Three Years and Counting…

In honor of our 3rd anniversary (woo woo!), I decided to post some of my favorite photos from our wedding day.

I’m so thankful for this man.  He loves the Lord and His Word.  He is an incredibly hard worker.  He is a wonderful father to our baby girl.  He’s so patient with me!  I can’t wait for many, many more years to come.

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Photos by Alyssa Alig Photography

Kishu Charcoal

Charcoal?  Is this a post about grilling?

No.  Although, with this warmer weather, I’m getting excited about grilling these awesome burgers with these homemade buns!

So, what am I talking about?

Let me back up a little bit.

When we lived in the city, we bought water by the 5-gallon jug that had been filtered through reverse osmosis from the local health food store.  We used this for cooking, drinking, and bathing (for the baby).  Now that we are on well water (yay!), we don’t have to worry about fluoride (or hydroflurosilicic acid) in our water.  But, there can occasionally be harmful pathogens in well water, too, so it’s good to have a drinking water filter.

In the past, we’ve used a Brita filter (before we knew about fluoride), but it’s made from plastic.  Even this Soma water filter, although more eco-friendly than most, is made from plastic, unless you pay the higher price for the smaller carafe.  It’s pretty, but you’ll pay another $77.94/year for replacement filters.  I commend them for creating an eco-friendly and glass water filter, but we needed a cheaper option.

Enter Kishu Charcoal.

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Did you know that water filters use activated charcoal?  I didn’t, until I married my water engineer husband.  The ‘bad’ stuff in your water binds to the charcoal.  Pretty cool.  Kishu Charcoal is “the only completely plastic free water filter.”  And it’s non-GMO!  All you have to do is buy a glass pitcher, like this one, fill it up with water and toss in your charcoal.

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It works for four months and then you can use it as a deodorizer or in your garden!  You’ll want to boil it every month to renew it, but that’s easy-peasy.  You can get it here for just $14.99.  So, including the cost of the pitcher, your yearly water filter cost would be $57.57!  Not too bad.  (We ordered the 1 liter pitcher.  It was smaller than I expected, so depending on how much water you drink per day, the 2 liter might be a better option, which would make your total $71.69… still $55.25 less than the Soma pitcher!)

So, go get you some Kishu!

New Farm Friends

I can’t remember if I explained in detail the events that took place that brought us to our new house.

It’s not an extravagant story, but it’s a good one.

We started going weekly to our local farmer’s market near our apartment last summer/fall.  There, we met a sweet farmer who lived about 45 minutes from the farmer’s market.  She is from this area and has a little one that’s just a bit older than baby girl.  When it started to get close to the end of our apartment lease, Chris sent her an email and asked if she knew of any houses available for rent in her area.  She knew of a guy who had just moved out of a house who had nothing but good things to say about the landlord and was only moving because it was too much space for a single guy.

This sounded promising.

We drove out to see the house on our own and I held my breath and closed my eyes tightly as we pulled up… I just knew it was going to be terrible.  Isn’t that sad?!  I totally expected the worst.  But as we pulled up and I opened my eyes and took a deep breath, I was pleasantly surprised.  And the rest is history…

Briefly, some of you may wonder why we’re renting and not buying.  Well, at this stage of our life, we want to get completely out of debt and then save enough money to buy our first house outright.  That may seem outlandish and far-fetched–and in our debt-stricken society, it is–but we want to be different.  Not just for the sake of being different, but because as Christians, we are called to ‘be holy’ as Jesus is holy.  So, this is one way that we feel we can do that.

Back to our new farmer friend–she is letting us borrow her truck today so that we can go get supplies to build our hoop house for our chickens.  Yay!

While we were at their farm, we did a little snooping (with permission, of course).  We checked out their goats and chickens.  Baby girl loved it!  (Although, I think Daddy may have been just as excited, if not more!)

We are thankful for our new friends and being able to learn from them as we embark on our own farm projects.  Things are coming right along…

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Mother’s Day

This time last year I wrote a blog post in the middle of the night about how I couldn’t sleep because it was my first Mother’s Day and it felt a little bit like Christmas.

I think baby girl knew that today was Mother’s Day, because even though she’s been sleeping through the night for a couple of months now, she didn’t last night.  I held her and rocked her and rubbed her sweet little head of just-barely-there hair.

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I’m thankful for these memories.  And days like today to remember why I do what I do and that the laundry and the dishes and the unpainted walls and the dirty floors will not be what defines me as a mother.  Unless I let it.

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Happy Mother’s Day to you, mamas.  You are doing the most important thing in the world.  Love those babies.  Teach them about Jesus.  He’s our only Hope.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
    are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
    who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
    when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Psalm 127:3-5

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Planting Our First “Real” Garden

Well, the garden is in the ground!  It’s our first “real” garden, because we planted a few duds behind our apartment in the city.  They just didn’t get enough sunlight.

This was our first big project when we moved in, since we moved in at the prime time for planting.  I’m realizing that we have a lot of big projects on the horizon and we need to be sure to pace ourselves.

There is a little Farm & Garden store just five minutes from our new house.  Chris has already made friends with the owner.  (I love small towns…we’re on a first name basis with our mail lady, too!)   Here, we were able to buy all our veggie plants, rent a tiller, and pick out my very first hanging basket for the front porch.  Chris spent all last Friday tilling up the garden spot.  That’s hard work!

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He did have a little help…

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The next day, he planted all the veggie plants… tomatoes, grape tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, bell peppers, banana peppers, and basil.

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It was rainy that day, but the lady at the Farm & Garden store told us that it was a great day to plant because the plants wouldn’t be in shock from too much heat.  Although he was trying to beat the thunderstorms, he did pause long enough for me to get this photo… look at that stud.

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Chris finished up by planting seeds yesterday.  We were able to find non-GMO seeds (yay!).  We planted squash, zucchini, lima beans, black-eyed peas, and kale.  We also planted potatoes.

So, here’s the finished product (really, the beginning product)!  (By the way, the tractor isn’t ours… it belongs to the man who leases the land next to us, but it makes for great photos!)

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In the future, when we aren’t in such a hurry to get it in the ground, we’d like to do a garden that is more efficient and mirrors natural systems… Chris is researching different techniques so that we can incorporate them into our future gardens.  Once we make a plan, I’ll fill you in!

And, of course, here’s my girl… the kiddie pool was a little too chilly today, but we still hung out in our bathing suits and ate bananas.

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