Tuesday, July 21, 2009

GARDEN PICTURES!!!

Front view:
We tried picking different types of tomatoes to plant so they'd ripen at different times of the season, but unfortunately, it looks like they'll all be ready at the same time! My mother in law and I are already planning out our canning process. Salsa- YES! (Let me tell you a little secret about salsa making- use margarita salt rather than plain salt.)

Side view:
Tomatoes & peas up front.
Squash and flowers in back.

Back view:

A pumpkin.

A baby watermelon.
Isn't it cute?!

In the back: Nasturtiums
Middle: watermelon
Front: marigolds

My row of Naturtiums between my squash rows.
(Next year, I'll give them a bit more sprawl space!)

Back: pumpkin & some hybrid volunteer squash thing
Front: spearmint, marigold, calendula

Arianna's pink begonias.

Peas.
They didn't take to the dowel rods.
Next year we'll use chicken wire.

Here's some of our crookneck yellow summer squash and one of those hybrid squash things. I'm drying out some of our peas to use in next year's garden.


Here's a random/unrelated photo taken yesterday.
Our kids wanted to "camp out" so here's their site.
The hula hoop with sticks is their "fire pit".
The bike is their "car".
It was actually a really fun day yesterday at "camp". We basically spent the ENTIRE day outside. We even did school outside.

More Ramblings... :-)

I was noticing this morning whilst grocery shopping (still lovin' my Ergo!) another amazing transformation that God has produced in me. Things like laundry, grocery shopping, washing dishes, sorting baby clothes, decluttering/organizing, etc. used to annoy me to no end. Annoy and overwhelm. To the point where I would keep putting them off, putting them off, etc. until I was staring at an insurmountable task. It's embarrassing to admit this, but I would let things pile up (dishes and laundry especially) until they were literally climbing the wall. It would get to the point to where we had nothing to eat with or wear because everything was dirty. (I am not joking! Anyone who knew me then could attest!) Then I HAD to tackle the problem... and grumble the ENTIRE time. (Oh woe is me!) I felt like such a martyr. Ugh. It disgusts me to even relive some of those memories. Part of it was that I just didn't have a manageable system in place. But a HUGE part of it was my attitude. It just drove me nuts that we could produce such a mess! And that I was the unlucky one that had to clean it up!

Fast forward to today... As I was grocery shopping I found myself finding great joy in filling my cart. I'm sure a lot of people take one look at our weekly consumption and shake their heads with the thought "I just couldn't imagine...". But I find joy in it! This food will be consumed by my family, the ones I love, my own flesh and blood. This food will provide life and strength! As I was pondering more on this thought later today, I started thinking about laundry. Once again, people would probably stare in disbelief at the amount of laundry a family of 6 produces. I used to grumble and complain, but today I find joy! Dishes filling the sink after every meal? Mouths were filled. We don't go without. God blesses. Our home is filled with LIFE! It's moving. It's active. It changes. It grows. And I love it! God has blessed our home with LIFE!

It's to the point now where I can't imagine being alone (I don't WANT to imagine!) Where I used to need a LOT of alone time, now I don't like it much at all... (at least for long stretches *grin*). Seriously though. It's eerie. Stagnant. Too quiet.

I am just full today with joy in the life that God has given our family. Dishes, laundry, etc. may still frustrate and overwhelm me, but it means there is LIFE in the family! Blessed souls given from my Creator God. How awesome!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Peas & squash are in!

I'm so excited! My first organic garden and it's doing really well!!!

First batch of peas picked on Saturday.

Not sure we'll get to cook these this year. The kids are eating them like candy! Definitely going to have to plant more of these next year. I cannot believe how different (better) they taste then store-bought or frozen peas! They are absolutely delicious!!!

Here's our first yellow crookneck summer squash we picked yesterday. I sauteed it this morning for a snack. Salt, pepper, and a splash of vinegar. Yummm!

The kids and I thought the seed formation was so neat.

Squash bug update:
no eggs... no nymphs... on ANYTHING... even our trap crop.
*knock on wood*
I have a feeling we are going to have a LOT of squash on our hands this summer.
(Anyone who lives nearby, come and get some!) :-)

BTW,
What is your favorite way to prepare summer squash?
(I really only know how to saute it.)

And does it freeze ok?

I'll have to post some pics of the garden. It is looking so good. Everything's blooming and growing so well. Tomatoes are getting nice and big~ some of them should be turning red soon. Mint is growing like crazy. Marigolds and nasturtiums are in full bloom. Pumpkin plants are huge. My calendula will be blooming real soon. Oh, it's all so beautiful. I love gardening!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ramblings (III)

Another comment I hear ALL the time is "how do you do it?!"

I never really quite know how to answer this question because I don't really know how I do it! I just do it! You gotta do what you gotta do. But more than that, it's not me doing it in the first place... it's God! Oh believe me, you can for certain tell the days that I'm doing "it" on my own strength. There's yelling. There's fighting. There's shooing the kids away to do things by myself because it's easier and it'll be done "right". The house looks a-fright. I'm frazzled. The children are running amok with disobedient. One word sums it up pretty well: chaotic. Then there are the days when I'm walking in obedience with the Lord, basking in His strength and sovereignty, thinking often of Him and His word... Things aren't perfect, but it's peaceful. Not everything on my to-do list gets accomplished, but I'm not fretting about it. It may have taken an hour to get one load of laundry folded and put away... but the kids "helped" and loved every minute of spending time with me. I swear it's a night & day difference. My husband can just tell when he gets home for dinner whether or not I spent my day with God. Anyway, back to question at hand (how do you do it?)... It's not me, it's all God! I have nothing to boast about because it's God that's used my weaknesses to reveal His glory. God called an unqualified woman to a seemingly impossible job so that He could get the glory and honor from the transformation that would take place. How did it happen? Certainly not over night. One day at a time. One moment at a time. Dying to self. Being obedient to Christ.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ramblings (II)

Makes me think of this verse:

Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

-2 Cor. 12:10


Other verses I love:

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
-James 1:2-5

Ramblings...


It amazes me how God qualifies the called... not calls the qualified. Take for instance the job of motherhood. When I joined the ranks I was NOT qualified:

1) I didn't know how to manage a home.
2) I didn't know what it meant to be a biblical wife (none what a mom).
3) I didn't know how to cook.
4) I didn't know how to sew.
5) I did not like noise, commotion, chaos, changes of plans.
6) I needed large amounts of alone time.
7) I was terribly lacking in confidence and boldness.
8) I had huge trust issue with God.
9) I was extremely impatient.
10) I was very selfish of my time, money, energy, and body.

That's just to name a few personality quirks (sin issues?) that described me at the onset of my mothering journey. A very rough lump of clay, if you will. Through all the difficulties, trials, hardships, unknowns, and pain... I have chosen to obey the Lord. And nearly 7 years later, I cannot even begin to explain how God has stretched me, changed me, tried me... and blessed me. I cannot say it enough, but I personally believe a huge part of the "blessing" that children are called in Scripture is the "blessing" of our sanctification. For so many years I tried running from the trials. I wanted the comfy, easy life. But God called me to something bigger and deeper. I was called... but not qualified. Over the years, He has made me qualified. I am SOOO far from perfect. But I cannot even describe the metamorphosis that has taken place in the last 7 years. Can't wait to see what the Lord's got in store for the rest of this journey.

Oftentimes the thing we work the hardest at is the thing we appreciate the most.

I did NOT enjoy being a parent right away. It has literally taken me YEARS to see the beauty, joy, and blessing that children really are. A lot of that required me dying to self and obeying the Lord step by step, day by day. Now, I LOVE being a mommy. Now, I walk with pride and joy through the town with my little "ducks in a row" following alongside. Now, I can honestly respond to the comments "are all these yours?!!!" "how can you handle it?" "you know what causes these?" "boy, you have your hands full!" with confidence: Children are a blessing. I love them. And I wouldn't want to ever be doing anything else! Yes, my hands are full but I LOVE it!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

My first public outing with the Ergo...

... was a SUCCESS!
Yea!
I like not looking like an idiot in public, don't you?
;-)
I've been practicing ever since I got it and I've finally got it down. Edmund's getting used to it and really enjoys being my little "monkey on my back". Three stores... No problem!

Completely random though unrelated to the Ergo, but you ladies have GOT to check out money saving mom. They list ALL kinds of freebies and promotions! I just got a free mocha McCafe and free Potato Ole's (Taco John's). Not just food but LOTS of different products listed as well. Check it out!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Sinus Vinegar

It's ready! It's done!
It's been sitting on my counter for 2 weeks in order to reach full potency. What is it?
Sinus vinegar, of course! ;-)

Almost 2 months ago, I joined HerbMentor.com. I just love it! RD and I have had a growing interest in herbal medicinals and have been very pleased with this website and the information and mentorship they provide. If any of you are interested in herbs, you should seriously give them a look-see.

Anyways, to make a long story short, my brother-in-law and a family friend have both struggled with sinus issues (congestion, pressure, headaches, difficulty sleeping, etc.). So I decided to make them some Sinus Vinegar, a recipe from HerbMentor. Yea! It's finally done. I've been so curious to see if it works!

Here's what's in it:
-minced onion
-minced garlic
-grated fresh ginger
-grated fresh horseradish
-mustard seeds
-black peppercorns
-dried chili flakes
-apple cider vinegar
-honey

Boy howdy! It was cleaning MY sinuses just making it! It basically smells like a really strong salad dressing. They're supposed to take 1/2 to 1 tsp. per hour as needed.

Here's what it looked like sitting on the counter.
(The plastic bag is there to protect the metal lid from corrosion that can occur from the vinegar.)

Here it is straining.
It would have been so much easier with a cheesecloth.
(Putting that on my shopping list!)

Dripping...

Honey goes in last and works as a preservative.
This sinus vinegar can now be stored in a cool dark place for up to 2 years!

Let you know if it works!!!

Monday, July 06, 2009

My ERGO!!!

Foohy. It's blurry. But you get the idea.
We ended up purchasing the Ergo Sport. I LOVE it! If only I'd gotten one when I had Arianna!!! Definitely a learning curve required. I got it Friday afternoon and have been playing with it all weekend. Got to get it somewhat down before I go grocery shopping again.
It's awesome, though! And Edmund LOVES it!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Look-y what I'm getting...

THIS FRIDAY!!!


It's an Ergo Sport Baby Carrier!!!
Not quite sure what the big difference is between the regular Ergo and the sport. You can read about those differences here. The sport is lighter weight, has longer adjustable straps... and is cheaper. *grin* This will make doing things (like grocery shopping) sooooo much easier.


Wanted to show you ladies yet another cool thing I got this past weekend.
Another birthday present from my parents!!!
THANK YOU!!!




Is this not the most darling bedspread ever!!!