My life as a tomato.

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Weird title I know. I had a bit of a revelation today during my devotion and prayer time.

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I was talking to God about my tomatoes, and how I was worried they were never going to mature and turn red and juicy. And then I wondered: Does the Great Gardner see me as a tomato? Are there moments in time when He is just anxiously awaiting my maturity as a Christian?

I know he already knows the end result of my life. He already knows how I will finish out each moment, of each day, in each week, month, year I have left. I know He knows all the beginnings, the ends, the bad, the good, the somewhere in the middles, and I know that He is victorious over it all….

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I have watched these tomato plants take root in my garden and flourish, I have seen them grow big and strong. I have watched with anxious joy as they bloomed, and shouted with joy as I watched the fruits start to develop, and now I am in a holding pattern watching them move forward at such a snails pace that I am worried that I will give up before I see the results.

I feel that way in my faith sometimes. Sometimes I worry that I will never see results of  the trials and fires that I go through. I get disturbed by the old patterns I see emerging from myself occasionally. I wonder how long I have before God gives up on me and moves on to someone who is ripening faster than I am (answer: NEVER. He isn’t going to give up on you either)  I question how it’s possible that God can keep on loving me, even though I am a giant screw up and always seem to say/do the wrong thing.

The good news is, this isn’t a race. God isn’t timing me and disqualifying me if I don’t get to a certain point in faith by such and such time.  He is on the sidelines always cheering me on, giving me the encouragement I need to get through each moment, even when it’s most painful. He meets me where I am and helps me finish strong, even if He is carrying me at my weakest point.

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It’s a good thing He isn’t as impatient with me maturing as I am my tomatoes.


..: Lead me to the Cross :.. Chris and Conrad

{this is my favorite version of this song}

p.s. I am every bit as obsessed with my garden as it would seem from the fact that it’s all I post about these days, I am trying to come up with things to post, but we are at a standstill here lately. Doing things, but nothing seems worthy of sharing, because we are all too in the moment of doing it, which is a good thing! family memories are better than anything.

State of the garden(4)~ On a Saturday! (sorry)

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I have no excuse for not posting, I actually took the pictures yesterday. I spent the whole day rearranging my house and then last night I was transplanting some of the monster marigolds that I suspect are taking the nutrients and moisture from my peppers and spinach…. They will hopefully be happy in their new home under the girlie’s window. We have also been nursing along the front flower beds, and adding clearanced plants and bushes. The other day my Mummy, sisters, Girlie, and Nephew C helped me put newspaper and rock downout there. It looks so much better than it did! It took 12 bags of rock, and I actually have to hit up Menards today and get 3-4 more bags to finish filling in.

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planted some azaleas. One back here and one up front. I’m excited to see if they do well.ugco_julygarden2_8

these hostas are growing along the side of the house. I need to transplant some of them to different areas. ugco_julygarden2_7

I planted more spinach, my one patch isn’t as healthy as it once was. And the other is growing very slowly. We’ve still been harvesting it and eating it. And it is delicious. Speaking of harvesting: We are getting zucchini every single day for the last 5 days. The first one was a big one, and I have no idea how I missed him for a few days! Crazy little guys! There is a picture of the first two on the instagram slideshow to your right. ;)

 

Here is our first pumpkin! Isn’t it just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?

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We have tons of cucumbers but none ready to harvest yet. ;) Almost my pretties….almost.

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Our backyard fence neighbor painted their side of the fence with a sprayer. Almost all of my tomatoes look like this. There may have been threats of dome punches to old ladies muttered under my breath, and to Brad, and anyone within ear shot that day. That lady has been a pain about the fence since we moved in. She wanted to take it down completely. Anyway. That is not the point of this post. You don’t want to hear about my wretched moments that happen in my heart when I think of my neighbors. I’m working on that. I am. Pray for me, k?

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On to the tomatoes: We haven’t had any ripe ones yet. I’m worried they will all ripen at once, and I won’t have jars ready or anything. It’s a nightmare that is keeping me up. lol ugco_julygarden2_15

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So how does your garden grow this week?

State of the Garden (3)

So last week I didn’t take any pictures of my garden. I was way too busy taking pictures of the fireworks. ;)

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Some days I look out the patio door and I just can’t believe that God has blessed us in this way. I mean look at it:

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Last year we were in a duplex and had next to nothing for a yard and a few spindly plants that didn’t produce anything watching our plants rush to die before the 4th of July. This year we have a huge yard, with a good sized garden that is flourishing despite my not green thumb. Our front yard flowers are filling in as I add in new clearance flowers, and I think I only lost 1 plant out there, which is a huge improvement!

I am so thankful that God has allowed me a chance to spend time with Alyson and to watch His hand at work as He makes this garden grow, not just the one in my backyard, but the one in my heart.

Philippians 1:6  (NKJV) Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

Our Pumpkins are going crazy. ;)  I can’t wait till Fall! hehe

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Our cucumbers are starting to appear! Yay! Creamy Cucumbers I see you in my future!
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Got zucchini flowers out the wazoo. Here’s hoping that they turn into zucchini very quickly!
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our peppers are starting to bud. #yay
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And our tomatoes…. well they live in their own giant world. The garden actually is down about 2-3 inches from the rest of the yard and I stood next to them and they hit me mid chest, I measured that in the house and it was about 47 inches tall. I can no longer see any type of cages supporting them, I am assuming they haven’t been eaten by the giant plants. But we won’t know for certain until fall. None of them have turned yet, but I am hoping they will soon. Otherwise that would be a cruel joke. lol
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How does your garden grow?

4th of July Roundup. ;)

So as you know the 4th was Friday. Which means I am not doing a garden post until the 11th. :) I can give ya a bit of an update, but no pictures. We have tomatoes, none red. We have super tiny cucumbers coming in. And our zucchini and pumpkins have huge blooms. :) We have harvested spinach a few times, and actually used some on the 4th to make a salad for our picnic. It was pretty good. ;)

Today, this girlie, got a haircut to try to blend away some of the short strands that are growing back in from the shave/butcher job.

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Here are fireworks. Only a handful though because honestly? I would have been spinning in a circle. There were tons going off all around us at mom and dad’s.
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State of the Garden 2014 (2)

Well it’s that time again.

Week 2 of the State of the Garden address. ;)

If you click the button below you will see the progress we have made so far. Also: If you look at my instagram widget on the sidebar, you can see the progress it has made in two weeks time. It’s insane. If you look at the hash-tag:

#koehngarden2014

I will probably have some random shots that I won’t have included in the posts. ;)

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How does your garden grow? Mine? Leaps and flipping bounds.

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We have tomatoes!ugco_stateofthegarden_2_1

The tomato plants are now taller than the chicken wire fence. To finish staking some of the tomatoes, I used cheap dowels and knee high panty hose(the ones that come in the plastic bubble, I got them 2/$1 at Walgreens) ugco_stateofthegarden_2_5

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Also: My marigolds are coming back! Even the really dead one! We did have a baby bunny getting through the chicken wire, which was weird. but he is now big enough he can’t get through. Also: all the things about Tabasco sauce and cayenne pepper, etc… that you read about to get rid of rabbits naturally? Lies. The rabbits around here like it. They were actually going around and licking the outside of the fence. Flipping Sickos. So I have no idea what to do about the rabbits. I’m hoping they will go away on their own. I’m praying about it anyway.

My sickly peppers? They are looking a lot better this week! Last week I put matchsticks in the ground around them (I read something about them liking the sulfur from matches on one of the links one of you ladies left me, so we decided to test it out) and it seems to be working! I don’t know if it’s the matches, or something else, but they look so much better! We put up a fence to keep that crazy zucchini on his side of the garden. Hopefully it helps! lol
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 The cucumbers are starting to vine up the fences. SUPER stoked about that! Grow cucumbers

GROW! ugco_stateofthegarden_2_4

It was raining all day, and so I was late getting this post up, since I needed a break in the weather. But good news: there were still raindrops on everything. So it was all kinds of sparkly and beautiful out there. (if you ignored the humidity, which I don’t recommend since it’s hard to breathe and you need to breathe.)

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That’s pretty much it for here, other than I haven’t killed any of my houseplants or my flower baskets out front, or even the planted flowers out front. So that means I’m winning this year since the 4th of July is quickly approaching and everything is still alive!

 We are getting peas off the plants at mom’s. Those go crazy every year! They need picked every few days.

What is the state of your garden? Are you getting any produce yet?

State of the Garden 2014 (1)

I want to keep track of our garden this year, and I would love to know how your gardens are growing; feel free to save the icon below, link back here, and comment so I can visit and see your garden. :) Hopefully we can share helpful tips and other stuff related to growing our groceries.

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It’s been about a month since we put in our garden. It’s really been taking off the last week or so. We have had some major hurdles to overcome, the rabbits ate my entire “protection” of marigolds and then cleared off my spinach patch.  I am turning into Mr. McGregor from Peter Rabbit. So we put up a fence to keep them out. It is finally helping everything perk up. The marigolds are finally coming back and I decided that they don’t do what they claim to do. But at least they will add a splash of color to that part of the backyard. ;)

our tomatoes are getting huge and we have a couple of tiny tomatoes on there! So very excited! the cages aren’t supporting them that well and I need to find another solution.

(this week’s pictures aren’t that grand, it was starting to get dark, and I was in a rush. I’ll get better ones next week!)

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This is our tiny pumpkin patch. ;) By patch I mean this small hill.  It has some flowers already, so my girlie is S.U.P.E.R. excited!

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In the back of this picture you can see more spinach and a bit of where the new seeds are growing in. These are the ones the rabbits ate off, and they are coming back nicely. I also planted more because you can never have too much spinach! (well actually you can, but fresh spinach in our pasta dishes will be divine! So will fresh spinach and artichoke dip!)

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Here is our zucchini hill. This guy is going crazy. I can not wait until these are ready! Roasted zucchini for DAYS!

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Here is one of our hills of cucumbers. We have 4. Cucumbers are big at our house. BIG. Creamy cucumbers, cucumbers with seasoning salt, cucumbers in our salads, on our eyes for spa days, etc…;) ugco_stateofthegarden_4

I planted bell pepper seeds, but they failed to grow, so we bought pepper plants, and they are waffling back and forth between looking good, and looking like crud. They confuse me. HELP. We need peppers, we use them all the time and it will save us tons of money to have them in the back yard!

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That’s it for here, we have some more things at my folks’ house; peas (which we are already eating, and they are DELICIOUS!) watermelon, eggplant, more tomatoes, more peppers, more zucchini, yellow squash, and something else but I can’t remember what.

I can’t wait to see what your gardens look like!:)

Any tips on my pepper and rabbit problems?

Happy Gardening!

Happy Monday! =)

Did y’all have a good weekend celebrating those manly men in your lives?
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Sure did here. We combined Father’s Day and Sister Little C’s 18th and Brother N’s 11th birthdays.  Also: We didn’t get blown away by a tornado or straight line winds on Saturday. We did have some damage to one of our screens, and our big ol tree in the front yard lost some of it’s branches. We didn’t have it as bad as some other parts of the state. Thank you Lord! There are trees down, and limbs down throughout town, and some of the power was sketchy overnight.

As a side note: My youngest sister is now 18. Insert cries here. She is the one that I helped deliver at home. The one that was by my side always. I took her everywhere. and I mean everywhere. She danced Brad and I’s first dance at our wedding with us. She hated Brad since he took her Re. And now? She’s 18. That feels so odd! It’s been a big year for birthdays this year: ALy turned 13. T.H.I.R.T.E.E.N. Sister little C turned 18. My heart people. Letting them fly is hard.

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This week’s song: Only One and Only You – Steven Curtis Chapman

P.S. I have a new summer feature I will be sharing later this week. ;)

Even If

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Some weeks are absolutely terrible. Some weeks you just know that you can’t keep going on like you are. Some weeks you just want to give up. Some weeks you feel like dandelions blowing in the wind. Some weeks it takes a lot to make you remember how far God has brought you. Some weeks you need someone to remind you that you aren’t alone.

This is one of those weeks my friends. I thank God every day that he sent me Brad. It’s been a rough week, but I know that God is watching me even when it feels like the wind is blowing me in all directions at once. Trust is all I need to do. Even if nothing goes our way ever again in life. Even if problem after problem keeps knocking on our door. Even if. EVEN IF.

Even if the healing doesn’t come, and life falls apart and dreams are still undone.
You are God! You are good!
Forever faithful One! Even if the healing 
Even if the healing doesn’t come 

This week is brought to you by Even If ~ Kutless.

What song is getting you through this week?