Gardening

It’s spring. So I’ve been gardening. I planted three flats of flowers, rows of veggies, and all my bare-root trees leafed out. And I’ve also fallen behind in weeding, and tried to resurrect lawn that was played on too much when it was dormant.

Red Butte Garden

I took my camera and promptly gave it to my nine-year-old to take pictures. I would much rather see what he finds beautiful than take my own pictures.

Hiking

We went on the Birdsong Trail in Ogden. I was on the search for spring wildflowers, and there were a bunch. We’ve been pretty busy with work, school, and home projects. But I still think it’s very important to spend some time as a family being outside. We all enjoyed ourselves very much.

April Flowers

Spring is beautiful and in full swing. It’s nice not having to grab a jacket, and getting sandals on.

We’ve been hiking, to the Zoo. The kids started soccer. Henry finished up choir, which he loved to do. We got baby chicks too. My semester is nearly over, which is one step closer to getting done with school.

Spring Break

First stop was the Tabernacle Hill Lava Tubes by Fillmore. We pulled up and it wasn’t much to look it. But once you got exploring, it was very cool. Lots of caves and canyons. It felt a lot like exploring Minecraft. There is a also Meadow Hot Spring nearby, we stopped by but also had a kid sleeping in the car.

Next stop was Kolob Canyon in Zion’s. We did an overlook hike.

We spent the night in Mesquite. (At the Virgin River Casino, because they have cheap hotel rooms…also, the best way to cook in a hotel room is to bring a waffle iron.)

Next morning we drove to Lake Havasu to see the London Bridge, and we played at the beach at the lake.

We continued driving to the Phoenix area, and had a great time visiting my Uncle and Aunt. After spending the night, we had a picnic and hiked Hole in the Rock at Papago Park, and then spent a brief time at Sea Life aquarium, and most of the afternoon at the Legoland Discovery Center. The kids loved it there, we basically stayed until closing.

We spent the night at a Drury Inn and Northern Phoenix, and took a hot hike the next morning to the Sonora preserve. The kids weren’t liking the heat, but there was an awesome owl at the end of the hike.

We drove up to the Walnut Canyon National Monument and hiked to some cliff dwellings. The kids loved this hike.

We also stopped by Horseshoe Bend and an overlook for the Glen Canyon Dam before spending the night in Kanab @ Aiken’s Lodge. It was a long day, but beautiful.

Final stop of the trip was at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes (a repeat from the last Vacation we went on that was to part of the same area).

And then we made it home with enough time to unpack and do some laundry.

Parks

In school, I’m working on a project looking at parks in the area of west Salt Lake County. I took the opportunity to visit a bunch of parks in the area as part of that project. I’ve been working getting a degree in landscape architecture in part because I know it can lead to jobs designing parks. After visiting a lot of parks with my children, I would love to start designing ones.

Anyway, I was biased in our trip and picked mostly fun and interesting parks and trails. If you want more info on any of parks, or an example of what I’m doing for school, here’s the result of my school project.

Spring Flowers

Spring is very busy and beautiful. It’s wonderful to go outside and play, and watch the plants grow and flowers bloom. The garden is usually full of children playing now. My kids love to play football, basketball and just play. The neighbor kids are all over the fort and zipline. One day Zack climbed to the top of the fort. I asked Henry to help him down, but he made it down by himself before Henry made it to help him. He’s quite the climber.

Spring is Coming

Well, a new season is here. One that will not have basketball in it. The kids finished up their Jr. Jazz season. We’ve been playing basketball in some form since September, and I think it’ll be a good switch to move to soccer soon.

We had some free time and went to the Ogden Nature Center. The kids didn’t want to go, we went anyway, and they had a great time. That happens a lot. Peter spent almost the whole time playing with Zack. Watching my boys play nicely together is a wonderful, joyful blessing.

Removing Good

Today I pruned my fruit trees. While we were loading up all the branches into the truck, I looked at all the wood we cut. There was a lot. And I thought, those were good branches. They would have produced leaves and fruit. Yet I knew as a gardener that my trees do better as I prune them. More light is able to get to the remaining branches, and the tree spends its energy to produce better fruit. There can often be too much off a good thing.

As I was pondering pruning, I realized that there was a life lesson in all of this. Just like fruit trees, I often have to get rid of good things in my life to make room for things that are more important and critical.

There is also a good time to prune: when the trees are still dormant. And it takes time to learn how to prune, but basically you need to have a vision of what you want the tree to look like. You prune trees to an open center, central leader, etc. Every pruning cut is made back to a bud or branch angle. And its sometimes better to take off two or three big branches rather than pruning 20-30 little ones.

I think there’s good application. First, take time when things aren’t so hectic to analyze your life and see what needs pruning. It’s hard to get rid of things when you are in the thick of things, just like pruning is a lot harder in the summer. Taking quiet moments to analyze our lives is necessary.

Second, have a vision of what you want in life, and be willing to get rid of everything that doesn’t fit into that plan. Look for parts of your life that you want to grow and get stronger, and put energy into those things. Protect those very important branches by getting rid of things that shade them out.

Third, don’t be afraid to make really big changes. Trying to cut back in little ways isn’t as effective as sometimes taking big cuts that get rid of a lot of unnecessary thing altogether.

More Snow

For a couple of weeks, the weather was warm and beautiful. The kids went outside and played football and were covered in grass. Coats turned to jackets. I planted lettuce in the greenhouse. And then the snow has come back. That’s okay. It is February where days off should be spent sledding.

Other than that, we are chugging along. We have basketball most Saturdays, school, work, normal things.