I want to do this!

Love and be loved

  • cia007
    cia007 Doing 2 cheers 2017-05-28 19:53:25

    What is love? This is a question I've been pondering lately, and I've come to the conclusion, at least in English speaking cultures, there is a lot of confusion partially due to the linguistic limitations of the language. In English, there is only one word to describe "love." It is used to describe many different types of "love" that other cultures and languages have words for.
    The Ancient Greeks, for example, had 6 words for love:

    1. Eros, or sexual passion

    2. Philia, or deep friendship

    3. Ludus, or playful love

    4. Agape, or love for everyone

    5. Pragma, or longstanding love

    6. Philautia, or love of the self

    For the purpose of this goal, I wish to focus on #4, Agape, or love for everyone, as I believe this one to be the foundation of the others, along with #6, Philautia, or love of the self.

    With exception to narcissists, I believe many Christians and those influenced by Christian culture today misinterpret Philautia, by confusing the nobility of "dying to self" with self-neglect, extreme unworthiness, lack of boundaries, and sometimes denial of joy, pleasure or self-expression.

    True and authentic love is solid, pure, expansive and expressive. If you cannot have a degree of healthy Philautia, and realize that you are here on this earth for a reason, and have a right to shine and share your gifts in the fullness of who YOU are as a person and who you were created to be, it is very hard to expand to true Agape.
    If we can love ourselves in a healthy way, we can love others, and in turn love attracts love- we get love in return.

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  • ligemst
    ligemst Doing 1 cheers 2017-05-11 15:16:09

    Wife Report Card

    I was supposed to do this last week, but I did not. In my Women's Bible study, we had a Wife Report Card. Yeah. It focused on 8 areas, which were things that were covered in the Intentional Women Bible Study.

    They were:

    • Sober/Sound Minded

    • Love Husband

    • Love Children

    • Discreet

    • Chaste

    • Keeper at Home

    • Good/Kind

    • Submissive

    There were definitions for each of these and it was supposed to be his perceptions or how he sees me. I would have rated myself differently than what he did, in fact, quite differently except for 1 item.

    The ones that aren't highlighted were the things I do well, close to perfect for him, as perfect as an imperfect person could get.

    However, the things I got rated pretty low on were the things I highlighted. I couldn't help it, but tears began to flow down my face profusely not because they were low but because he didn't think I had made a lot of improvements in these areas in the past 9 months I've been doing this study. I knew there was still a lot of work to be done here, but I asked him to be honest with me and it really hurt.

    But, the thing is, these were the 3 areas that I had been focusing on and really trying really hard because I knew they were issues with me. I also didn't see myself as really too kind of a person, but he said I am really a good/kind person generally and it's only when I'm super angry that I might not be, but even then, I'm still kind, way kinder than he is.

    He said he could tell me what I wanted to hear, but how would that benefit me. He recounted many times I was not those 3 highlighted areas. It's really a challenge to hear feedback you didn't want to hear. He had to rate me on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the best.

    Let's just say the scores weren't good nor did they really improve hardly from the past 9 months. Though I may not say as much, he says keeping it inside of me until at some point I explode is not good. It's just causing anger and resentment to build up.

    Though I could name many instances were I was better than what he perceived, because I was intentionally making a point to be these 3 things, he didn't see it that way.

    He said it all came down to me NOT LISTENING and being REACTIVE. If I would truly listen and not be reactive, being opened to listening - not speaking or thinking about what to say, and really hear, he said I would be great in these 3 things.

    Even writing this, I feel like crying. However, it's feedback for me to use it to improve as a person. I have and am seeing improvements in my marriage where it was once not that way. I have learned to control my tongue much more and not just spew out stuff at any cost or at any time.

    A couple weeks or so ago, I began without him telling me, to work on my internal dialogue, which can be quite not good. When that internal dialogue, those conversations in my head, are good, then I believe these other things will be much better.

    He said that when I am emotional, all logic goes out the door. It's true. It's sometimes hard to accept that we aren't as good in some areas of our lives that we think we are, which is the case with me.

    Humble pie, but I am willing to change. I am willing to listen and not speak and to turn off that internal dialogue to truly hear what my husband, kids and others are saying to me and respond appropriately.

    I guess as I look at society, even I have elements of all the yucky stuff going on in my own life. I don't want to be the craziness society is and I want to be true not just on the outside, but inside of me. Lots of work, but I aim that this time next year, even though I may not get all 5s, that they will all be 4s and 5s. And for those things I did get 5s on, to maintain them.

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    • wyverndust
      wyverndust 2 cheers 2017-05-13 08:22:49

      @ligemst do you get to criticize him and give him a report card too? this upsets me a great deal because I know you give 110% to everything you do. I don't like thinking that the person you love the most is hurting you with criticism and not recognizing your efforts. Although my partner often tells me that I don't listen. I do listen I just have a mind of my own and I have to learn the hard way sometimes. It should not be a one way street and you should get credit for your substantial efforts.

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      • ligemst
        ligemst Doing 2 cheers 2017-05-13 16:46:06

        @wyverndust No, he does not get to give me a report card. Each of us wives and mothers in my Bible study were to give the "Wife Report Card" to our husbands and ask for honest feedback.

        Though his report card of me for 3 items did make me cry, it did make me realize that I am not that great of a listener not just to him, but to our kids and others. It's a challenge to get hard feedback, but I really want to improve and though I give my all when I set a goal, I really fell short here.

        IF I would just LISTEN before I react, I think I would do MUCH better with each of those 3 things and I aim to do just that. It's against my nature, but I want to continually become a better person.

        I have calmed down the past 2-3 yrs, but I still have a ways to go. I sort of repress my feelings some, so then it just builds up. I need to be able to effectively discuss my issues without becoming all emotionally crazy, then I don't make a whole lot of sense.

        The persons I become the most emotionally crazy with are my husband and kids. They get the best of me, but they also get the worst of me. With these 3 goals, I need to be very aware of what I'm doing and feeling, and be very intentional if I'm going to make progress on them.

        I was asking HIM for feedback. He wasn't asking for my feedback. Sometimes he does and I tell him and it's not always negative. It's never been in the form of like a piece of paper with a rating system like I gave him for me. I solicited that information and feedback from him. It's all good.

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  • ligemst
    ligemst Doing 1 cheers 2017-05-10 16:45:13

    Good, Not Harm

    In Proverbs 31:12, it says that a wife brings her husband good, not harm, all the days of her life. I memorized this quite some time ago, but lately, it's had greater meaning to me.

    Yesterday we concluded a 9 month study about being an Intentional Godly Woman in my women's Bible Study. We all are married with children (varying ages). Some of us have been married a long time, while others, not very long. Some have blended families. Others do not. There are women in their 20s to 60s in our group.

    Some of the women worked outside of the home, others had their own businesses or worked from home. Others did not work for money, rather were housewives.

    We came together to see what the Bible tells us how we should be as wives, mothers, and women. It's amazing how I've transformed willingly and see the changes in how much better and deeper my marriage is just by applying biblical principles to my role as a wife, mother and women.

    How I view things has changed, too and I am pleasantly surprised. Our culture and society is almost what the opposite I've learned in this Bible study and it's really a wonder why my first 2 marriages failed because I only applied the biblical principles I wanted to apply and took things out of context.

    One of the things that struck me recently was this verse in Proverbs. Bringing good to your husband and not harm also meant taking guard of your thought life. Often I have conversations in my head and though I usually don't write or even verbalize what I'm feeling or thinking, I was thinking stuff that were not good.

    The Holy Spirit convicted me of the tumultuous conversations I was having in my own head and how entitled I thought I was in so many areas. As I look around society to see how "entitled" people were acting and how harmful that was, I had to take a good hard look at my own self, my own life and especially my thought life.

    Sometimes my husband and I disagree on things and in the past, I would always speak my mind and do it in a manner that he found offensive, which is really me being blunt or direct without taking care of my words. I've been working on that and came to the conclusion that if I don't have anything good to say at all in a manner that is beneficial to others, then I'm not going to say it.

    This caused me to feel repressed and then I started having these self-talk conversations in my head that were just always things regarding entitlement, my rights, etc. Then, when I couldn't take it anymore, I would lash out.

    As I read that verse in Proverbs, I was so convicted that even though I wasn't verbally saying stuff, I was taking on a passive aggressive approach and that wasn't good either. I'm learning that I CAN say things that I disagree with without getting emotional.

    I began to repent for all these conversations and the bad attitudes I had, which resulted in my spirit quieting down. I began to see how even in my own mindset, how I can have a very entitlement based attitude, which I did not. I also repented for that, too and got healing for all the wounds on my soul because of these sins.

    It was amazing, but after I did that, the angry feelings, those feeling of entitlement, those mean conversations in my head disappeared. Now, there will be situations that rear itself up, and I have to be intentional especially in my thought life.

    Because eventually, the thoughts of your heart and mind will come out and it can be pretty ugly. So the best thing to do is to address it immediately and not let things fester. As I began to take control of my thoughts and any thoughts that were not pleasing to God, I would address quickly and not entertain them.

    As a result, sarcasm has gone way down to be more playful. My patience is much greater, as well as my levels of kindness. I'm also able to have better boundaries that are healthier and more effective.

    Sometimes, I'll have to admit, I want God to teach my husband a lesson about something I disagree with him on. That is absolutely wrong. I've changed how I deal with these that when I disagree and my husband is the head of our household, and I do submit to him as his wife, that I can talk calmly and nicely to him. I can pray for him that God would bless his mind and the choices he makes, even if I disagree.

    So the verse does mean in all aspects of the wife, she is to bring him good, not harm for all her life. She is always to see the best in him, and even when he makes a choice that can negatively impact all of us, that her love for God and him overrides that and she is still supportive, encouraging, loving and still wanting him to make the best decision possible.

    God does honor wives who honor their husbands by submitting to them. I've seen my husband change so much in a great way just because I've truly submitted to him being the head of the household in our home. And, submission, I've learned is not just physically submitting in things, but it's really willingly with your attitude.

    Our marriage has become much stronger, and I feel stronger and better as a person, as a mother, as a wife. None of us are perfect and we are all in a process in this journey of life.

    I think my husband through the course of how I'm changing, he's falling more in love with me and I am falling more in love with him. We both still have a lot of work for each of ourselves and in our marriage, but we are headed in the right direction.

    When that nasty I've got to have my way asserts itself, I plan to squash it and do the right thing. Doing the right thing is not easy and usually is the toughest thing, but it's the right thing and in the end, it will pay off.

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  • ligemst
    ligemst Doing 0 cheers 2017-05-10 15:24:34

    Concerts, Plays, Tournaments, Bonsai Trees, Home Projects, School, Life Stuff

    My kids don't really realize how much I love them. The past 3 weeks they've had a bunch of choir concerts which has amounted to hours of this over the course of 2 different times, as well as driving time.

    One was a couple Friday nights ago, which was comprised of 7 honors choirs from 7 different schools in our school system. That was a total of either 20 or 22 songs. I can't remember. That was about a 40 minute drive in little traffic from where we live.

    Then, the other concert was comprised of 4 choirs from my kids' school at their school. Each choir did 4 songs and then each choir director spoke, gave out awards.

    Last night my daughter was in a play about Julius Caesar that lasted about 2 hrs. She had 4 different parts in the play and did a fantastic job. My husband did not come to this because he was on Facetime with his mom and other relatives, as he was tired. I recorded with help from my son on my iPad the whole play. Thankfully we brought a tripod because my arms even with a tripod got really tired.

    My son has been in playing chess tournaments many Sunday afternoons/evenings since January. Not every Sunday. Thank God. He now has enough games to get a solid rating and he's now ready to play for the high school chess team next year. He needed to get all his games in (at least 25 games) by the 3rd Wednesday in June to be rated in July. Chess starts when school starts, which is the beginning of August.

    All the driving, the waiting, the prepping for each thing.

    My son's graduation from 8th grade will be in 2 weeks, so I need to get his hair cut, get the correct attire for the graduation and the dance afterwards. Invitations have already been sent out.

    Also, all the choirs, plays, tournaments, and everything else they have had because they're in archery, programming club, language club, karate, mentoring, tutoring, their jr high and high school youth groups at church, all that takes so much time and practice on top of their school work and the projects, tests, quizzes, essays, papers they have in school.

    My husband doesn't usually go to the chess stuff and he did miss the Friday night honors choirs stuff. I'm literally exhausted and my workouts have been suffering.

    However, I do all these things whether I am tired or not, whether I'm too busy or not for them. And, I try extra hard to be very organized so that the meals I have planned for the week, I only need to go to the store basically on Mondays.

    Seems car maintenance comes up quicker more than I'd like but we drive our cars a lot, so maintenance comes up more frequently. I've spent the past 3-4 months getting stuff done to the house in preparation for the summer heat - all those home projects, and deal with any issues or unexpected things that come up.

    BUT, I am really grateful my husband makes enough so that I do not have to financially make any money, but I really do work hard and as efficiently as possible to really be here for my family and their specific needs.

    And, this arrangement we have, though often I'm really doing too much, is that I have great flexibility whereas someone like my husband has less working for someone else. But we are grateful that he loves his job and the company he works for is fantastic and treats him well, with awesome management. Really, as far as jobs/careers are concerned, it's really 98% ideal.

    We have a good life and I'm not complaining. I remember just not too long ago all the financial hardships we were in and it took a lot of work to get to this point. We are all a team and play different roles - each being very important.

    Also, teaching, training, correcting, disciplining our kids can sometimes be so challenging, but if we don't do it, we are doing them and society a disservice.

    I got a great comment yesterday from a stranger, a woman that walked up to my daughter and told her that her performance was the best because she did a great job enunciating her words, being quite audible, etc. She asked if my daughter was going to go on with a career in acting. My daughter replied she wasn't, rather she would be going into engineering.

    The lady said each of the roles my daughter did, they were very believable (except for the moment I saw that she was going to crack up in a serious scene - which she abated this). I am so proud of my daughter. Yesterday's school day was a 14 hr day, just way too long. She's had several of those days in the past 3 weeks, as well as taking the SAT for the 2nd time.

    Finals will begin for her next week and end the week after, so I will be doing some of the chores they do to give them time to study for their finals - more work for me. And, I'll be making them yummy breakfasts, which I don't normally make them breakfast anymore at the behest of my husband. However, I want them to get enough sleep and make sure they each have a hearty breakfast.

    The things we moms do because we love our children. My husband loves them, but he won't sacrifice in this manner for them or anyone, maybe not even himself. I see many moms and dads also do this, sacrifice, for their kids at my kids' school. We have close to a 90% plus of parental involvement at their school, which is fantastic. They go to a great school with a superb environment.

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  • ligemst
    ligemst Doing 2 cheers 2017-05-04 14:25:18


    My husband asked me a few months ago to stop making breakfast for the kids, but on the rare occasion, I will. For instance, when they've had a long day, too many tests or school projects, or special testing, I will make breakfast for them. I want to make sure they have a good protein rich breakfast with some good veggies.

    I always make my husband breakfast, though. My husband is spoiled and he doesn't want me to spoil the kids. They make their own school lunches, which is usually leftovers from dinners I make that are usually homemade. Or, if they don't want that, there are a plethora of other options I make available to them with tortillas, wraps, salad stuff, bread.

    Today, though, I went out (first time) to buy each of the kids iced coffees from McDonald's. They were so tired from a long day at school and then a long night of choir concerts, the 2nd one in the past 6 days.

    My daughter's curriculum as well as the whole school's is all honors and there is a lot of homework each night. She's chosen her thesis topic, which she will do as a Senior next year and she will have to defend it before she graduates high school. Her school is very academic, as well as good at sports and liberal arts. It's a traditional school with a traditional education, just everything is accelerated honors.

    I've heard from many students who came back and said college was a breeze after going to this jr high and high school. The graduation rate for my daughter's school is 100% as well as 100% of the students going onto college or some trade school (this is rare).

    Had to go to 2 McDonald's to get the iced coffee as the first McDonald's didn't have iced coffee. They were out. This is one of the worst McDonald's as it's often out of stuff - ice, ice cream, now iced coffee.

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  • ligemst
    ligemst Doing 1 cheers 2017-04-27 17:26:25


    The high school chess team has been waiting for the past 3 yrs for my son to be able to play on the chess team, which is only comprised of high schoolers. He's better than some of the high school kids even when he was a 6th grader.

    Now he needs to get enough games to be rated. He's completed 19 games and he needs another 6 more. Each tournament he plays in is 4 games, so he will need to play in 2 more tournaments to get rated.

    He needs to have all this done by the third Wednesday in June, which he should have all his games by the 3rd Wednesday in May. Glad someone who knew finally explained this to me.

    Right now we are having him watch chess videos and read books on better ways to play. He's a good player, but he has so much room to improve as he's not a master. Even masters have room to improve.

    He's been playing chess since he was either in 1st or 2nd grade. He's been competing for the past 6-7 yrs. It's been interesting and we've made some great friends this way.

    I only know the basics of Chess. He tries to explain to me, but my eyes just gloss over. My daughter has gotten back into playing chess and has joined the school chess club this semester. She hasn't competed in any tournaments.

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  • ligemst
    ligemst Doing 0 cheers 2017-04-27 17:22:12


    Our son got 100% on his medieval history project, which was the cross bow. It looked really cool, and he did well on his presentation. However, when he took the class out to demonstrate the workings of his cross bow, it didn't work and he was so ticked off.

    I told him he needs to bring the cross bow home today because we spent a lot of money on it and the time he spent on it was a lot, too. He probably spent more time on his project than probably 1/4 of the kids cumulative time total on their project.

    The teacher really blessed him with this grade and my son has never worked so hard for anything before. Most things come easy to him, except soccer. So really this and soccer, he's had to work at. He likes soccer, but doesn't love it.

    This cross bow was something he really wanted to do and to get working. This was a good time for him to sort of "fail" - it wasn't functional like he had wanted, and then to help him back up.

    Well, since I'm a former mechanical engineer, let's see if I can help him some to get it functional. So glad this project is done because it was NOT a fun time.

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  • ligemst
    ligemst Doing 8 cheers 2017-04-24 13:52:47


    My husband has said several times this weekend that we (he and I) are a team and the need to support the team. This weekend, he took out the trash TWICE. I was going to have the kids, but instead of him having them do it, he did it himself.

    I'm so proud of him and that honestly makes me feel loved. He didn't help out with all the driving, but he did go with me to pick up our daughter at the movie theater on Saturday, as it was late and my husband knows I don't have great night vision and it was well past my bedtime.

    We got a weather thing (digital) and it came via Amazon yesterday late afternoon and he set it up and found it wasn't what he thought it was. He then looked up more carefully another digital temperature thing that he wanted and bought that instead.

    He did the return on the item that we got. I helped him box and tape it up, but this was the first time in I don't know how many items we've returned over the years that he's actually done anything on the return. He repackaged the item in the box it came in and then I found a box we could put it in and we did the labeling and taping together.

    Anyway, my husband rarely does this type of stuff and it was refreshing to see him help out. I hope I get to see more of this part of my husband, the really helpful guy.

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  • ligemst
    ligemst Doing 1 cheers 2017-04-24 13:47:50


    My son had so much stuff going on last Friday. He had a medieval history presentation that never happened. He will have to do it today. He also had a Latin quiz, but also a Latin feast.

    I said I would make my son's dish for him, which was ancient roman pancakes (Ova Sfongia Ex Lacte). I halved the recipe and it made about 60 small pancakes. It was a simple recipe and the pancakes were very thin and maybe 2" in diameter.

    The kids LOVED this dish and gobbled it up. Oh, you put honey and black pepper on these pancakes, though, the kids really didn't put the black pepper on the pancakes.

    Because in prior dishes I've made for my kids' classes, I've learned you don't have to make a TON of food as many kids will be bringing something and most kids won't eat things that are too weird.

    My son asked his class what they wanted him to bring, which he gave them, I think, 4-5 choices and the overwhelming response were the pancakes. Good choice. That was easy to transport, too.

    Thankful for the dollar store for inexpensive platter to put all the pancakes on.

    I cook and make stuff for my kids' classes and have since they were little. I also volunteer to make things for the faculty and staff, or make things for my kids' extracurricular clubs at various times. They are always very appreciative.

    It's all done in love.

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  • ligemst
    ligemst Doing 2 cheers 2017-04-23 15:28:37


    I would have to admit that I haven't been real happy with my husband buying bonsai trees. But, I am working on changing my attitude on this. It makes him happy and it's been a dream of his to get bonsai trees since he was in Colombia and now he can.

    There are many things I consider beautiful and bonsai trees are one them, but I've always thought they were a ton of work and hard to keep, like growing orchids. Thus, I always just admired them but never considered getting any.

    Now my husband has 7 bonsai trees - 2 junipers, 2 Chinese elms, 1 ficus, and 2 boxwoods. The junipers don't look too good and I need to take to the nursery to ask them what we're doing wrong. The ficus we've had for about a year and is indoor and is doing well. The ficus isn't high maintenance and is pretty durable.

    We got the ficus and junipers last year from Lowe's. However, the elms and boxwoods, he bought from bonsai places. Oh, and he talked me into getting a Jade Tree, which they said at the nursery was low maintenance. I like low maintenance.

    The Grand Chinese Elm he got from a place called Eastern Leaf in California is beautiful and cost quite a bit. When we got the tree, it was physically wobbly. They failed to secure the tree in the pot with wire and it looked like the soil contained a lot of sand, like beach sand. Though the plant looked healthy, we were really disappointed that when I called, they said they do not ship out non-show trees wired into the planter and they do not do things necessarily like other bonsai places.

    If you go to YouTube to look up videos made by Eastern Leaf, they are well made and good videos by Jason Chan. I don't know if he's the owner or not, but he explains things well and the videos are quality, which is what we expected of their bonsai trees all around - not just the tree, but the process of potting, etc. We were wrong and as a result, we will not be buying from them anymore.

    My husband got 3 bonsai trees a few weeks before the Grand Chinese Elm from Eastern Leaf from Brussels Bonsai. All these trees were properly wired and soiled into their planters. The trees also looked healthy. I've had to call Brussels numerous times for questions my husband's had. My husband rarely makes calls to places and no matter what, I'm always the one attending to all his questions and returning phone calls, etc.

    Similarly with Eastern Leaf with emails and calls. I've also had to do some research on the internet as well as in person with local nurseries to find out various things and get supplies for my husband.

    Because Eastern Leaf didn't wire in the tree to the planter, we've had to. We ended up buying a tool set as well as other tools, a variety of things from Amazon, the local nursery, as well as from Brussels.

    Last night we bought from Amazon a high tech programmable timer for our misting system that we had installed earlier this month. We currently have an Orbit programmable timer, but it's too simple. That was $30 for the part. Last night we just spent $150 for a different timer that will allow us more advanced programming and allow us to program from our phones or the computer or iPad. This will give us more control of when we want to mist and set a pattern that will allow us to mist when we want quite a few times a day at the times we want and how we want.

    With the discounts we got, I think the total cost with a 4-yr full replacement warranty, it ended up to be a little over $130. The misting system in parts was probably close to $100, maybe a little more and the labor to install it. Probably by the time all is said and done, we will have spent probably at least $1K on supplies, trees, etc to be able to keep these plants.

    However, the programmable timer is a 4 station timer, so one will be for the misting system, one for the bonsai trees, 1 for the succulents and cactus, and 1 for my other plants. It allows you to choose which days to water, and up to 6 different cycles a day and the duration you want, as well as a "pulsing" like function if you don't want the duration continuous during a specific cycle.

    Now my husband wants a video camera in our backyard to monitor the plants when we are away on vacation. We won't have to take our plants to my dad's for him to water, nor have to trust him to come water our plants as it will all be set up on the timer and drip system.

    So, we will need to invest in some drip systems now. More money, but I guess overall in the grand scheme of things, this will be fine. Lots of work for this hobby.

    We knew nothing about repotting or wiring bonsai trees, but yesterday my husband and I spent nearly 3 hrs (mostly him and me helping a little) wiring the tree, as well as replacing the soil that it came with with good soils that will help the tree thrive.

    Probably the hardest and longest part was getting all the air pockets out and making sure soil was getting in all those air pockets. We used our repotting stick, which consisted of a wooden chopstick. This worked great.

    Maybe I'll take some pictures of all the trees. Daily now he moves the trees from the east side of the patio to the west side to get both the morning and evening suns, but not the soon blazing mid-day sun, which they will have shade.

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