Wednesday, October 20, 2010


My son...there are two, and it's not the usual one...just came upstairs from quiet time with red teeth, red lips and a red tongue. When I asked him what he had been eating, he actually had the nerve to say "nothing". I guess he did not stop to look in a mirror on his way upstairs! I marched his fanny downstairs to discover that he has been ingesting the red and green sugar cookie sprinkles and the white nonpareils (the little white bean bag filler looking decorations) that I store in a basement pantry under the stairs. Oh my land of mercy!! Seriously, I am just glad it wasn't the OTHER son, the one who turns into a monster when he eats food coloring!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Success? do you measure success in schooling? 100's on papers, complete mastery of a subject, a college scholarship or maybe the praise of someone whose opinion you value?

For me, success in our homeschool journey looks a little different. When I see the things we are studying coming out of my kids in all different kinds of ways, then I count that as success. When E comes in with eyes shining and all excited about a couple of old bike wheels, because he sees that he is one step closer to creating a "real" glider, or when AJ uses his God given gift with numbers to help his brother or sister answer a math question, or when L arranges an elaborate adventure for the other kids outside, with elements of the great books she reads, then I count our homeschooling journey thus far as a success.

When I hear the kids talk to their Daddy about what we are reading about, and he asks them questions and they answer them...even when it might not be exactly what we talked about, but they were able to pull from the knowledge that we are pouring into them...then that is success.

I even count it as success when they are eating lunch and they are taking bites out of their nachos to make them into the shapes of the states we have been studying, and they get the name AND the shape right - that is success - and quite a lot of fun besides!

I am so thankful that I am able to educate our children at home. There is really nothing that I would rather be doing right now...even when we go through tough times like the last few weeks, when it seems that every step forward also involves 10 steps back. I think it is being able to savor each step, good or bad, knowing that we are doing our best to equip our children to live the lives that God created them to live. They had a rough start, my three sweet babies....but by God's grace, they will finish this race and hear: "Well done, my good and faithful servant" when they get to the end of their road...that my friends is true success!

Monday, October 18, 2010

This is RICH!

All summer long, I have been cutting this gorgeous, fresh parsley for my garden...even bragging, when I take it somewhere..."I grew this in my garden!"

So imagine my surprise when I went out to cut said parsley (we have a freeze warning for tonight and I didn't want to lose it) and discovered that it is not parsley at all, but CARROT TOPS!! Ha!

There does appear to be some curly parsley in amidst the carrots, but what I have been cutting is definitely carrot tops! Oh, well...guess we can chalk that up to being a new gardener. Besides, the kids are going to love these fresh, sweet carrots with dinner.

And, never fear...oh, Heavens there is SMOKE pouring out of the right back!!!

All is well. The apple pie was overrunning it's confines and dripping juice and butter into the bottom of the hot oven - what a MESS!! We are having an "American" style meal tonight to celebrate finishing the US in school....on to Mexico next!

Anyway, you should know that although many of the members of the carrot and celery family have poisonous leaves, the carrot tops are quite safe to eat: I think I will toss these beauties into a green smoothie in the am.

Gotta run - the hordes must be fed...even though E seems to be having a blast learning to speak the Queen's English while watching a Brit cook on CreateTV and the other two are having a rollicking good time playing on the mini-tramp in the play room.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Next year...

It has been a gorgeous, albeit dry fall here this year...last year we had an early snow in October, with a blizzard at the end of the month...praying for the snow to hold off a bit longer this year!

The garden is still producing a little bit...a trickle of beans, a cuke every few days and a few more beets to be pulled...oh, and the soybeans are almost ready!! Next year, I want to plant more of those, earlier! But the silly garden still wants to make more food...the beans and cukes are flowering and some parsley, which was covered over by bean plants that I pulled out, look like they want to give it a try.

We ended up with 20 or so of the "Crown of Thorn" gourds and six of the "Dipper Gourds". Next year I want to plant these two big climbers around a teepee frame for the kiddos...should make a nice, cool place to play on hot summer days!

The acorn squash did okay...we got four or five of those, and the butternut squash...well they suffered from uneven watering, so we only got two of those. I think next year I will relocate the box and try and be more regular in my watering ;-)

Are you planting a fall garden? I want to, but it seems from what I have read, that most people in zone 5 who do a fall garden start seeds in July and plant late August...with my back and school and canning and, well Life, that did not happen, so we will try some lettuce, spinach and kale and see what happens, and plan better for next year. I need to get a cover made for one end of the garden to keep the snow off the plants...hmmmm, where IS that honey-do list?

Today, I put up 8 pints of plum jam - YUM! I had been hoping someone would say they had extra plums, and don't you know, today I got a bag full!! Thanks Ang!!

Overall, I have been pretty happy with my Square Foot Garden. It was a good trial run. Now I know NOT to plant pole beans around corn if you want to actually get corn off the plants. I also discovered that nine bush bean plants will completely take over three squares instead of the one square that they were supposed to inhabit! And speaking of pole beans, no one told me I needed light poles for them to climb! The crazy things climbed up anything they could find, and when there was nothing there, they bent over and then climbed back up AGAIN!

Next year, I plan to start my cukes inside to give them a jump start on the short growing season we have here. I also plan to get beets, kale, lettuces, spinach, chard and sweet peas into an early I just need to figure out who will be willing to come and water the seedlings while we are in GA, relaxing on the beach, watching the waves crash on the shore at Cumberland Island....I will be willing to pay in veggies later - any takers?