Wednesday, May 30, 2012

"How Does Your Garden Grow?" {Square Foot Gardening}

Last month I decided to finally mark something off of my bucket list.
Growing my own garden.
I actually had this on our Summer List 2011 too.
Never happened.
It is intimidating.
It's that simple.
And I have just enough of the perfectionism gene to say to heck with it because I feel I won't do it "right".
This time I threw caution to the wind and said, "I'm going for it."
Ok, so I lie.
Actually, it is simply the fact that my mom lives close enough now to hold my hand, every step of the way, that I have any courage whatsoever to pull the trigger on such a venture.


I started by buying three 16 ft. long 2X8 pieces of untreated lumber from Lowe's.
I had them cut two of those in half (these would be my long sides) and one of them into four equal pieces (these would be my ends).
This helped me build two 4X8 beds and utilize every piece of wood.
A box of  3 1/4" deck screws.
One truckload of "Holy Cow" all in one topsoil.
All of this, plus your veggies to plant, and you will be Farmer Brown in no time!


Adam screwed them together and then we placed them out in my fenced in patio area.
If you do not have a fenced in area you will need to put up something to keep the critters out.
I knew that if they were out of sight (behind the fence), they would be out of mind.
I needed to see them everyday to enjoy think about watering it.
Once the beds were level (I ended up moving one of them after this picture) we took up the top layer of grass then put down strips of weed control.


Then my hunk of a man scooped in the Holy Cow while we spread it in the beds evenly.
You will want it almost completely to the top.


My mom was teaching Aidan how to spread the soil and break up the clumps.
She'll hate me for this.
I'll just pray she forgives me and be glad that she doesn't have her own blog.


Even the teenager cheerfully he kept mysteriously vanishing got in on the work.


Then we took a tape measure and marked each one foot section with a pencil making an arrow tip that points into the bed.
The nail would go inside the arrow.
We did this all the way around.


Then we nailed in the nails at each arrow at an angle.


Leaving about this much sticking up.
Then I took twine and started it on one end tying a knot around the nail.
Then I would pass it down to the opposite end and we would loop it around the nail twice and move to the nail beside that one.
Then we would pass it back down lengthwise again,
Looping and passing till we got to the last nail then tying a knot.
We used the same procedure to go across the width of the bed as well.


Then I used the hammer to bend over the nails and hammer them in to the wood a bit as to hold the twine securely and pull it as tight as possible.


Hope that makes sense.
In other words I did not tie a knot at each nail.
Only the beginning and ending nail.
The others I wrapped around twice then passed to the next nail.


This was my paper where I had charted out all the veggies I would need to make room for.
This helped me to plot out where everything would be planted based on how much I had to plant and how many squares I  had to plant in.

I advise you to Google the proper procedures for your specific veggies and fruits.
There are some rules to planting certain things.
Such as cucumbers and melons can't go side by side.
Nor can cantaloupe and watermelon.

Also you will need to know how many of each thing can fit into one square.
Tomatoes can go two to a square but lettuces can go 4 to a square.
It is worth the time to research for the most successful garden possible.

There really is a science to gardening which makes me appreciate the generations before me that literally lived off the land.
How resourceful they were.
How in sync with nature they had to be to make it all work.

And then to teach themselves to preserve it all winter without going bad?!
Mind blowing.

"You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of the dust." #gardencomplete #bucketlist

This was taken the day they were planted.
May 6, 2012
Bed #1: Broccoli, spinach, rosemary. jalapenos, red leaf lettuce, romaine, butter leaf lettuce, strawberries and baby watermelons.
Bed #2: Cucumbers, corn, sweet potatoes, load of different types of tomatoes, and cantaloupe.

My garden is already a beast!!! #squarefootgardening

This was my garden today.
May 30, 2012
It is a beast! :-)
I simply cannot wait to have 'mater sandwich from freshly picked tomatoes in my garden.

JalapeƱos!!! #squarefootgardening

So proud of these two little jalapenos that are growing.
They are the first actual veggie I see forming thus far.
They are like my babies now.
I check them everyday.

I grew this. Now it will be my lunch. Best feeling ever. #nofilter #squarefootgardening

I picked these yesterday morning for a salad.
I washed them and put them in the salad spinner.
They are glorious...that is all I can say.
Completely organic too!
No better feeling.

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Friday, May 25, 2012

What My Men Have Been Up To In Bolivia {InstaFriday}

My husband and my sixteen year old left for a mission trip to Bolivia last Wednesday.
We haven't had much communication.
We were able to Skype once but I quickly realized that it made things worse.
Getting one message on Facebook per night was best.
Having to hit "disconnect" while looking at the faces of the men I love most in the world was too much to take.

Here are some of the pictures they posted this week on Facebook.
Thought I'd share.
Thank you to those that have kept them in your prayers for me this week.
They come home tonight!!!
Whoo Hoo!!!

To read more about the radical call on my son's life and his momma's not so graceful response to it all click here.

La Paz

La Paz.
14,000 feet in elevation.
A beast.
We were most concerned about this leg of the trip.
So many people get very sick during this layover due to the lack of oxygen.
The cabin of the airplane is depressurized and your body is met with very very thin air all at once.
Adam said that most of the people on the plane did in fact feel the effects but unfortunately my Tyler was the one to actually get sick.
A flight out of the there and a Zofran later, he was feeling much better.
Poor guy...before going that is the one thing he said he was concerned about...vomiting in front of everybody.
Maybe this was God's way of breaking some pride before the trip...who knows.
Nothing says guess I don't need to worry about impressing any of you now like losing your lunch in front of your fellow travellers.


Landing in Cochabamba.
Final Destination.


While there this past week the goal was to help in the construction of a new home to be added to The Bolivian Hope Center for abandoned mothers and their children.
This is an epidemic in their culture.
Women in prison.
On the streets.
Their children along for the bumpy ride.

Adam said that I would have been so proud of our son.
That he was up early every morning and worked hard all day.
I knew one thing before he went...that he would either be miserable there or come home a man.

I have no idea what he is doing in this picture but I can't help but think that they obviously don't know him very well.
If so they would not have placed him that close to that giant hole in the ground.
The boy is super coordinated but graceful? Not so much.
He is his mother's child for sure.


They were able to travel up into the Andes Mountain range one day.
Destination 15,500 ft.
On those roads.


In the back of one of these.
So glad I didn't know till it was over.


These are houses in the mountains.
The Ketchua people live here.


Breathtaking views.
Not bad mints either. ;-)


My boy and his dad.
My heart floods with joy when I think of them experiencing this together.


Tyler and Ashten in the Andes.


More important than any physical work they could do, loving on the children of the Hope Center was the number one priority.

In my few and far between updates from Adam he sent this picture and said that this young lady named Allison had stolen his heart.
She is around our Maggie's age.


He also sent this one of a 2 year old named Sophia.
He said that they told him she doesn't "go" to anyone that comes there.
She went straight to him.
Then she cried when he left.
He said it broke his heart.
I said, "bring her home with you!"


A day of crafts with Allison and Sophia.
Beautiful girls.


It looks like it has been a wonderful trip.
I look forward to hearing all about it.
I know God has done more than take them on a geographical journey.

Holiday World!!! #homeschoolers #classtrip

Here on the home front we kept ourselves busy so that we wouldn't have too much time to think about how much we missed Adam and Tyler.
I am a trip coordinator for our Homeschool tutorial.
Wednesday I took this year's Freshman and Sophomores to Holiday World for their end of the year class trip.
Minus my Tyler of course...he was supposed to be on this trip.
We had a complete blast.
Hot sun.
Cold water.
Amazing well behaved and respectful teens.
I heart them.

life rearranged

"My every mortal breath, is Grace and nothing less"

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Put Me in the Zoo {InstaFriday..on Saturday}

Exchanging of the rings. You are stunning @kelseyraes

Last week we attended a gorgeous wedding.

Mr. And Mrs. Quinton West!!! @kelseyraes

The sweetest vows I have ever heard.
They are on their honeymoon now.
In Bolivia.
With my boys.

Maggie and Kelsey. Kelsey is Maggie's youth pastor and we ❤ her. @magpie26 @kelseyraes

Kelsey is Maggie's middle school Youth Pastor.
We heart her.

Just walked in the door from taking my mom out to eat. Found this. #theygetme

I took my mom to a Mother's Day dinner, just she and my sister, on Saturday night.
When I got home that night my family was in bed and this was sitting on the table.
Oh the mustardy goodness oozing out of that lamp.

I think I found a home for my new lovely mustard lamp. #mothersday

I think I found the perfect spot for it.
And a new favorite place to sit.

Breakfast. Soon to be in a glass. Kale. Spinach. Ginger root. Apple. Banana. Carrot. Fresh strawberries frozen. Flax seed. Soy vanilla milk. #vitamix #greensmoothie

This has been my breakfast every single morning for the past 2 weeks.


I ordered myself a Vitamix back in April for my birthday.
Happy birthday to me!
Is it possible to be in LOVE with an appliance?
I'm talking I'd propose if I could love.

Ok so it's more of a reddish green smoothie today. It's strawberry season here ya know. #vitamix #breakfast

I'll be honest...I was a skeptic.
How could all that green stuff taste good?
I had prepared myself to just chug a lug for the sake of my health.
One sip and I was sold.
They are delicious.
You'd really never know all that healthy stuff is in there.
Even my kids enjoy them.

Before and after. So long phase 1!!

Speaking of kids...kiddo number 3 got his braces and his herbst off this week.
He will go back into braces once his 12 year molars are in.
Heck, I think they look fabulous now.

@revdrewbe pumping up the Bolivia team. #missions #thisishappening

Wednesday I put my heart on an airplane to Bolivia.

Releasing my boys into the hands of God. #missions #bolivia

I wrote about how well I handled it here.
Yes, that is sarcasm.

My boy. So handsome. So grown up. I'm one proud momma. #offhegoes

How does this happen?
I could write a whole post on the hot mess I am about my kid growing up.
Actually no I couldn't.
I've tried.

Off he goes. I'm one hot mess of emotions right now. ❤ #missions #mybaby

This picture.
Oh this picture.
It says so much.
So symbolic.
Even the blur.
Off he goes.

Zoo day with the littles.

To keep my mind busy I took the littles to the zoo.
It had been a few years.

Flamingos. I always think of three' company when I see these. Random I know.

I know it's awful but whenever I see flamingos I always hear the "Three's Company" theme song in my head.

Petting a corn snake. #notmom

My kids wanted to stop and pet this snake.
I did not.
Snake + Nothing but an elderly volunteer holding it = no thank you.
I was right.
As we were walking away it tried to bite the lady holding it.
I loathe snakes.

They love each other. Sorta. #bunnyears

Bunny ears.
I didn't even try to stop them.
They were too cute.

Snow cone time. We picked hottest day in a month to go to the zoo apparently.

Snow cone time.

I never get tired if looking at this guy. Or his newly braces free teeth.

I never get tired of looking at this kid's smile.


Lorikeet Landing.
He's a pro.


Maggie wasn't so sure.

So pretty.

I'm not a huge bird lover but Lorikeets are gorgeous.

Little too close.

A little too close for comfort.
They liked her hair.

Me and the littles. Having such a good time with them.

We had a really great day together.
I miss my men but this time alone with my youngest two is a huge blessing.
All too soon they will be off on their own adventures.
And I will have a head full of gray hair.

Just skyped with my boys in Bolivia. was so good to see them but so hard to say goodbye again. I may have to stick to Facebook messages. #missions #bolivia

This just in: Just as I was wrapping up this post, I was able to Skype with my boys!
Oh man...did I love seeing their faces.
And hearing their voices.
Tyler had just gotten out of the shower so his hair is a site.
He'll love me for this.
My face is equally disturbing.
Like those wonky mirrors in a fun house.
As much as I loved seeing them it was really painful to say goodbye.
Worse than the airport actually.
I may need to stick to just messaging each other.
I really stink at this.

life rearranged

"My every mortal breath, is Grace and nothing less"

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