Friday, August 30, 2013

Gardening Bales

I actually think that the crops growing in the bales are producing better and having a better grow rate than the

Friday, August 23, 2013

Pineapple Progress...

Over the last three(+) years, pineapple plants have been

Mercy Prayer book review

Book review of The Mercy Prayer

Book Description:
In the Bible one prayer is prayed more than any other: “Lord, have mercy.” And God never

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Fuzzy Children!

We always seem to get pics of YaYa...lately it seems I have an abundance of Cassie pics. :)  I love these fuzzy and furry children!  So-stinkin-cute!!!

 sleepy Cassie!
 camp napping Cassie!
 resting Cassie!
 playful Cassie!
 chewing the toy Cassie!
 and a sleepy YaYa!

Friday, August 16, 2013

We Know We Are Homeschoolers...

We Know We Are Homeschoolers...

1.  I have to consider if I should get out of my pajamas and put on normal clothes, because a friend is coming over.
2.  My son wants to know if he has to change into normal clothes.
3.  My son puts on a pair of jeans and we discuss he is growing out of them...we may have to buy him new ones. I would be more concerned with such if he were going to public school facilities, but in our environment, he can dress as he pleases.

School Supplies:
1.  We buy the normal textbooks for subjects and content (though none are secular).
2.  Our school supply list included items like the following:
  • ax
  • sledgehammer
  • hacksaw
  • permanent markers
  • duct tape
  • rebar
  • poles
  • stakes
  • fencing
  • wire
  • pallets
3.  We also bought paper and pencils.

In general:
1.  People not within the same circles of you and your family do not understand the things you discuss.
2.  Family members may not understand what you are doing.
3.  You spend most of your waking hours or all of them with the people you love most and the same people whom others send off to others to care for the majority of the day.

I cannot number these. They happen daily. They are immeasurable. You catch moments of quality. You find love in the small details. You see the grace of the Lord in your children, in your pets, in your spouse, in your friends, in the world, in plants, in every moment. You wake up and know you are blessed. You lay down to sleep and know you are blessed. The blessings are like the hairs on your head.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Toe Woe!

The child has had issues for months with one toe...this along with a broken and crushed wrist bone have not made for a successful or fun summer.



He dropped a huge can of spaghetti sauce on his big toe in early March and fractured the toe. The nail fell off a bit later and has regrown back in oddly. In June, he went to camp and the toenail became ingrown and infected. He went to the doctor and had to go back two more times and eventually went to the surgeon about this blooming toe. After a round of antibiotics and a surgical consult, he was deemed to be healing and they doctored a bit on the nail and nailbed and sent us on our way.

He went to scout camp for about two weeks and returned with the toe cracked (another scout stepped on his toe - twice) and the toe got infected a second time. We went back to the doctor a second time and my son was placed on another round of antibiotics and half of the toenail cut off. The rest was left intact due to it still be live and viable nail. It looked nasty and was gross.

Now, finally...when summer is ending and it is time to start school again...his toe is healing and he can get back to normal activities in life.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Garden transitions...

I pulled up all the dead stuff out of the raised beds this past weekend. All the weeds were pulled and the soil was turned. I added new pine shavings to one bed and extra soil to another. There are 5 raised beds. Only two were cleared and cleaned and turned.

One bed is full of tomatoes that are late season bloomers. This bed was planted with cuttings we had cut back from other tomato plants. Earlier this summer, several tomato plants were producing lots of foliage, but not lots of fruit. I cut them back and they started to produce. So, the cuttings were rooted and then planted into their own bed.
  This is when the bed was first started back at the end of June. The tomato plants have zoomed over the sides of this bed. They are going everywhere. I have left them alone to see what they would cutting back or trimming at all. The other day I noticed we have a huge tomato plant. One huge tomato. It may be one, but it makes me happy. :)  I raised the plants in this bed up off the grounds this weekend.

  One bed still has some pepper plants that are producing and a few tomato plants that are producing. I left this bed alone since it is still productive. I will clean it later and transplant some fall and winter sown plants into it.

A third bed has some ginger growing in it and some garlic. :)  The garlic is not growing, but the ginger is doing awesome.

And, we are trying straw-bale planting this fall and winter. I have 5 bales. We have been water log prepping them for about 3 weeks now, to lower the internal temperature of the bales. It took me about two days of varying moments to loosen the tops of the bales (they are on their sides to plant in) to be able to prep them for planting. The topsoil was applied to them yesterday. It was actually applied last night, because this is the only time it was cool enough in the day. The soil will settle for about a day or so. I will add some compost tea and water tomorrow to keep the bales filled with nutrients. I will direct sow some seeds this week or coming weekend. I also have to get some trellises and stake supports centered in some. I am so excited and hope these work well.

I will also direct sow and still transplant into the other two raised beds for fall planting and the fall and winter gardens. Something should bloom and grow! :)

My 14 year old has also been helping to build a pallet gate around the garden. It is coming along!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Getting Prepped for Homeschool Year '13-'14

Courses and items for this academic year:

Charlie has some high school Carnegie units under his belt, between last year and this summer:
Physical Science Honors
Geography Honors
Algebra I
Latin I
1/2 unit Intro to Engineering
1/2 unit Communication

This year, he will take:
Geometry Honors
English I Honors
Biology I (haven't decided if this will be an Honors course or not yet)
Politics and Citizenship
Home Economics
Intro to Agriculture

This is proof that you can successfully homeschool through Asperger's, multiple learning disabilities, and the across the spectrum.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Cutting Chicken Wings

For my friend, Amie...
 1. spread out the entire wing...

2.  trim it all the way across, not the actual wing muscle feathers, but the fly feathers, spreading out beyond the wing muscle.

Friday, August 9, 2013

veggie noodles!! :)

I bought this new kitchen gadget, because I have been using a veggie peeler to make veggie noodles...this new gadget is supposed to make the noodles for you. I was skeptical, but after one use, I am sold! (This is the first review I have written, without being asked, and where I bought the product first just because I wanted it.)
It is some type of German product I think...maybe not...who cares? I think it is nifty. For dinner tonight, we had chicken with a homemade cream sauce and goat cheese. I added onions, garlic, mushrooms, carrots, and zucchini noodles made from this gadget.
Dinner was yummy tonight!

A Buff Family - lost and found?

Back in the fall of last year, we were given 3 Ameraucana chickens and a Buff Orpington. So, we had a fully mixed flock by then. This spring, the two leghorns were added. Today, we went and picked up 4 new Buff pullets who should lay in the next few weeks. The interesting part was the reaction of one of our existing chickens when we got home.

My younger son has always commented on how the chickens seem to segregate naturally. The tetra tints stick together. The brown chickens (Amers) stick together. Golden, the original Buff, was accepted by both groups and travelled back and forth between the two.

When the four new Buff pullets were put in the pen, the other chickens came and checked them out. The new pecking order was quickly established...then Golden came over and checked them out. You would have thought that Golden was reunited with her missing children. She flocked them up and kept them together. She would call to them. She would run off the other chickens and peck the others. She literally protected them. It was quite interesting to observe. I really think Golden knew these pullets were of her breed and recognized their type.

Monday, August 5, 2013

floods of grace and blessings

Today, as I was pulling from my street onto the main road to drive out to run errands, I stopped at the sign and looked both ways. The road was clear and I proceeded to pull into the intersection. Then I saw it (though you may not have) and I felt it (though you may not have). I was stopped, before I could ever get to a good roll. A hand reached down and held us from proceeding forward. We were held back. A green sedan came flying by. It almost seemed close enough to touch. The car had not been there previously and then there it was. The hand receded and the my SUV was allowed to move forward.

I am ever thankful for the Hand that reaches down to provide His unyielding protection upon me and mine. I am ever thankful for the unending veil that is extended for cover. I am ever thankful for the extensions, blessings, and grace that are rained down upon us 'til the flood waters must burst forth, perpetually endless through the depths of His existence.

And with rain and floods of grace and blessings, the enemy is there to combat you.

Tonight my emotions are raw and I wonder why I try. I wonder why I keep being tempted to be in a contest with one whom I have no competition? I wonder why taunting is used? I wonder why others try to battle it out on public forums to humiliate? I wonder why a chasm is pushed into my riverflow???

I am so done and over this. I am going to concentrate on the events of the morning and the blessings thereof.