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children, Family, Gardening, Homestead By 01/30/2011 No Comments

What a wild weekend it has turned out to be.

I was awakened Saturday morning by a phone call from my mom.  She was in North Carolina visiting my brother and sister-in-law while my dad was in Atlanta with the Army reserves for a few days.  He’s being deployed to Iraq for three months so he was tying up lose ends and meeting some of his team for the hospital in Iraq.  Saturday morning he woke up and checked out of the hotel.  He walked outside, looked around…

His truck was GONE.  We’re not talking about a little pick-up truck with a stick shift.  This was a 2009 Ford F250 4×4.  My dad had packed the truck the night before so all he’d have to do is check out in the morning.  Therefore, his suitcase, GPS, his gun, all of his clothes, army gear, dental and medical records from 17 years in the army, all of it was gone.  When the police reviewed the surveillance tapes, they saw three men with a tool bag break into the passenger side door, break the steering wheel, hot wire the truck, and drive off in under 90 seconds.  Unbelievable.

My dad was stunned and shocked and even asked one of the officers:  There were Corvettes, BMWs, and SUVs in the parking lot, why would they want my big truck?

Surprisingly, he was told that four-wheel drive trucks are the hottest commodity on the streets of Atlanta right now.  They steal them and use them to rip out air conditioning units and strip the units for copper, they drive them into the front of convenience stores, strap a chain to the back of the truck and steal the ATM machines, then they strip the trucks and sell them to a salvage yard.  Incredible.

However, through it all, we can trace God’s hand in it and are very thankful that no one was hurt.  My dad rented a car and is back home now.  He will probably wait until he returns home from Iraq to buy another vehicle.  It is highly unlikely that his truck will be found.

We, on the other hand, spent the day outside prepping our garden area, feeding the worms (which appear to still be almost frozen), and building our chicken coop.  This is what the end result should look like.

It always amazes me that Josh can simply look at a picture and replicate it. He has built our entire 20’x20′ addition on the back of our house by himself. He should have been an architect. However, his work as a graphic designer seems to suit him just fine as well. Last night we attended the ADDY Awards. This is an awards dinner put on by the American Advertising Federation. Josh’s work won three bronze, one gold, and one of only four Best of Show awards. We are very thankful that God has blessed Josh with a good job and a boss who loves the Lord. It is surely a blessing to love your job.

And lastly, by the end of the night last night Jesse was running a 102 fever. This morning, Owen was coughing like a seal and Jesse was throwing up. I’m praying it passes quickly without any more captives.

Josh should be able to finish the coop this afternoon. My Sunday School leader called her brother who has a small farm in Aiken and he wants to GIVE us four of his hens. They’ve just finished moulting and have already resumed egg production. We’re hoping to visit his farm next weekend to pick them up.  What a blessing!

Pictures to come!



Wilkerson Garden 2011

Gardening By 01/29/2011 No Comments

It’s almost that time of year again!  The time of year when I pull out my charts and my spread sheets and my saved seeds and begin to plan our garden.

This is my third year gardening and I can say that I’ve never done the same thing twice…kind of like homeschooling!  Ha!

This year I actually have a garden budget and I plan to finally use the square foot garden method.  I will be utilizing two 4’x8′ beds and one 4’x6′ bed.  The 4’x6′ bed will be nothing but strawberries.  I plan to preserve 75% of my strawberries in the form of syrup and preserves.  We go through about a jar of organic strawberry spread per week at about $4/jar.  My entire bed of strawberries will only end up costing me about $10, so even if I only get three jars of preserves, it will still be worth it to me; but I’m planning for a lot more than that!

In my other two beds will be the following:




sugar snap peas



green beans








brussel sprouts








and spinach

I will also be growing potatoes and carrots in five gallon buckets and I have a blackberry bush and rosemary bush in other areas of my garden.  I’m so excited to start taking my weekly pictures again.  I’m hoping to keep a better record of my successes and losses this year.

Right now, Josh and the boys are out back building the chicken coop.  I imagine once it’s built, it won’t be long until we pick up our chickens.  I’ll post pictures when they’re finished.

Just a few steps closer to our little urban homestead.



New Growth

Gardening By 05/12/2010 1 Comment

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a month since we started our 2010 garden. As I walk the rows a few times a day, pulling weeds, adding compost, etc, I often have to fight the microwave mentality. The hurry up, I want it now attitude that 21st century Americans have adopted. When I think back to a month ago, when 90% of the plants that are now in my garden were tiny little seeds that I could barely pick up with two fingers, I am in awe. Look how far we’ve come in one month:

April 15th:

May 12th:


Who knew potatoes did this!?  I didn’t!

Another shot of the three potato plants.

I love this picture of my green beans.


Look at the tiny little green peppers that have already begun growing!  They are SO CUTE!

My two strong tomato plants.  They’re doing awesome!  When I planted them a month ago, they were barely six inches tall and now they’re growing up and out of their little cages.

And LOOK!!  Our very first tomato…EVER!  I think he deserves a name for being first.  We’ll call him Tom.  Haha!

And of course, Mr. and Mrs. Basil.  They just might be our prize winners.  They are doing splendid and I’ve already cooked with their clipped leaves three times.  There is definitely nothing better than fresh cut basil in an Italian dish.

So, all in all, I think our garden is quite a success after only one measly month.  I look forward to next month’s update!



A Few Of My Favorite Things

children, Gardening, Homeschooling, Humor, Marriage, Parenting, Spiritual By 04/20/2010 1 Comment

Do you remember when we were kids and there were certain things, items, or events that made us jump out of bed in the morning, excited for the day? I can think of a few examples:

Christmas morning
a field trip to the zoo
the first day of school
the last day of school
my birthday
the day I was going to get my driver’s license

These days, it doesn’t take any Earth-shattering events to get me excited and fill me with joy, but not a whole lot makes me jump out of bed in the morning. I like sleep. I love my bed. I have really great sheets (that I bought at Ross’ for $29!). I feel like I haven’t gotten regular, adequate sleep in about seven years; moms, you know what I’m talking about!

However, something hit me this morning, as I took the first sip of my coffee. I closed my eyes and said, “ooooohhhhhh, that’s good.” It was pure delight and satisfaction. I felt like I could’ve stayed in that chair for an hour and sipped my perfect cup of coffee. Then I realized, oh my goodness, this is probably how a smoker feels when he takes the first drag off of his first cigarette of the day. Gross, I know. But then I began thinking about other things that should make me feel like that cup of coffee made me feel. God’s word, spending time in prayer, and exercising should all give me that fulfilled, satisfied feeling. My pastor, who apparently got the quote from Tim Keller, has given a perfect example of what an idol is:

“An idol is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.”

On a tough day, when I want to unwind, I can sit down on my bed with a basket of clean clothes and watch my favorite movie while I fold.

I love Little Women. I’m pretty sure it’s my favorite movie of all time. I have the book as well, but have never gotten around to reading it (maybe the 1000+ pages intimidated me!) I plan to read it this summer.

More than anything, I want to re-prioritize some things in my life. I want to crave getting into God’s word each morning, before I do anything else. I want to exercise, not so I can check it off my ‘list of things to do’, but because I crave how good it makes me feel.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t even know where to start. The thought of waking up any earlier than I already do makes me nauseous. But change usually isn’t comfortable, so I’m going to try hard. We’ll be re-joining the Family Y next month (for the summer) and I plan to start waking up early so I can go workout. I also commit to spending time in the word first thing each morning. As some added accountability, I will add something to each day’s post from my time with the Lord that morning.

Here are a few more of my favorite things; the little things in my life that give me great joy and pleasure:

*spending time with my girlfriends laughing and encouraging one another (even if we’re just grocery shopping together 🙂
*tending to my garden (I love going out to my garden a few times a day while allowing the Lord to speak to me about the power of ‘the seed’, the law of sowing and reaping, and the importance of preparing for harvest)
*sitting down to enjoy a special drink, whether it be Starbucks, Coke (I rarely drink soda, so when I do, it’s yummy!), or just a cup of coffee from my kitchen.
*cleaning my house, getting into bed after changing the sheets, waking up to a clean kitchen
*bubble baths, especially when I have time to shave my legs! 🙂
*watching my husband with our children. There is just nothing quite like a man who loves being a dad.
*hugs and kisses from my babies and seeing that look faces when they tell me they love me; like I can never do wrong in their eyes.
*reading. I love reading, but only when I get to do it uninterrupted for at least 10-15 minutes at a time.
*worship. oh how I love praise and worship.

I could go on and on, but I won’t bore you. This is just what was on my mind this morning as I sipped my coffee and listened to my five-year-old read from his school book at the breakfast table.

Have a Terrific Tuesday.
Time to do school with Joshua.