Thursday, April 29, 2010

Playing with the Boys!

The other Saturday, the boys and I decided it was just too pretty to stay inside.  So we went outside! 

Knox went to gather the eggs and he and Hamp decided to play with them!  Believe it or eggs were harmed during this playtime!  (Don't call PETA!)  Unbelievable!!

Hamp went to his play truck and I spent the next 30 minutes trying to get these two pictures!!  I wanted to get a picture of him in it to show how much fun he has just sitting in his truck watching his big brother!  Then there's big brother who has to find a way to get into the picture too!

It just made for a great day!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What To Do With Those Broken Glasses?

I don't know about you but no matter how careful I am, I will eventually break a favorite glass.  I really hate to throw them away. 

The other day a realized a had quite a few glasses, mugs and dishes that I had been collecting.  I wanted to recycle them somehow.  But how?  Then it came to me!  Why not use them in my flower garden!!

I placed my favorite wine glass so that it looked like my liatris is growing out of it!  (I'll take another picture later once the liatris blooms!)  Look close--it's a clear glass!

My favorite tea mug (yes, folks, I'm one of those strange people that HATES coffee!) found a place between the blue salvia and verbena.  I fixed it so that it looked like the verbena was growing out of it!

The boys broke an old bowl that found a new home in my veronica.  I made it look like the veronica was busting out of the bowl!  I can't wait to see what this is going to look like next February!

Share with me any other ways you have "recycled" those broken dishes!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spring Pictures, Finally!!

My mother's (Grandmoma) beautiful, tall azaleas are blooming!  Last year, at the height of their blooming, I took a picture of Knox and Hamp in front of the azaleas.  It was too cute!  I wanted to try to capture another picture this year to show how much they had both grown.
The other day I decided the azaleas were "just right" to get the boys' picture.  So outside we go, me and the boys with Grandmoma and her dog, Cooper, in tow.  I find the perfect spot for the boys to stand.  But wait--Grandmoma says the spot I found is on a fire ant mound!  Those of you lucky enough not to have fire ants don't realize how much the little boogers hurt when they bite!  They're awful!!  They will be up your leg before you know it.  The last thing I wanted was to have the boys stand in a fire ant mound.

So I double check to calm Grandmoma's nerves and see that there were NO fire ants!  Grandmoma still goes on about the fire ants!  This causes Knox to keep looking at his feet!  I tell Grandmoma again that there are NO FIRE ANTS, but she keeps saying there is! 

If you are a parent you know that when you are working on getting a picture of a one year old requires a quick camera and patience.  I don't have a quick camera and between Grandmoma freaking out about the fire ants, Knox freaking out because Grandmoma was, and a one year old that didn't want his picture made so the quick picture turned into a nightmare!

I got a baby crying and running off!  I got Grandmoma freaking out because she thinks there are fire ants all over the azaleas!  Then there's Knox so fixed on the ground looking for the non-existent fire ants that I can't get him to look at the camera!  UGH!@!@!

So here are the FIRST spring pictures!  These are the only two from the 15 pictures I took! 

I left mad, frustrated, and just too tried to fight when we finished these pictures. The next day, we tried it again! We all went out to get the picture of the boys in front of Grandmoma's beautiful azaleas! The only difference in yesterday and today--I had a talk with Grandmoma! There were to be NO mention of FIRE ANTS!

So, here are the actual Spring Pictures of my boys!! Next year, Grandmoma IS NOT going to be coming out to help with the picture! I'll let her watch from the window!

Rubbermaid Coupons!

Check out these Rubbermaid $1.00 off coupons!  The coupons cover storage containers, organizers, and reusable bottles and pitchers.  
Sign up for Rubbermaid email to get more money saving coupons!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Free Redbox Video Rental!

Rent your first movie on-line from Redbox for FREE!  Go to Redbox on-line, reserve the movie of your choice, and then swing by Redbox to pick up your FREE movie!

A Rare Spice Coupon!

There is a rare but good coupon for McCromick Spice!  Go to the Red Plum site.  I typed in 30577 with a 50 mile radius and found the coupon on page 5. 
According to Refund Cents Daily, Walmart has some McCormicks for $0.50!  That makes your final price:  FREE!

Great Target Deal This Week!

I copied this post from Refund Cents Daily because it was just too good to not share with everyone!

Here's a nice quadruple play good this week that will net you five free Ziploc boxes and a $4 profit:

Buy 5 Ziploc Baggies at $2.27 each.
  - Get a $5.00 Target gift card wyb five SC Johnson products (Real Simple April   issue pg 48)
  - two B1G1F Ziploc coupons (Smart Source, Sunday paper, 4/11)
  - three $0.40 coupons (Smart Source, Sunday paper, 3/21)

Final Price:  $0.12 each after all three deductions above

+ Send for $5.00 SC Johnson rebate

Final Price After Rebate:  5 free + $4.00 profit
Check out Refund Cents Daily for more Target specials!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Spotlight: My First Award!!

I just found out that another mommy blogger, Melodramommy, nominated me for the Honest Scrap Award.  Melodramommy's blog is about the humor in the everyday life of raising toodlers and she has good giveaways too!  Check out her posts on potty training!

The rules of this award are I must state 10 things about me and pass it on to 10 other friends.  Here goes:

1.  I have NEVER colored my hair.  HONEST! Just ask my Moma!

2.  I am an only child.

3.  In college, I played the tuba in the University of Georgia Redcoat Band.  There were only 2 to 4 girls (depending on the year) in the Sousa line out of 20 to 24 Sousaphones (tubas, for you non-band geeks).  We called ourselves the Tuba Bitches!

4.  I love to play with worms!  It's just too cool to watch them move around!

5.  I was pregnant when I had my shoulder surgery. And yes, they gave me a pregnancy test that I PASSED before they did surgery!

6.  I was 30 weeks pregnant before I knew my second son was coming.  Yes...I said 30 weeks, just 7 weeks before he arrived.  Just read this post for the rest of the story!

7.  I drove a school bus for 7 years before I started teaching.  I still have my CDL and substitute school bus driving when they get in a pinch.

8.  I play in my church's handbell choir.  I usually play 13 different bells (not at the same time!).  The bass clef bells...the really big ones!  I have fun and the congregation loves to watch me.  I get more comments for people every Sunday we play!

9.  I use to be an Ag Teacher. I taught mostly Horticulture since that is what I grew up doing.

10.  I love my life right now and just wish my boys wouldn't grow up!  I feel blessed to have a great hubby, two great kids, and this new world of blogging in my life.  My forties are looking pretty good!!

The Ten Awesome Bloggers I have selected to give this award to are:

1.  JAM's Own Reality
2.  Baby Bunkins
3.  The Family Farming Operation
4.  This Moma Rocks
5.  Angry Julie Monday
6.  LambAround
7.  Baby Makin(g) Machine
8.  Writing Fuels My Soul
9.  Gracie's Place and Cooper's Space
10. Theta Mom

Saturday, April 24, 2010

From My Bedroom Window...

For a few weeks now, I had been seeing a Cardinal coming and going from my bedroom window.  As I was taking a picture of the azalea outside my bedroom window, I was startled by that same Cardinal.  I looked closer and saw what she had been up to...

She's still sitting on her eggs.  I would like to get a picture of her on the nest but she flys off everytime I get too close.  I decided to let her be, because I don't want her to abandon her eggs.  I'll try to get pictures when the baby's hatch!!

Hamp's New Playhouse

I wanted to share with you Hamp's new playhouse.  While I'm at work, he's lucky enough to stay with his Grandmoma and her dog Cooper.  Grandmoma bought a pet carrier to take Cooper to the dog groomers.  As she was opening the package, Hamp watched.  You could tell he wanted to see what Grandmoma had gotten.  She had just put it together when Hamp decided to investigate. 

So he went to check it out! 

Grandmoma now has a new way to carry Hamp to the grocery store!  I wonder how many people will think its "one of those talking dogs"!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Look What's Blooming: Spiraea cantoniensis 'Lanceata'

Spiraea cantoniensis 'Lanceata'
Reeves' Spirea or Double Bridal Wreath

This is blooming in my backyard right now!  It's a shurb that my grandparents planted years ago.  My grandmother always called it bridal's veil bush.  But when I went to college, I learned that is was some type of Spiraea sp.  It is the double flowering variety of Spiraea cantoniensis.  

It is an early to mid spring-blooming shrub that bears clusters of many-petaled white flowers atop its bluish green, toothed leaves that hold late into the fall.  In the Deep South, these leaves may persist through winter.  S. cantoniensis has graceful arching branches making it a popular choice for gardens and shrub borders. Its flowers also attract butterflies.

I love this shurb!  It is so graceful and delicate looking yet it is tough as nails.  S. cantoniensis is a drought tolerant plant that is pretty much a carefree addition to anyone's garden.  These Spiraea make great borders and can get up to 6 feet while spreading to around 4 feet.  They like full sun but will tolerant shade.  Mine is under the base of a Acer rubrum (Red Maple) and as you can see is doing great!  S. cantoniensis is hardy from zones 5 to zones 6.  Click here to find your hardy zone.

The S. cantoniensis 'Lanceata' is a rare Spiraea.  It is one that is not seen very often it is usally confused with other double blooming Spiraea.

Lowe's Kids Workshop Saturday

One of my Hubby's favorite "toy" stores is holding their great Kids Workshops this Saturday.  These workshops are free and start at 10 am at most Lowe's.

This week the kids get to make a bird house!

Click here to preregister, but you can just show up if you want!  This would be a great activity for the youngin's if its raining Saturday!

Small Town, Schmall Town

I love the small town I live in!  I love the fact that I am raising my boys here!  Let me tell you why I love this town!

Today we had a great little festival called Taste of Toccoa.  The city closes down main street (Doyle Street) and local restaurants set up tents, up and down the streets.   You purchase tokens and visit the different restaurants to try all types of food!  I can feed the whole family for less than $20.00.

There are also kid rides and all types of entertainment--singing, dancing, bluegrass.  The best entertainment is just sitting down and watching people!  You can't pay for that type of entertainment!  (If I only owned a video camera, you would be rolling in the floor by now---words cannot explain what you see when you go to Taste!)  But I'm off the subject--why do I love this town?

When we get to Taste, my oldest, Knox, spots his Cub Scout buddies.  They are wanting to go check out everything, but without their Moma's--we kind of wreak their styles!  Now there are over 3000 people at this event, maybe even more.  If I lived in a big town, there would be NO way I would let my child go on his own with his buddies by themselves at a big festival like this! 

But this is Toccoa.  The town my husband and I both grew up in along with my parent's and my husband's parents.  I didn't think twice about letting my son and his buddies out of my sight. 

Before I let the boys go, I gave them some instructions.  Now one of the boys is the grandson of the Chief of Police and the other's family has lived in Toccoa as long as we have.  So I told the boys not to even think about doing something to get into trouble!  I said too many people know you boys and if you think you will get away with anything you are sorely mistaken!  So I told the boys that if they misbehaved it would get back to me or the Chief.

So I parted ways with the boys and didn't think twice.  As I made my way through the crowd and "Tasted" Toccoa's finest, I ran into people who asked where was Knox or said they saw Knox with his buddies just down the street! 

When Hubby finally made it downtown, we ran into the Chief and asked if he had seen the boys.  He laughed and said for us to head to the courthouse lawn.  He said we wouldn't miss the boys as long as we looked up!

We made our way up to the courthouse and found one of the boy's aunt.  Before we could ask where the boys were, she pointed to the Magnolia tree.  There in the tree was Knox and his buddies, with Knox almost to the top of the tree!  They had been in the tree ever since they had finished getting something to eat!
Where else but in a small town like Toccoa, could boys go off from their parents and just be boys in the middle of a sea of people!  With everyone talking about how awful the world is today, I feel blessed that I have been able to keep my boys in a town that lets boys be boys and allows parents to not worry about their kids!  It's a place where people look out for people!

Norman Rockwell would be proud!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

JC Penny Unbelieveable Deal!

You JC Penny shoppers listen up!  Jenny at Southern Savers is rackin' in the savings this week!  She's got another one here from JC Penny's--$10 off a $10 purchace code!

Head over to JC and use code 4BESTMOM and you’ll get $10 off. Pick site to store shipping to save a few dollars too!

This is a great heads up for frugal and nice Mother's Day gifts!!

Triplets at Harris Teeter!

Southern Savers is posting that Harris Teeter is going to triple any coupons 99 cents or less.  This will take place April 28 through May 4. 

You will be allowed 20 coupons that you can triple per day!  Head to Harris Teeter and don't miss out!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Free Tote Give Away!

Got Red Gold canned tomatoes in your pantry?  Click here to get a free reusable tote bag when you enter your UPC between April 19 and May 7 (while supplies last) when you sign-up for the Red Gold Tomato Country e-newsletter. Valid in the following states where Red Gold products are sold: AL, AR, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MI, MN, MO, MS, NE, OH, OK, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV, WI. You should receive your free bag within 8 to 12 weeks. There is also a printable coupon available. Click here to save $0.75 on 3 cans.

Thanks Freebies 4 Mom for the heads up for Earth Day!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Spotlight: Tide Stain Release

I live with two boys who are true BOYS.  They are outside playing in the trees, moving dirt to dig holes,  and then they follow their Daddy.  Hubby is a diesal mechanic so there is ALWAYS grease and other dirty stains on his clothes.  And whatever Hubby is into, so are the boys!  So his stains, become their stains, too! 

To say that laundry is an adventure is a true understatement in this house!  I have tried every kind of so-called stain remover on the market with little or no good results.  Then one day I bought a new product from Tide--Tide Stain Release Liquid.  The only reason I bought it was that I had a coupon to use and I found it on sale at CVS!  So I tried it...
Man, it worked!  I was shocked just how good it worked.  It got out not only grass, grease, and red clay, but it got out those nasty food stains that baby Hamp loves to leave for me to clean!  But the thing that blew me away was not just that Tide's Stain Release Liquid got these NEW stains out, it got out the OLD stains!  I just couldn't believe it!  This Stain Release Liquid got out stains that had been in the boys clothes for a couple of washes!  Amazing!! Just amazing!

It comes in three forms:  Liquid, Powder, and Duo Pak.  The Liquid can be used as a pre-treater for especially tough stains.  The Powder you can use for pre-soaking those heavy stains.  The Duo Pak has both a powder and liquid that is thrown into the washer for greater convenience.

Try this new Tide Stain Release and see if you aren't blown away too!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Happy 25th Birthday, Dairy Queen

Happy 25th Birthday D.Q.'s Blizzard!  According to Dairy Queen's Facebook page, DQ is having a Buy 1 Blizzard, Get 2nd for $0.25! 

This deal will be going on all next week, April 19-23.  No coupons are nessary!  So head in to your hometown DQ and enjoy a blizzard with someone special!!

P.S. Sleep Time is No Fun Time

I just wanted to let you all know that Hamp has gone to bed in his crib for three nights now.  Last night he went to sleep without a cry!  The 'bestest' thing is that he has not woke up in the middle of the night once these past three nights!!   As a matter of fact, we have had to wake him up in the mornings! 

I think he has weaned himself too.  He hasn't wanted to nurse any the past couple nights.  And they all sang, "Free at Last, Free at Last, thank God Almighty, I'm Free at Last!"  (I WILL miss the closeness of nursing and the cuddling--I won't miss the wiggling and biting!) 

Read the post Sleep Time is No Fun Time to get the background for this post.

Friday, April 16, 2010

What Are Those Numbers on My Fertilizer For?

Many times I have heard people say that those numbers on thier fertilizer aren't that important as long as you get the first number as high as you can get. 

Well, those numbers DO have a meaning!  The numbers have meanings for specific times in a plants life and for ways to help your plants produce more fruit and flowers.  You just have to know a little about those numbers and what they mean.

I thought I would give you a quick lesson in reading the 3 numbers on your fertilizer.  This will help you understand more about what you are doing when applying fertilizer and your plants will love you even more!  The added bonus is that your neighbors will be jealous at how well your garden is doing compared to theirs!!

Let's use a basic fertilizer such as 6-7-7.  The first number, 6, lets you know that you have 6% Nitrogen (N).  The second number, 7, tells you that there is 7% of Phosphorus (P).  While the last number, 7, states that you have 7% Potassium (K).  The numbers stand for Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium or N-P-K. 

Each nutrient is specific for different purposes in a plants growth.  Nitrogen is what a plant needs to grow in general and helps to give your plants that awesome "green" color. All plants need Nitrogen to help them produce more leaves and strong stems.  Most plants do not need much Nitrogen while others need as much (or more) as they can get!  Some high Nitrogen plants are corn, most grasses, many annuals and lantanas. 

Phosphorus is the nutrient that needs to be the highest for your flowering plants.  This is the "Flower Number"--meaning that Phosphorus is the nutrient that plants need to help them flower more.  With a larger Phosphorus number compared to Nitrogen and Potassium, plants will have more energy to flower than to produce leaves.  High Phosphorus numbers are what you need to use on your flower gardens and flower pots.  Make sure that fertilizer you buy that says "Flower Booster" has a larger Phosphorus number.  You want your Phosphorus as close as two times higher than your Nitrogen and Potassium as you can get!  Do check this!  I found a fertilizer labeled as a "Flower Booster" that had a LOWER Phosphorus number! 

The last number on fertilizer is for Potassium.  This is what I call the "Root Booster" number.  Potassium helps to boost root development in young plants.  For older plants, potassium is an "Immune Booster".  It helps the plant to fight off diseases and pests that invade a plants "space"!  A high Potassium number is good for new plants and for mature plants mid and late in the growing season.  This type of fertilizer is good even to use once a month or more during the growing season as an immune booster for your plants.  Look for a formulation of fertilizer with a higher Potassium while the Phosphorus is the lowest number. 

I hope this will help you to understand the numbers that are on fertilizer labels.  They have a purpose and the more you know about these numbers, the better gardener you will be!  I talk more about the different forms that fertilizer comes in and the different ways that plants take them in in the post Getting Started Gardening.

Let's get playing in the dirt!

Rebate for a Master Gardener's Secret

You don't know what Osmocote is? Well keep on reading...

Osmocote is a Master Gardener's Secret to a beautiful and bountiful garden!  This is slow release fertilizer--meaning that it will last about 3 to 4 months.  I go into more detail about using Osmocote in my posts Getting Started Gardening and The Dirt on Dirt....

The one thing to remember is that you can never have too much Osmocote because it can be used on everything from vegetables to annuals, from trees to perinnials!  It is the Secret that will make your neighbors jealous not just for what it will do for your plants but the fact that you will be saving money too!

The Scotts Company is giving a $5.00 mail-in rebate with the purchase of Osmocote Plus.  You must purchase between April 1, 2010 to June 30, 2010.  Limit one per household.  Click here to get the rebate form.

Don't let this offer pass you by!  Let's getting playing in the dirt!

Thanks Refund Cents Daily!

Free Pampers Potting Training Kit

Pampers is helping parents with potty training with this free Potty Training Kit

The kit includes:

  • free sample of Easy Ups Trainers

  •  high value coupons

  •  fun stickers and coloring pages

  •  potting training tips

  •  potty progress chart

  •  Dora or Diego training trophy

Thanks Refund Cents Daily!

New Scotts Coupons

Check out these Scott coupons!  Get a $1.00 off Scott Naturals Paper Towels, Bath Tissue, or Napkins.  Get $0.50 off Scott Naturals Flushable Wipes or Refills.

While your printing, check out the Scotts Reward Coupons offer.  Get $2.00, $3.00 or $4.00 coupons for buying Scotts products!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Design a Bag, Get a Bag

To celebrate Earth Day, Kroger is giving away a free bag to every one who designs a reuseable bag on their website.

The winning designer will receive a $1,000 gift card and a chance to see their bag design sold in Kroger stores. In addition to the winner of the contest, four finalists will be awarded a $250 Kroger gift card and five runners-up will receive a $100 Kroger gift card.

During the contest, anyone who designs a bag and has a valid shopper card will receive an electronic coupon for a free reusable bag ($0.99 value) loaded directly to their card, where applicable. Kroger has also partnered with Café Press so would-be designers can purchase a reusable bag with their own design on it.

Thanks Freebies 4 Mom!

Sleep Time Is Not Fun Time

Our 14 month old, Hamp, is not wanting to sleep lately.  Getting him to go to sleep has been an adventure or some times just plan torture! 

It stems from the fact that he sleep with my husband and I until he was about 11 months.  I did this since I was breastfeeding and it just makes since to roll over and pull out the "moo-juice" than to get out of bed and nurse!  Besides, I had to go to work and needed my sleep to deal with my students the next day!

When Hamp had almost quit nursing at night, I decided it was time to move to the crib!  So I started by letting him take naps in the crib.  I would get him asleep nursing and then move him to his crib.  At night was a different story!

We had started a routine for Hamp the day we brought him home.  He would have his bath, nurse, and then to bed.  It was to the point that as soon as he had a bath, he was rubbing the eyes, ready for bed.  But now, after the bath is play time!!  He does't enough want to stop for nursing--weanning, here we come!

So the day came that we had to get him to sleep but he didn't want to!  The decision was made to just let him cry himself to sleep.  Now, I know some people don't like to do this--I don't really either--but when he's so tried he can't sit still, won't nurse, and keeps nodding off with out giving it up, you just got to do something! 

I put him in his bed with a sippy cup and closed the door.  Waaaaaaaaaaa!!  Ugh!!!!  Waaaaaaaaa!  Hmmm!!  Waaaaa! Well maybe this is working!  Waaaa!  Shhhhhh!  Waa.........  It got quite in the room but I kept hearing a wimper, then another wimper, then nothing....  So I stuck my head in the door to see.  This is what I found......

He lost the battle.

And he didn't want to go to sleep!  He has done this two more times but is getting better at finding a way to get to sleep!

Rite Aid $5.00 Off Coupon

Check Red Plum for a great Rite Aid Coupon!  The Red Plum coupon is for $5.00 off a $25.00 purchase at any Ride Aid store. 

While on the Red Plum site, print the Nature's Made vitamins for the Walgreen special next week!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Amazon B1G1 Free "Can't Miss" Deal

If your kids love to build things, you need to be a fan of TRIO building sets.  Amazon has a got a great deal!

When you buy a Fisher-Price toy ($7.54-$19.97), you get a free TRIO Vehicle ($9.99 value). If you select one of the $9.99 toys or less then it's like a "Buy 1 Get 1 Free" toy sale. Remember to add both toys to your cart, and when you checkout you'll see $9.99 deducted. They usually sell out fast when they do a toy sale like this.  So don't delay!

The great thing about this sale is that some of the qualifying toys are already on sale and qualify for Super Saver Shipping! Remember that you can take advantage of Super Saver Shipping on orders of more than $25.00 - just combine your toy purchase with another item that you need to buy. You can also use your free Amazon gift cards you earned from Swagbucks to make this truly a free purchase.

Check out some of these Fisher Price favorites that are priced right.....

Thanks Freebies 4 Mom for the great heads up on this special deal!


Free Train Coloring Books

Click here to sign up for a Free Toby the Train coloring book from Norfolk Southern.  For you train "nuts" you can even download train sounds and pictures for your computer.

Check out Norfolk Southern's Muesum if you are going to be in the Norfolk, VA area any time soon.  I have found the kidos and the hubby can stay for HOURS at a railroad muesum!  Just something about the lurer of trains!

Sara Lee Coupons!

Check out the Sara Lee Facebook page for $2.00 coupon for their lean meats!

The Sex Cafe

I want to share with you a post I read this weekend from the Blog Flowerdust.  It is written by Anne Jackson about her visit to Molodva/Russia learning about sextrafficking in Eastern Europe.  Be prepared!  This is an eye opening post that will eat at you to the point of making you sick that this is going on in our world today!

Please read on in her blog because she has ways that we can all help this sick sex trafficking of young girls to stop!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Free Macaroni and Cheese

Become a fan of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese on Facebook and recieve a coupon for a free box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.  Fill out the form and your coupon will be mailed to you in 4 to 6 weeks. 

Nothing's better than free comfort food!!  Thanks Freebies for Mom!

The Flowering Vine

Right now, all around my town you look in the trees and see these beautiful purple flowers just dripping from the limbs of those trees.  I have people question me all the time, "What are those beautiful purple flowers?". 

These vines are called Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) or the Chinese Wisteria.  Their beauty hind their cruel truth.  They are an invasive vine in the Eastern US.  Their twisting vines produce beautiful purple racme blooms before their leaves apear each spring.  It's these counter-clockwise-twisting vines that can choke our native trees.

Gardeners love the abundance of blooms as well as their ability to trained easily.  But they must be kept under check.  If you grow Chinese Wisteria, you must be vigilant!  This vine spreads quickly and can smoother out mature trees when not kept in check.  It is considered an invasive species in the US.

They are able to grow in poor soil but pefer well drained soil.  Chinese Wisteria can grow in shade but pefers sun.  It puts out its blooms just before the leaves mature.

I would love to have Wisteria in my yard, but it is too scarey for me to grow.  Wisteria will live for more than 100 years.  If I did grow it, I'm afraid it would take over my yard after I am gone.  So I'm just going to admire my neighbors Wisteria and be thankful it hasn't made it to my woods yet!

Let's get playing in the dirt!

The Easter Tree

I love Dogwoods (Cornus florida)!  This picture below is the picture of one of oldest dogwoods on my family's property.  I thought I would share with you a great Easter legend about the flowering dogwood tree that my grandfather shared with me as we admired this dogwood on year during Easter.

The Legend of the Dogwood Tree

At the time of Crucifixion the dogwood had been the size of the oak and other forest trees. So firm and strong was the tree that it was chosen as the timber for the cross. To be used thus for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the tree, and Jesus nailed upon it, sensed this.
In His gentle pity for all sorrow and suffering Jesus said to the tree:  " Because of your regret and pity for My suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a cross. Henceforth it shall be slender and bent and twisted and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross--two long and two short petals. And in the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints, brown with rust and stained with red, and in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see it will remember."

The pink dogwood is said to be blushing for shame because of the cruel purpose which it served in the Crucifixion.

The weeping dogwood further symbolized the sorrow.

The red dogwood, called the Cherokee, bears the color to remind us of the blood shed by our Savior.

So as the dogwood's start blooming this spring, let them be your reminder of the great scarifice that our Savior made for you and me!  I hope this will make the flowering dogwood your favorite tree too!

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