looks good from the front.

Last Day of School!

Alexis comes this Tuesday, having finished all her classes and final exams at BYU. She has completed her first year of college at only age 17! (She’ll be 18 in mid July) I’m so proud of her. Anyway, last year when the college kids came home early May we never finished school; they’re too much fun to have home! We had to finish in July when they left. So this year we doubled up and finished April 28 so we’re ready to play with the college kids this summer. Alexis will be home May and June and Kylie will be home August and September. So we’ll probably do school in July when it’s hot, rainy and we’re bored. I love homeschooling so that we can take off when family comes.

3 kids studying at the table together
Kaitlyn, Makenna, and Samuel are reviewing their notes from history and calling out questions to each other, “Which president got shot at the World’s Fair in Buffalo?” [William McKinley] “Which invention at the fair, if they had used it, could have saved his life?” [the x-ray machine. It could have located the bullet but they thought it was too risky to use.] It’s really fun hearing their questions, calling out my own, and hearing everyone’s answers and things they remembered. It’s neat to see how different people and stories stand out to different kids.

Miscellaneous Pictures

a note from a child to him mom saying sorry the car broke down.
Note from Samuel left on my pillow.
a group picture of a family with their friends
A missionary who served here last year brought his parents to meet us. They are so fun! We had a great Saturday afternoon hanging out with them.

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