Doing the best she can to raise happy, healthy children

Monthly Archives: June 2013

The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is rich and supplied. Prov 13: 4

I’m having our first family vegetable garden this summer and its been an experience so far! We have a small plot, I’ve added in a few pictures below. I’ve planted carrots, onions, tomatoes, herbs, and cucumbers. I started this little project with a lot of excitement. We’d been putting off gardening because of our plan to move. Well, now that plan has changed and I insisted we not wait any longer to plan the garden. So, we have a family garden.

My definition of a family garden is we all work in it. Now, I’ll admit, since it was my idea I’ve worked the most in it and anticipate I’ll continue to do the most work. And I’m OK with that. However, everyone will eventually get their hands dirty. The kids have already helped me with the digging and planting. My son was so excited and enthusiastic about it. My daughter loved digging and pulling some of the weeds to get started but needed some encouragement to get her hands in the dirt. I’m really looking forward to summer time spent as a family in our garden.

Since it was small plot, I didn’t want to pay to till the ground. So, I bought a hand tiller and tilled it myself. Now that as a lot of work! Despite working out, my muscle felt a bit sore the next morning after tilling. The tilling and preparing the dirt took the longest. I was so gung-ho that the first weekend I managed to till 3/4 of the garden space. My enthusiasm slowed and it took an additional 3 nights and a weekend to complete the last 1/4.

After the tilling was done, the rest of the planting went much easier. Since I tilled the ground over about a 3 week period (it kept raining on me!), I had to go back over most of it to re-loosen-up the soil. After I did that, I spread some of our composit soil over the top and worked it into the ground. Ideally, I wanted to let it sit for a few days, but since time was not on my side. I let it sit for a day and planted the seeds the next day.

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The first picture is my daughter helping to shovel. The second is the garden all tilled- by hand and the third is my son planting flowers. The fourth is the planted garden.

Did you plant a garden this year? How did your planting time go? Is there a part of the process that seems like more work than another?

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Howdy book lovers! I feel like I’ve slown down some in my reading now that summer’s arrived. The later sunsets lead to my kids staying up a bit later and the nice weather insists our family play outside until bedtime. So, it is inevitable and completely out of my control that my reading time gets drastically cut short! I’m completely not to blame!

Well, enough of those silly excuses and on to the book review!

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Gone South by Meg Moseley

Lititia (Tish for short) McComb has a love for her family history and older costume jewelry. She recently inherited old family letters written by and to her name sake. On her way back to Michigan from settling her mom into her new place in Florida, Tish stops by the old McComb house in Noble Alabama where her namesake lived. With-in the short visit she falls in love with the old house and offers to buy it. With high hopes she quits her job and moves into her new house.

Once in Noble, her life doesn’t seem to be going in the planned direction. She quickly learns the McCombs are not welcomed in town because of town history.  Her path crosses with Mel, an immature young adult who has a history of trouble. Drawn to Mel, Tish invites her to stay with her and becomes Mel’s mentor. The only other people in Noble who willingly befriends the two are George and Calv whose original desire to rent Tish’s garage soon develops into friendship.

This book was very well-written. It had great depth and the characters were likable and realistic. Growing-up in a small town, it’s believable that people could hold on to grudges for a very long time. It’s a great reminder to consider and contemplate what beliefs you are holding on to. It’s a good remainder to not judge people by rumors. The character Mel can border on annoying. However, I believe the author did a good job of knowing when to stop. She took Mel right up to the annoying and then stopped. In my opinion, that is a sign of a good author. I truly enjoyed reading this book.

The downfalls to the book are few. I do wish there was a bit more on Tish’s father. He appears throughout the book through Tish’s retelling of stories. However, I really wanted to get to know the man a bit better. I also wish her mother was a bit more involved. I found it odd that they were described as being very close, but she didn’t call her mom for quite some time while in the new town. That seemed a bit odd since several people I know who are extremely close to their mom talk daily to her. Even if the conversations weren’t specific, it seems to me they would’ve talked much more frequently.

Overall, this was a great book and worth reading. It’s a great story of love, forgiveness, and second chances.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

This book receives 5/5 bookends

If you’d like more info on the author stop by her website here.

If you liked this review, follow this link to rank it.

Happy Reading!


It’s funny when you’re thrown into parenthood you have this pre-constructed thought as to what it will look like. You have some false thoughts of perfection for both yourself and your child. And, you have some right on the nose thoughts about parenting. Then you have those things that’s been described to you, but you really can’t understand until you’ve been there, done that.

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One of the parts of parenting that was a bit abstract for me was the JOY I find in my children. It’s hard to explain to a non-parent. I’ve had joy before my kids. I’ve found joy in my cousins, nieces and nephews. I’ve found it in my career. I’ve even found joy in jogging. But none of these things compare to the JOY you find IN your children. It’s amazing! It’s so much more than anything I could feel for myself or anyone other than my children. Lots of things bring me joy as I raise my children. Those first fantastic words, shaky steps, or first time on a bike without training wheels (granted neither of my children are doing this yet). Those are joyful moments for parents.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in caring for your child and husband that you can forget to enjoy them. As a woman, I naturally have the caregiver role. I, as many woman, naturally have the perfectionist tendency. Well, not completely. I use to feel like the house needed to be in order (completely scrubbed and picked-up) in order to be able to relax.

In fact, reading some of those mommy blogs make me feel lesser of a mom if I don’t do certain things. Two hour craft time every day, sure, why not? Bake and decorate a beautiful 3-D butterfly cake for the first day of spring. Make all my meals from scratch with only organic, never processed ingredients, I can do that! Before I know it, I’m down the road of feeling like I’m not enough. I’ve ran out of time and the 3-D cake is now getting smeared with store-bought frosting leaving me feeling defeated.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s very honorable to do these things. It’s our calling to care for our families. Heck, if I don’t bake the cake and cookies they never get done. My husband doesn’t think about doing it. And, I”m glad he doesn’t have to. I’m glad I can be the one there to do it. I like keeping us on schedule and knowing whose going where and when. I want to be in charge of those things, but I don’t want to be so wrapped up that I forget why I do those tasks.

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I love taking time to experience Joy with my kids. After all, isn’t that part of the reason I had children? To be fulfilled? To make an impact on someone else? So, if I’m running around all day and don’t take time to hang-out with them, I’m not doing a good job. Whether it’s playing in the park or having an impromptu tea party, my day is refreshed. I urge everyone to take time out today and experience some of the joy your children bring to your house.

I encourage you to EMBRACE JOY in your children. Do that silly dance, laugh and giggle with them at the dinner table, or play dress-up with them. Embrace the silliness that comes with children and in doing so, you will find joy. If you have older children, embrace Joy in helping with homework and watching them master a new subject. It can be challenging some days to do this, but try. Parenting will seem so much easier if you embrace it.

What has brought you joy in children? How do you embrace joy in parenthood? I’d love to hear from you!


The weather’s warming, school is ending. It must mean that it’s SUMMER TIME! Summer is one of my, err…did I say one? I mean it IS my favorite season. I’m a big believer in getting plans into place so we have plenty to keep us busy. So, I’ve made a list of planned activities and thought I’d share them with you. This isn’t all-inclusive as I’m sure I’ll add and subtract from it as the summer gets going.

Summer Fun

Local Fun

Wading pool

Carousel

Zoo

Living History Farms

Botanical Center

Picnics

Pick Fresh Berries

State Fair

Science Center

Movie

Orchard

Library

Movie Theater

4th of July Fireworks

Travel Fun

Zoos (would like to visit 3 different state zoos!)

Train Ride

County Museum

State Park

Spontaneous Fun

Side Walk Chalk

Horseshoes

Hop-Scotch

Races

Gardening

Sandbox

T-ball

Baking/Cooking

Biking around the pond

Bubbles

Swimming Pool

So that’s my starting list! Considering I’m a working mom, I suspect we’ll be pretty busy! Everything on this list I’m hoping to do as a family. I have a soon to be 5 and 3 year-old. I believe everything on here will keep them busy and entertained.

What’s on your list for the summer?