- It’s allergy season here. Need I say more? *sneeze, sneeze*
- The weather has been stunningly gorgeous lately.
- If only the pollen weren’t out to kill us…
- I am already thinking about our homeschooling curriculum for next year.
- It can be quite an obsessive pastime.
- Chris bought me a nookcolor for Valentine’s Day.
- Very. Cool. Toy.
- I think I am ok with his love language being technology. :D
- Upwards Basketball season is now over. The kids are very excited to start swimming lessons next. Soon, but not yet.
- S likes to make our bed in the morning.
- I’m NOT complaining!
- In fact, maybe I should record the momentous occasion for posterity.
- I still don’t understand why it’s such a chore to make her small bed, but she loves making OUR much bigger bed.
- And I’m ok with sleeping under a Dora blanket.
- As long as I don’t have to make my own bed. Ha!
I decided that if I am going to turn my black thumb more green that I need to do so by educating myself about these plants in our new butterfly garden. Today, I set out to learn about this plant and actually got a 2-for-1 bargain in the process. I’m such a nerd, I know. And I’m ok with that.
The scientific or Latin name for this plant is the Cuphea llavea. We were delighted when the staff member at the garden center showed us the flower on this plant because it really does look like a bat face. My picture above isn’t the best perspective but you can go to the University of Florida’s page here to see a better shot. Apparently this is also called a “Mickey Mouse” plant and Disney makes use of them in their landscaping. No surprise there! Our kids and my piano students love seeing it.
What was also intriguing was that another plant we had chosen for our butterfly garden was in the same genus (or is it family? Wikipedia, if you please…) category as the bat-face plant. Whew, having to remember my scientific labels is stretching the ‘ole brain a bit.
You may have guessed by now.
Another type of Mexican Heather! Who knew! Apparently, not I. This one is Cuphea hyssopifola. The plants are practically kissing cousins. As to why it is called “False Mexican Heather” the UF site said that it is no relation to Wild Heather, which does not even grow in Florida. Other Cuphea plants, most of which attract hummingbirds and butterflies, include the cigarette and cigar plants due to their tubular flowers. We do not have any of those…yet. Maybe some day. If I can keep these alive and well…
My handy-dandy UF site also says that they like well-drained soil and bright light to partial shade (my kind of flower) and not to plant it too deep. They also don’t like water with high salt content so beware of well-water.
You’re welcome. :D
Oops. Apparently I had accidentally activated a privacy plug-in that kept you all from seeing the blog. It should be working now! I am so sorry! -Tara
This year we did Christmas slightly different. We knew we would be spending Christmas Day at my brother’s house further north of here so we decided to let the kids open a few presents the the days leading up to Christmas Day because we knew we wouldn’t have room for them in the car and it would give them time to play with them. In this way, we would avoid opening exciting new toys then saying, “Never mind, let’s get in the car now!”
On Christmas Eve, I got a bug in my pants and decided at that last minute that I wanted to see my family on Christmas Eve instead so we packed up early and headed up to my brother’s house. We gave the kids their “big” presents, let them play with them while we packed, then headed out the door.
S made the ride exciting by developing a fever halfway there and then throwing up fifteen minutes from our destination. It was panning out to be a fabulous Christmas Eve for her, poor girl. Fevers and long car ride and McDonald’s just do not mix well. Literally.
After a restless night for the sweet girl (and an exciting night for Nana and Pa for almost all the grandkids being in the same house for Christmas Eve), Christmas morning finally arrived and chaos ensued. Five kids + tree = chaos and fun.
That evening, Mike and Kara fixed a fabulous formal Christmas meal and it was SO delicious. I just had to get pictures of the beautiful table setting.
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!
Yesterday was our Christmas Worship Music production at church. The theme of that production was hope and how the fact that because Jesus came to Earth, we all have, very simply, HOPE. Without him, we would have none. As Christians, our mission is spread that hope to the rest of the world.
In our hectic pace during the holiday season, it can be easy to forget about the hope that others so desperately need to hear and feel and possess. Thus, our pastor challenged us to think of the most expensive gift that we may be purchasing this season for a friend, family member, loved one, or significant other then outgive that gift to Jesus. How do you do that? Give hope to someone. Give to an organization such as World Vision or Compassion International or Samaritan’s Purse. Give to your church’s mission fund or Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Give to your local homeless mission or to a family you personally know that is need. But outgive that gift to Jesus.
Give hope this Christmas for he gave hope to us. Cliche’, I know, but to a starving family it means everything.