Small changes for big results

I’ve been working outside with our beautiful weather. Since we pretty much live on a shoe string, I don’t have a large budget to get some projects done. But it really is amazing how some small changes can make such a big difference and results in the way things look.

Weeding – inexpensive but yields impressive results!

Did I ever tell you that once a landscaper came to evaluate our yard and told me that they pulled every consultant in from their firm as well as a few outsiders to discuss our yard? Yep. And they said they’ve never seen anything like it. We have every weed indigenous to the state of IL in our yard – except for one! They spent 1 summer trying to kill it all, but these prairie weeds are hardy creatures and within a month, everything was popping back up.

We have a very large maple tree in our front yard. With maples the roots are close to the surface so nothing really grows well there (not ground cover or flowers or plants, even hostas don’t do so great). But the weeds do just fine! So I bought a tool to actually dig out the weeds from the root. I have no idea if they’ll grow back again, but after 4 days of regular weeding, I pulled in excess of 250 dandelions (plus other weeds that are unknown to me).

weeding tool

BONUS: My boys enjoyed using the tool since it has a release action that is like the cocking of a rifle. Go figure.

Last year I didn’t get a handle on things early in the spring and by May the yard was pretty much a lost cause. No matter how much I tried, the weeds completely took over. So, I’m hoping that with getting back down to the dirt, the mulch I’m putting down will be a big help in keeping the weeds in check and keeping the yard looking tidy.

Plus I also filled in a patch of worn dirt next to our graveled driveway with more gravel. It’s not an exact match, but it sure is better than driving over mud when it rains! And it looks a whole lot better too.

Here are some photos of the front yard in progress. I’ll update you when it is all finished.

In the meantime, here is my Menu Planning Monday for this week. Just suppers for now. I’ll post what I’m cooking for the family and what I’ll be eating (if different). Please feel free to download my FREE, fully editable, Month at a Glance menu planner, my Weekly Menu Planner and my Snacks planner.

What’s YOUR menu for the week?

Monday: chicken fajitas (S meal for me with salad and no rice)

Tuesday: tacos (taco salad for me – no beans, S meal)

Wednesday: waffles (chocolate THM waffles for me – E meal)

Thursday: pasta w/marinara sauce (chicken pazole for anyone who wants to try it – E meal)

Friday: hot dogs (fish with salad for me – FP meal)

Saturday: homemade pizza (on Joseph’s lavash bread for me)

Sunday: leftovers (for all of us)

All Scripture quotations are taken from the NASB.
Unless otherwise indicated, photos from

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  1. You know you are singing my tune! I love gardening — although I not a master by any stretch of the word! I have not planned well for food this week — was better last week.

    Too MUCH rain to garden today — but damp soil can make weeding easier.

    Am leaving shortly with DH to supervise the loading of moving vans from storage lockers for friends of ours who were hit with HUGE health issues that incapacitated them, and forced into a hasty move to their children’s homes. A reminder how fragile and glorious a gift our health is, and how precious friends and family are in tough times.


    • I really WISH I had skill with gardening. I can never tell if it’s my negligence, lack of skill or wherewithal that keeps my garden sad and lonely! :D

      I’m sure you and your husband will be a huge blessing to your friends!! Love and hugs to you, dear DEAR friend!!


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