Posts tagged tree
Setting up a Christmas Tree Siphon | Fleming's Christmas Tree Farm
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There's two schools of thought on Christmas trees: real? or artificial? There's definitely pro's and con's to both (I think my definition of purgatory is fluffing artificial tree branches for eternity), but one of the biggest con's to a live tree (the watering part) can be solved once and for all by reading this awesome "hack." Side note - my husband hates the term "hack". You should text him right now that you're reading about my tree hack. He'll love it. 

Growing up, we always had a live tree. My dad was firmly on #TeamReal, and I remember fondly the sight of his legs sticking out of the tree as he watered it with an empty 2 liter bottle. Brandon and I have carried on this tradition, and how lucky are we that we live in the Christmas Tree Capital of the World, Indiana PA?! Every year we head out to Flemings Christmas Tree Farm and pick out the perfect tree. Three years ago, I got a little tired of the 2-liter method, and went searching for a better way to water the tree that didn't end up soaking me or my carefully curated and wrapped Amazon haul. Behold, the tree siphon. Using things you can find at home and at your nearest hardware store, you too can keep your presents nice and dry and stop army crawling under your festive shrubbery.

I hope you enjoy some sweet and fun photos of our annual trip to the tree farm! Keep scrolling for the how-to details on setting up the tree siphon!

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How To Start A Tree Siphon:

Materials:

  • 3-4 feet plastic hose (1" diameter or less),

  • empty gallon jug with the top cut off. The opening should be big enough to put your fist through.

  • 4 cup glass measuring cup or other container to pour water

  • empty box big enough to hold the gallon jug and container using to pour water, wrapped like a present except for the top (left open)

  • wrapping paper

  • sharpie

  • 6" cut straight section of plastic hanger (optional)

  • zip ties (optional)

Method: 

  1. Place your tree in the stand and secure it, but don't loosen the bailing ropes yet.

  2. Keeping track of how much water you put in, fill the base of the tree stand until its 2" or so inches below the brim of the stand.

  3. Place the gallon jug in the wrapped box.

  4. Pour the same amount of water into the gallon jug as you did the tree stand, and draw a line on the jug with a sharpie where the water stops. This will be your water line so you can see what's in the stand at all times.

  5. Place the pouring container in the box beside your jug of water.

  6. If you are using the hanger piece and zip tie, place the hanger piece along the end of the tubing and zip tie, creating a "splint" at the end of the tube. Place this end (or just AN end if not using the hanger) into the tree stand.

  7. With this of the tubing securely in the stand, place your thumb over the other end of the tube

  8. Move your thumb just slightly back from completely covering the tube, and put the tube and your thumb in your mouth and being sucking the air out.

  9. Yep. You read that right. You WILL get water in your mouth. Sorry if that grosses you out, but it's so worth it not to crawl under the tree. Simply spit the water out, covering the tube with your thumb right away each time. You don't want to let air back in the tube.

  10. Once all air bubbles are out of the tube and it's completely filled with water, cover it with your thumb while it's still in your mouth. Look at the end of the tube where you're holding it. There should be no air in it at all. Keeping your thumb on the tube as you suck out the air helps IMMENSELY with this. Trust me.

  11. Put your entire hand (with the tube) into the gallon jug and submerge it.

  12. Let go of the tube and push it to the bottom of the jug.

  13. You may see little particles flowing through the tube. This is a GOOD SIGN!

  14. Slide the wrapped present box with your jug full of water and pouring container under the tree.

  15. Go brush your teeth.

  16. The next day (and after), re-fill the jug to the water line.

Photo Dec 01, 5 14 54 PM.jpg
Photo Dec 01, 5 12 52 PM.jpg
Photo Dec 01, 5 14 20 PM.jpg
Photo Dec 01, 8 13 45 PM.jpg
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The Light That Shines Brightest This Season | Indiana PA Lifestlye Family Photographer
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So many friends and loved ones we know struggle though the holidays. Whether it's keeping the stress at bay, or trying to fill emptiness left by a loved one passed, the "happiest time of year" sometimes just, isn't. The season of lights may just leave us feeling the darkness more than ever, and as my dear friend and guest blog writer Will reminds us, there is a light available for all of us that can permeate any darkness.

I hope you enjoy this very special guest post edition of the blog written Will and he and his wife's adorable lifestyle photos to follow!


Christmas Season is often filled with parties and time with friends and family.  Bells are heard from Salvation Army volunteers, gift-giving (and friendly smiles) are at their yearly all-time highs, and towns just like our Indiana, PA, have festive "light-up nights" across the US.  And then there's the food.  Lots and lots of good food.  For these reasons, and others, most would say that Christmas is their favorite time of year.  

With all of these highlights, though - life is REAL - and trials and hardships don't take a break during the Holidays.  For some, the Christmas-time joy of others becomes salt in the wound to the burdens that they alone bear.  No holiday cheer or gift given can fill the void of a loss or a circumstantial sorrow that many endure.  

That is the unfamiliar territory where my wife Joelle and I have found ourselves this December 2017.  Life's circumstances have left us hurting, and questioning our laid out plans.  Usually being ones to host Christmas parties and to "fa-la-la-la-la" our way through the end of the year, the unexpected suffering had us cancel the planning of the party, and left us looking forward to a hope of a better 2018.

When Joelle and I asked Jill to take a Christmas photo for us this year, we had intentionally planned to have only one or two shots - and that would be it.  As the single photo turned into a full session (you can't keep a good photographer like Jill down...and we didn't mind!), we were then asked by Jill to write this blog post.

As I considered a topic for the post, I reflected on the photos, and what has become a resounding and reoccurring theme for this season of our lives as a newly married couple.   It is often whispered to each other in dark moments where not much makes sense.  A weighty yet tender spoken phrase that is told to remind a spouse's hurting heart of what is true, even in the darkness:

"We're in this together."

Simply that.  We're in this journey, come what may, together.  For I've found, now more than ever, that the best gift that can be given is not wrapped underneath a tree.  And the most pertinent gesture of purpose and hope comes not in "Holiday Hoopla".  It's not found in circumstances.  It's only found in the personal reminder that you are not alone in the dark. The greatest gift that can be given is yourself.

As Joelle and I are Christians, our gift of our selves to each other is an echo of the great Giver - God - giving Himself to a hurting humanity, over 2000 years ago.  Jesus.  The person of God who came to give hope to those who saw none. That message has really helped us.  Life is REAL - and we need hope that is real.  Be it in marriage, or in life, I'm convinced that the gift of a person is what the world needs.  That's why God gave Himself, and why husbands, wives and friends do best to give of their selves to others. It took a photo session with Jill to remind Joelle and I that we are in this together, and so for that we thank you, Jill.

And for others reading this, I hope this post encourages you in this season, if you too are suffering.  

Joelle and I humbly say Merry Christmas, and may God be with you all of you.

"Joy to the world, the Lord has come, let earth receive her King."

Will and Joelle Rush

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Pastries by  Six Hand Bakery , Indiana, PA

Pastries by Six Hand Bakery, Indiana, PA

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Are You Watering Your Tree the Right Way? | Fleming's Christmas Tree Farms | Indiana, PA Family Photographer
Jill Gearhart Photography-4-2.jpg

There's two schools of thought on Christmas trees: real? or artificial? There's definitely pro's and con's to both (I think my definition of purgatory is fluffing artificial tree branches for eternity), but one of the biggest con's to a live tree (the watering part) can be solved once and for all by reading this awesome "hack." Side note - my husband hates the term "hack". You should text him right now that you're reading about my tree hack. He'll love it. 

Growing up, we always had a live tree. My dad was firmly on #TeamReal, and I remember fondly the sight of his legs sticking out of the tree as he watered it with an empty 2 liter bottle. Brandon and I have carried on this tradition, and how lucky are we that we live in the Christmas Tree Capital of the World, Indiana PA?! Every year we head out to Flemings Christmas Tree Farm and pick out the perfect tree. Three years ago, I got a little tired of the 2-liter method, and went searching for a better way to water the tree that didn't end up soaking me or my carefully curated and wrapped Amazon haul. Behold, the tree siphon. Using things you can find at home and at your nearest hardware store, you too can keep your presents nice and dry and stop army crawling under your festive shrubbery.

I hope you enjoy some sweet and fun photos of our annual trip to the tree farm! Keep scrolling for the how-to details on setting up the tree siphon!

Jill Gearhart Photography-1-2.jpg
Jill Gearhart Photography-6-2.jpg
Jill Gearhart Photography-3-2.jpg
Jill Gearhart Photography-5-2.jpg
Jill Gearhart Photography-7-2.jpg
Jill Gearhart Photography-9-2.jpg
Jill Gearhart Photography-10-2.jpg
Jill Gearhart Photography-11-2.jpg
Jill Gearhart Photography-12-2.jpg

How To Start A Tree Siphon:

Materials:

  • 3-4 feet plastic hose (1" diameter or less),
  • empty gallon jug with the top cut off. The opening should be big enough to put your fist through.
  • 4 cup glass measuring cup or other container to pour water
  • empty box big enough to hold the gallon jug and container using to pour water, wrapped like a present except for the top (left open)
  • wrapping paper
  • sharpie
  • 6" cut straight section of plastic hanger (optional)
  • zip ties (optional)

Method: 

  1. Place your tree in the stand and secure it, but don't loosen the bailing ropes yet.
  2. Keeping track of how much water you put in, fill the base of the tree stand until its 2" or so inches below the brim of the stand. 
  3. Place the gallon jug in the wrapped box.
  4. Pour the same amount of water into the gallon jug as you did the tree stand, and draw a line on the jug with a sharpie where the water stops. This will be your water line so you can see what's in the stand at all times.
  5. Place the pouring container in the box beside your jug of water.
  6. If you are using the hanger piece and zip tie, place the hanger piece along the end of the tubing and zip tie, creating a "splint" at the end of the tube. Place this end (or just AN end if not using the hanger) into the tree stand.
  7. With this of the tubing securely in the stand, place your thumb over the other end of the tube
  8. Move your thumb just slightly back from completely covering the tube, and put the tube and your thumb in your mouth and being sucking the air out.
  9. Yep. You read that right. You WILL get water in your mouth. Sorry if that grosses you out, but it's so worth it not to crawl under the tree. Simply spit the water out, covering the tube with your thumb right away each time. You don't want to let air back in the tube.
  10. Once all air bubbles are out of the tube and it's completely filled with water, cover it with your thumb while it's still in your mouth. Look at the end of the tube where you're holding it. There should be no air in it at all. Keeping your thumb on the tube as you suck out the air helps IMMENSELY with this. Trust me. 
  11. Put your entire hand (with the tube) into the gallon jug and submerge it. 
  12. Let go of the tube and push it to the bottom of the jug.
  13. You may see little particles flowing through the tube. This is a GOOD SIGN!
  14. Slide the wrapped present box with your jug full of water and pouring container under the tree.
  15. Go brush your teeth.
  16. The next day (and after), re-fill the jug to the water line.
Photo Dec 01, 5 14 54 PM.jpg
Photo Dec 01, 5 12 52 PM.jpg
Photo Dec 01, 5 14 20 PM.jpg
Photo Dec 01, 8 13 45 PM.jpg
blog-signoff_4.jpg