Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring Garden

We started planting our spring garden about two weeks ago. I've been reading "Square Foot Gardening", like a mad woman. I'm already half way through. My plan is to try to have a better garden than last year. I am learning a lot! "Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholomew is a great resource to have.

To go along with the book, I would also suggest this fantastic website... They have a great FREE planner you can print out. After printing the little planner you have yourself a guide book that tells you exactly what to do and when to do it.

that's my kinda book!

We currently have 3 (4x4) boxes.

It takes a lot of planning in the beginning, but I am hopeful that it will get easier the more I learn. I basically am starting from scratch, trying to make sure I have a plan and work the plan.

I learned how to make containers to sow indoor seeds in. You simply use rolled up newspaper.

Find something that is the desired size you want your containers to be. Here I used a spice container as a model.

Then you simply roll it together. Carefully remove the spice container and...

then wet the bottom and fold closed. Fold the bottom like you are wrapping the ends of a cylinder shaped present.

Fill each seed container with potting soil.

Figure out what you want to sow. Sow your seeds in your new seed containers. We put at least two seeds in each container just in case one didn't grow.

Then all that's left to do is to water them. We put lots of water to soak the whole seed container. Once the newspaper was thoroughly wet it stuck together nicely. You just want to be careful when you water your newly sown seeds, that they don't float to the top of the soil. A few days after we did this I noticed one of my seeds laying on the top of the soil, so I just pushed it down again.

We were also able to get our beds ready.

I thought this was a cute picture of Seth and Noah sitting on the peat moss. They were taking a break after working hard at getting that stuff down to the garden.

Here they are spreading the new mix into the box. I love it when they work together on a project. It may not always be fun, but it's good character training to learn how to work together. They learned the importance of having a good work ethic and how when one person doesn't work hard it makes it harder for others.

The weather was beautiful and we were able to accomplish much.

Here we are checking our plans to see which square we need to plant next.

We planted broccoli, cabbage and onions.

I love the squares! They look so neat.

I can't wait to get more planted in the boxes.

I have definitely fallen in love with square foot gardening. Once you figure out when to plant what, it is so easy. My favorite part... NO WEEDS to pull. If you have never tried this method of gardening I would highly recommend trying it. Get the book! Don't try to be frugal. You will use the resources in the back of the book a lot. It will keep you from planting broccoli, which is a cool weather crop, in the middle of summer, like I did last year!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Encouragement Cafe' Home School Show

Hey, Just wanted to do a short post about Encouragement Cafe'. The show's topic tomorrow is about Home Schooling. Joshua and I will be on the show with a few other home school families. The show is on Saturday, 3-27 at 2:00pm. The radio station is 830AM or you can listen LIVE at the website. Check out the website,, next week to read the devotionals about the same topic.

I'm excited about the show and the opportunity to talk about something God has given me a passion for. Pray for us. Public-speaking is not my thing. I know the Lord has given me this opportunity so I will press on knowing that I don't have to be afraid. I can be strong and courageous knowing He is with me! Also, pray for the people listening that they will be encouraged by what we say.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Someone's turned 40!

no! not me, silly!

On the 23rd my best friend turned 40. My husband, Mike, has been the great strength behind me, gently encouraging me along the path that God has me traveling. And where does he get that strength?... from the Lord of course. What I love most about him is his stance for the truth, reliance on the Lord and his love/dedication to his family. He is not perfect. But God knew he would be perfect for this imperfect girl.

We wanted to make his birthday special.

The boys started hanging the streamers...

...all over the house!

It was fun to see their creative minds at work.

I would have totally done it differently. I'm glad I let them go and do whatever they wanted. It turned out sooo much better than I would have done.

Some friends came over and brought dinner already cooked. YAHOO!

i thought only the birthday person got a gift. thanks chris and jennifer!

Mike blew as hard as he could, but there was one stinkin' candle that was determined to not go out.

that's a lot of candles, y'all!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Book 4/13

About two weeks ago I finished another book. Things have been ridiculously busy around here, so I am just now posting about this book.

Raising Motivated Kids By Cheri Fuller was a much needed read. I learned a lot about my role in modeling good motivation. This is key. The best way kids learn is by imitation. Set good examples! Your behavior says more about you than your words. You send powerful messages through your actions. Your kids are always watching what you do. Walking your talk!

Start paying attention to what interest your child and encourage them in that area instead of trying to make them fit into a mold God didn't intend for them. I can say that this has been a big one for me. I have 3 totally different boys. One who has a laid-back comedian type of personality who loves to work with kids. Another son, who loves music, art and cooking. He is not driven when it comes to sports, unlike my third son who is very competitive with sports. And quite good at it, if say so myself! I would never be able to get my first son to excel in art, just as I would never dream of making my second son do something sports related and expect him to be the team star. Find what interest them.

When it comes to motivation, instead of always pointing out the negative focus on little improvements. This will give your child the confidence to try harder. If they always here negative they WILL give up. Make sure your expectations are realistic for their age. In the book the author suggest you make a list and evaluate each expectation.

For older children talk to them about their ambitions. I know in our family we talk a lot about the future and about their future wives. We try to get them to think about what kind of husband and dad they want to be. Focus on learning not strictly on grades. It's learning that matters. Well... and Godly character that matters most!! Encourage your child to ask questions and take the time to answer their questions. This can be hard. I have one son who ask A LOT! of questions and sometimes I have to admit I lose patients and give them a short "I'm too busy" answer.

i'm workin on it!

The most important thing is to be patient. Waiting is not a passive action. It's active. It take a great deal of energy to restrain the impulse to push, shove, insist, and suggest when you see a lack of progress. The bottom line is to encourage the little victories while guiding them when they are heading the wrong way without making them feel like a failure. Your optimism in them can overcome their feelings of failure. Failure is temporary if you have the courage to get up and try it again!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Revolutionary War Reenacted

This past weekend we went to a local park and saw a reenactment of the Revolutionary War.

The weather was great! It was suppose to rain, but we prayed it would hold off until after the war. And it did! It started raining right after we got into the car to leave the park.

Here are a few pictures...

We met up with some of our good friends while we were there. Hard to believe that is only two families... and two are missing from the picture! We made a last minute decision to go to the reenactment and I'm glad we did. It was really fun. The thing I like best about this fun family outing... IT WAS FREE!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Skiing Fun

I know... I know... in the last post I was saying how I couldn't wait for spring, and that is true, but when you have an opportunity to go skiing you just can't pass that up. Especially when a group of your friends are going!

This past Monday our family went skiing and had a blast. This was our 3rd annual trip and has quickly become one of our favorite traditions.

Here is Seth, he decided to try snowboarding this year. He loved it! I could not believe how quickly he pick it up. He even went down the black diamond slopes.

Joshua and one of his friends Caleb.

After lunch it warmed up so much most of us were shedding our coats. This picture looks like it was taken at the beach!

Say hi to my friend, kathy.

And my friend Pam and two of her daughters.

Then there was Noah... he has become quite a confident skier.

a little too confident if you ask me!

A few days after our trip we were in the car reminiscing, when Noah bragged about going on the DOUBLE black diamond slope. I freaked out! He's only been skiing THREE! times. He informed me that he spent most of the afternoon on that slope. (with a friend thankfully) Then to make matters worse Joshua pipes up and says, "Yeah mom it was the one that was roped off and had a big caution sign that said for ADVANCED skiers only!!!!"

who's raising that child? oh, i guess that would be my job! SHEESH!

We had a great time and can't wait to go next year!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's Almost Here...!

I'm talking about SPRING of course, and I can't wait!

Along with spring comes gardening. I've been busy planning our spring garden. We have 3, 4x4 boxes and 1, 2x2 box. I felt pretty good about our garden last year with it being our first real garden, but I definitely want to improve.

My friend, Rene, and her family have a huge garden that feeds them (4 families!) all summer plus enough left over to get them through most of the winter. They also raise their own chickens. When it comes to gardening I have a lot to learn. Fortunately, I knew exactly who to go to for advice.

This past Wednesday a group of us went to buy seeds with Rene and her family. We went to a store a few towns away so we could get good seeds (heirloom). You can learn more about seeds on Rene's site here. I learned so much from just this one trip... I can't wait to get my hands dirty!!

I ended up buying broccoli, cabbage, peas, carrots, onions and 2 different kinds of lettuce.

I learned that you can plant certain types of flowers in your garden and they will help keep bugs away and/or attract the good kind of bugs. I will probably do this since I want our garden to be organic.

Everyone at this family owned store was very friendly. Here we were checking out the broccoli and cabbage plants, when this guy walked up and started telling us all about them. By the time he and Rene's mom were finished teaching us how to plant them and care for them I wanted to buy the whole table! But, after giving it some thought I decided against it.

Because this trip happened in the middle of our school day I wanted to make it count. I had to be creative, but found a way for it to be a field trip. I am so glad I did. It turned out to be a lot more than just a seed store. They had fresh produce, farming equipment, livestock supplies, gardening equipment/supplies and a few animals. I had the kids take their journals to draw pictures and take notes. Joshua was in charge of the camera and making sure to get good pictures for the blog. I think he succeeded. When we got home, Seth and Noah finished their journal entry, along with a few sentences about what they had learned.

Here are a few of the animals they had at the store...

These pigs look sooo cute...

too bad they grow up and get stinky!!


And then there was this cute guy...

I will probably work out in the garden this weekend. I can't wait! I'll try to get some pictures up as soon as possible.

Be sure and check out Rene's website for more on gardening. Her website is Then click on the "gardening" tab at the top of the page.