Saturday, August 3, 2013

Family Garden Family Fun

Wrote a little something tonight for a writing sample. Thought I'd post it here. I posted a few pics that I had casually taken with my phone... don't mind the crappy quality, sorry!

I’m all about family fun! Gardening is fun! Whether a master gardener, just starting out, or somewhere in between, gardening is a family activity everyone can participate in. It’s important to teach our children where food comes from, and I’m not talking about the grocery store. We love learning by visiting farmers markets, taking local farm tours, and of course gardening…so that we can watch our own food grow.
                If you are already gardening, the easiest way to incorporate your children is by giving them their own plot of land. I love square foot gardening and you can even give your children their own 3’x3’ plot. If you are just starting out, let them man a few squares of your bigger box. Older kids can research growing schedules and everyone can pick what they want to grow. (Some of our favorites include: carrots, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, green beans and the fast growing radishes…though no one will ever eat them once they are picked!) If you are short on space try your hand at container gardening. I love to use old whisky barrels as planters but you can even upcycle your old plastic bins by just drilling holes in the bottom and filling with gravel and soil.

Our deck container garden (when it was first planted)

                Plant your seeds or transplants and you are off to a great start. My 2 year old is a master weeder and my 5 year old takes pride in watering the plants when they need it. We check our plants on a daily basis (most often in our PJ’s as soon as everyone wakes up). We’ve been having fun with our cherry tomatoes this year. We planted transplants from a local gardening store and they quickly grew to the size of my 2 year old. A week later they were as tall as my 5 year old. Not much longer they were taller than mommy and daddy too! They are currently a good 12-15 feet tall and an almost nightly discussion topic at our dinner table. 

Kids exploring our Wild Plum tree

In a month or two comes the harvest! Harvesting is by far the most coveted gardening activity in our household. We take turns picking ripe veggies and then either enjoy an immediate snack or integrate that day’s pickings into our dinner meal. A handful of fresh homegrown cherry tomatoes just can’t be beat!
                Lastly, gardening can be a fun learning experience too. Let older kids journal about their experiences for the perfect homeschool unit. Draw pictures, track planting and harvesting dates, and record successes and unfortunate failures. You could even start your own compost bin. Year after year you can expand your garden, figure out varieties that work well and your kids can take more leadership in the family garden. 

A cucumber failure

                 Get gardening and get your kids involved! You can start with a very small investment and learn a useful skill alongside your children. In no time you will have excited children and fresh (healthy) veggies to eat.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

What a Weekend!

We have had a busy, productive, fun weekend!

Saturday we went to two parties. The first was a friends 4th birthday party! He had a Superhero party... we arrived around 11am and had fun with food, water, playing, etc. They had a great blow up slide that sprayed water as you went down and had a pool at the bottom! They also had a splash pool that my daughter and one of her friends loved.

Next up we made a quick stop home and went to another friends housewarming party! They bought their house few months ago and had their best friends over. They had just finished painting their living room walls which I got to see at the party! She had a great spread of food and some delicious barbeque for dinner. The kids had a fun time playing, watching a movie, and then going outside and getting sprayed with the hose at the end of the night.

Needless to say, it was a busy day. We came home, bathed and passed out! Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures.

Today we woke up and got working on our yard! We had about an inch of leaves covering our back yard and a few weeds. We didn't quite finish but we put a lot of hard work into it! Soon we'll be able to plant grass seed. I hope it takes and we can get a nice back yard going. We also tore down the old playground that was back there. It was just a ladder up to a landing and then a slide that was too small to fit anyone over the age of two, but too fast to for anyone smaller to slide down! It really opens up our back yard.

Here's one of our little helpers:

Another little helper who was helping himself to the trash bags (eeek!): 


Some of the leaves. Oh so many leaves... We can call this a "before" picture:

Midway through our work. You can see here how many leaves there were:

Hubby working on picking up leaves. I raked piles... he bagged them. 

Before picture of the swingset and tree:

After picture (Swing set, tree, and little corner garden thing gone): 

A lot of the leaves all bagged up (HORRAY!) and there's still more to go:

 An "after" of the yard. We still have a bit of raking to do but a lot of its gone: 

Next, we finish raking and plant some grass seed. Hopefully it will grow. From what we've read we water and treat the yard normally, then in 2-3 weeks it starts to sprout. We also want to put a patio down outside our sunroom doors so we can have a nice little outside area with a table and chairs and a grill. Here's the location for the patio:

AND in other news-- the roofers called us again tonight and they start tomorrow :)! They called us just under two weeks ago but it wasn't going to work for us so they did a few other locationss and now its our turn! So excited to get a new roof on this place. We choose a dark gray shingle and we're doing the high-def shingles. I think it will really spruce it up. Can't wait to get the house painted too. Need to choose some colors.

Here's our roof damage from a storm a few months ago: 

I think we'll be in for a long few days with the hammering and roofing going on. Hopefully it doesn't bother the kids too much!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


One of my favorite hobbies is to go shopping at thrift stores! There's something about searching through all the junk to find your prized possession. Its even better when the price is cheaper than you expected!

I get most of the kids clothes second hand. Its getting harder the bigger they grow though. Most of my sons clothes are hand-me-downs which is AWESOME! I find my daughters clothes at thrift stores or consignment shops. I even shop for myself... its amazing what you can find for so much cheaper than retail.

Every Wednesday the local Salvation Army store has their 50% off sale. All clothes with a certain tag (and depending on who rings you up, the other clothes too), same goes for housewares. Unfortunately the furniture isn't the same deal, but it gets marked down each week as well.

Yesterday, I found an amazing anique/retro/??? night stand. I love it and wish I could suspend it from the middle of the living room ceiling for everyone to see but more realistically it will be a nightstand in Nathan's room. Might use it as an end table at some point though.

The nightstand has some pretty neat drawers too with old newspaper imprints from the 1800s:

I paid a whole $26 bucks for it and it is SOLID wood. I also found a depression era glass vase for $1.99. I can't find out much about the Young-Hinkle brand except that it was bought out in 1987 by Lexington Home Brands.

On a side note, Betty White's Off Their Rockers is hilarious! Its on Wed. nights at 8pm.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Why am I starting my blog?

For starters, I'm giving up FACEBOOK for a while! Its too much. The so-called "Mommy Wars" are in full force with the recent Time Magazine Cover.


To which I say... I do my parenting, you do yours.

And then there's over-sharing of friends lives. Yes, I've purged my friends, and yes everyone I have on my FB I want to keep in contact with, however, I don't want to know 3 times a day that your nose is still stuffy oh and that you have a cold sore under your tongue. 

I'll also now have a lot more TIME to play with my kids, talk to my hubby, be a good friend, write, read, and learn. I don't want to even guess what my average time logged in to facebook was daily. Between my phone and computer, it was TOO MUCH.

It will be hard to get used to, but maybe I'll finally give up facebook once and for all! :)

I have a fun picture to share with you all. Last night when the hubby came back from a late-night errand he found this giant grasshopper in our hanging basket. The picture credit goes to him because no matter how much I love to take pictures, he has a better eye for it. After we took a few too many pictures, Mr. Grasshopper got a bit annoyed and climbed into flowers for a bit.

One of the things I love about being in Florida is the fun wildlife. Ok so I know a grasshopper is a bug, but back in Missouri where I grew up, we didn't have lizards everywhere or big birds or fun colored grasshoppers! We even have a little lizard who lives in the pot outside on our window sill. The kids love him, the lizard love the kids, and we have our own little pet with no work on my part. I will take a pic of him next time he's out.

Here is a pic from our little garden. A few of the flowers.

First post! YAY! Welcome to my blog. I'm here to share my honest opinion on life and love. I'm hoping to share all kinds of things I do/find/see through pictures, articles, ramblings, or whatever else comes to mind.

I'm a Mommy of 2! My little girl is 3 1/2 and my little boy is 15 months. I'm a stay at home mom and try to do what's best for my kids. I'm natural minded and am always trying to be the best mom, wife, friend I can be.

I loved blogging before and can't wait to give it another go.