Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lagniappe – The Back Home Edition – May 30, 2009

1. I wore make-up twice this week!  OK, it was for two funerals, but it was still twice in a week!

2. I’ve definitely acclimated to the Great White North.  The heat and humidity of the Deep South did not agree with me this week.

3. To add to the regular heat of the South, the air-conditioning in my parent’s trailer decided to quit working.  During the day, the temperature in the trailer would approach 90 degrees.  I had a migraine Wednesday afternoon and evening and napped in the trailer in that heat.  Ick.  Thankfully, a repairperson came out on Thursday morning and recharged the AC so it was cool for our last day.

4. Of my mother’s eleven sibling who lived to adulthood, only four of them were never divorced.

5. I stand by my assertion that you can tell when you have left the South by the cleanliness of the public restrooms.

6. One of the most useful things that my Aunt S (Uncle B’s widow) received this week was a big bag of Ziploc and/or Rubbermaid containers to hold leftovers.  Friends and church members had brought by so much food that we were storing it in ice chests as well as the fridge.  The extra containers to store leftovers were much appreciated.

7. I had over 1000 items in Google Reader when I got home (since I only checked the computer once while we were gone).  It took me several hours this evening to delete most and star the ones that I want to read.

8. My kids had the first two shows of the dance recital today and tonight.  They’ll be home in the next hour or so.  They have another show tomorrow which Mr. Math Tutor and I will be able to attend – Yippee!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Redeeming the Time

My Uncle B, whose funeral I attended yesterday, did a good job of "redeeming the time"(KJV) or "making the most of every opportunity"(NIV) during his life as Paul says in Ephesians 5:16. At my uncle's funeral, they gave people a chance to stand up and tell how Uncle B had made a difference in their lives. There were a number of people who said that Uncle B demonstrated what Jesus was like to them.

Funerals quite often make me reflect back on my life and consider if I am "redeeming the time". What will people say about me when I am gone? Will people have seen Jesus' love in me? Will they have known that every minute of every day was lived for Jesus? More importantly, what will Jesus say when I meet him? Will He say, "Well done, good and faithful servant?"

I don't want to get caught up in doing MORE stuff, though. I want to ask if I'm doing the right things. I have learned not to equate filling my schedule with serving God. I spend a lot of time schooling the kids and cleaning house. Those are just as important as any "church" activity because they are leading my children closer to Jesus. My spiritual disciplines of prayer and Bible study are also critical activities as long as they are what Jesus wants me to be doing right then. Staying on track with Jesus needs to be as natural as breathing. I'm not there yet, but it is a goal.

Funerals also make me think about what I want done at my funeral and what I want done with my body. Actually, I'm not real picky about what the family does with my body. I do lean toward cremation, but that's really left up to who's left behind after I go. I do know, though, that I want lots of music and reminiscence at my funeral. I understand that there will be tears and sorrow, but I want the music and speaking to reflect the joy of a soul that has gone to be with Jesus. I want there to be lots of music, particularly music that praises the Lord and celebrates His love. I want the speaking to be short and sweet, but include an explanation of the Gospel.

What do you think about after a funeral? Have you made plans for your own funeral? Do you get all serious about your life plans again?

Goin' Home

So, we're on our way back home. It's been quite the week. Last Saturday, my Uncle B died so Mr. Math Tutor and I came down here into the Deep South for his funeral. We got here Monday night (Memorial Day) and went to Aunt J's funeral Saturday morning (Aunt J was Uncle B's and my mom's sister who died earlier last week). Tuesday night was visitation for Uncle B and then Wednesday was Uncle B's funeral.

I had a migraine Sunday morning before we left home. We had wanted to leave at about 8 am, but I woke up at 6 with the migraine. I took my meds and went back to bed. We were able to leave about noon. The rest of the trip was uneventful.

Aunt J's funeral on Tuesday morning was small and quiet. She was 85 years old when she died. I didn't know her very well.

The visitation for Uncle B on Tuesday evening went for four hours. It was held at the big Baptist church in town where he was a very active member. Several hundred people had to have come through that evening to express their sympathy to the family. I got to meet family members whom I hadn't seen since childhood.

Wednesday morning was Uncle B's funeral at the big Baptist church. It was a lovely service. One of the most moving parts of the service was when they opened it up for people to share special memories of my Uncle B. It was amazing how many people had been touched by his life, through hunting, working on mission projects, working around church, or just growing up in the church and knowing him. His life truly made a difference for Jesus.

The church made sure that the family will not need to cook again for a good week or two. They brought tons of food to the house as well as having a luncheon after the funeral in the church fellowship hall.

Today (Thursday), my mom and I went out to the cemetary and took pictures of Uncle B's and Aunt J's gravesites as well as going around to all the other family gravesites. Afterward, I picked my mom's brain about family history and genealogy. My mom is the youngest of 12 siblings and I don't know nearly all my cousins. Mom was able to fill in lots of the blanks in my information, but there are still a few things I'm not sure of that I'll have to ask other aunts.

I'm definitely ready to go home and see my kiddoes. I really miss them. I like having time with just my hubby and I'm thrilled that the kids are having special time with Grandma, but I'll be very happy to be back in my own home with my Rosie Girl and Wild Man in just a couple of days.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Our Week In Review – May 23, 2009


I believe that you may safely say that this week has been one of the worst of the last few years.  I haven’t posted much in the last couple of days because I’ve just been feeling overwhelmed.  On a positive note, I am learning the meaning of “pray without ceasing”.

In this post, I related the story of Uncle B and his having a heart attack last weekend and heart surgery on Tuesday.  This week was spent largely in a state of unease and uncertainty.  We didn’t know if Uncle B was going to survive.  If he did, how long would he be in the hospital and would his wife need help caring for him?

Rosie Girl and Wild Man were having their own stresses about the whole thing.  They were distressed about Uncle B being so sick and possibly dying.  But, they were also concerned about possibly missing their dance recital this upcoming weekend.  They have worked all year getting ready for this recital and both were devastated that they might have to miss the recital.  But, it was almost worse not really knowing what was going to happen.

Thursday night, my dad called to say that one of the doctors said that Uncle B had had a massive heart attack and wasn’t expected to live through the night.  Then, in the wee hours of the morning, the heart surgeon came through and said that Uncle B had not had another heart attack and was as stable as he had been, although, of course, remaining critically ill.  But, by Friday evening, the doctors were all more pessimistic about Uncle B’s prognosis.  This morning, my dad called again to tell me that Uncle B had died.

So, what do we do?  I feel that kids should generally be involved in family events like births and deaths as much as possible.  How, though, do we resolve the dance recital and now a funeral?  We decided that Mr. Math Tutor and I would go down to Mississippi for the funeral but that the kids would stay here for the recital.  We had asked a friend who just graduated from college if she would stay with the kids and get them to rehearsals during the week until Grandma (Mr. Math Tutor’s mom) could get here and help us out.  Guess what, though?  Grandma got a flight today and just got here this evening!  So, Grandma will get the kids to their dance rehearsals and recitals during the next week so Mr. Math Tutor and I can go be with the family and attend the funeral.

Thursday night, I told the kids that we would go ahead and be done with our official schoolwork for the year.  We hadn’t done much during the week anyway.  We will continue to listen to Story of the World and watch some pertinent DVR shows.  This week we learned more about Napoleon and watched a pretty good Nat Geo show about Napoleon.  We may not be doing “real” school again until late July, but I’m sure we’ll get plenty of learning in.

I did some serious cooking on Thursday.  I made four casseroles and put them in the freezer, anticipating that we might need them at some point.  Well, it turns out that Grandma and the kids will get to use them this week!  Nice to be prepared.

Crazy week, but we learned more about real life than we ever would have learned if the kids have been in school!

Check our Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see what others have been doing this week! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

When It Rains, It Pours . . .

Our rough weekend has grown into a downright rotten week, particularly for my Mom’s family.  I had something cool for a WFMW post, but I have completely forgotten it.  I got the groceries purchased, but haven’t gotten around to doing any cooking today.  Here’s what’s up with us.

{Required background info for non-family members: My mother is the youngest of 12 siblings and grew up in Mississippi.  I grew up in Florida and only saw my aunts and uncles once a year at most.  Some of them I saw only every few years during my childhood.  I was closest to my Aunt A and Aunt D, two of the aunts my mom was closest to.  My aunt D died when I was in college and my Aunt A (just a few years older than my mom) died about 10 years ago (can it really be that long!).  My mom is also pretty close to Aunt C who is the oldest sister and is old enough to be my grandmother (she has kids older than my mom) and Uncle B who is closest to her in age.  They both still live in Mississippi.  The other aunts and uncles who are still alive are scattered through Texas, Mississippi, and Florida, I think.  Confusing?  Yes, but that’s my family.}

A couple of weeks ago, my mom told me that my Aunt J was in the hospital and had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.  She lived in Texas.  After hospital discharge, she was going home with hospice care.  Aunt J was one of my older aunts; my mom had actually grown up with Aunt J’s daughters.  Last week, my parents drove from Florida to Mississippi, picked up Uncle B and Aunt S (his wife), and drove to Texas to visit Aunt J.

On Friday afternoon as Mr. Math Tutor was getting ready to take me to the clinic for treatment for my migraine from H*LL, my dad called to tell us that Uncle B had been taken to the Emergency Department (in Texas) for chest pain.  Saturday morning, they had determined that he had had a heart attack, so they did a heart catheterization with the hope of doing an angioplasty (balloon treatment) or stent placement.  They found, though, that his heart disease was quite severe and that he needed to have bypass surgery.  Unfortunately, it had to be done in Texas, not closer to home.

Sunday and Monday were rather uneventful except for the generally high stress level among the family.  In addition to the whole waiting thing, my mom was trying to sort out her work situation in Florida and my dad was trying to make funeral arrangements for my Aunt J for a Mississippi funeral even though she was living in Texas (and had not passed).

Tuesday morning, Uncle B went into surgery around 9am or so.  My mom called around 10 to tell me that Aunt J passed at about 8 am.  They did not know before Uncle B went in to surgery.

Early in the afternoon, Mom called again.  Uncle B was still in surgery, but had had a very rocky beginning to surgery.  He had coded even before they started and they had had trouble getting him on to bypass.  They got the surgery done eventually, but with definite concerns.  Uncle B is now in the hospital on lots of drips and specialized care (which I won’t even try to elaborate and I’m sure changes regularly anyway).  He had an episode of a bad rhythm last night, so the family stayed in the hospital most of the night.

Things here are pretty stressful, too.  We can’t really do anything from here.  Going to Texas wouldn’t really benefit anyone.  We pray a lot.  Even more than usual.  So, we pray and pray and pray some more.

My purpose in writing this is partly cathartics, but largely to request that you join my family in praying for my Uncle B’s recovery and my family’s peace.  Thank God that Uncle B is a believer and pray that those who around the family are positively impacted even in the middle of crisis.  We cannot see God’s hand right now, but we know that He has a plan. 

Monday, May 18, 2009

Menu Plan Monday – May 18, 2009


I’m really enjoying cooking for a week at a time.  I’m going to do my cooking on Wednesday this week.  We still have some chicken that Mr. Math Tutor is going to grill for lunch today since Friday’s migraine messed up our menu schedule last week.  Here’s what I’m planning:

1. BBQ chicken – I suspect we’ll be having this a lot now that the weather is warming up and we love it.  We’ll probably have raw veggies with it.

2. Lasagna with salad

3. Chicken broccoli stir-fry

4. Lasagna left-overs

5. Hamburgers on the grill

6. Leftovers

Check out I’m An Organizing Junkie to see what others are planning this week!


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Our Week In Review – May 17, 2009


Things were going pretty smoothly around here until Friday.  It was a good week, but the weekend has been pretty rough.

The kids have done a pretty good job with schoolwork this week, although I am noticing some end of school year laziness starting to set in.  Chores and school assignments are less likely to get done than usual if I don’t keep on top of things.

Wild Man has been using for spelling review.  He has been enjoying it and I think it is helping.  We are listening to Story of the World for our history lessons right now.  I have Rosie Girl just doing lots of reading in Bible and History.  The only writing that she is doing is her research paper.

Rosie Girl had track meets on Monday and Thursday of this week, but the last meet of the season is this upcoming Tuesday.  It really is a very short season.  I have been quite impressed, though, at how many friends Rosie Girl has made this season.  A number of kids went out of their way on Thursday afternoon to compliment her relay performance when I was there.  I’m quite pleased with how this has worked out for her.

Rosie Girl was supposed to have a job interview this week, but the manager called back to tell us that Rosie Girl isn’t old enough for the job.  The manager was rather embarrassed, but she hadn’t noticed Rosie Girl’s age on the application.  The job is in the grocery store deli and it is required that the applicant be 18 years old.  Bummer.  The manager put the application back with the applications for the rest of the positions, so she could get called if another position opens up.

I had one of the worst headaches I’ve had in a very long time on Friday afternoon.  Thankfully, it got bad before evening so that I was able to get in to the clinic for treatment instead of having to go to the Emergency Department.  It’s much cheaper and takes less time to get injections at the clinic rather than getting iv’s at the ED.  It was quite the awful migraine, though, accompanied by a lot of vomiting.  I slept for several hours after we got home then got up at 3am and had “dinner”.  Kind of strange, but it worked.

My parents had traveled from Florida to Texas to see my Aunt J who has terminal cancer.  They had stopped in Mississippi to pick up my Uncle B and Aunt S on the way.  On Friday afternoon, in Texas, my Uncle B had chest pain and was taken to the hospital.  Saturday morning, we found out that he had had a heart attack and needs to have bypass surgery.  So, he’s in the hospital in a different state from where he lives and will have surgery on Tuesday.  Please pray for the family.  Everyone is pretty stressed about the entire situation.

We topped off our week by going to dance practice today.  Rosie Girl wants me to do the Mom-Daughter dance with her (new this year) and Mr. Math Tutor to do the Daddy-Daughter dance with her as well.  There were practices for both dances at the studio this afternoon.  I was already sore from throwing up my guts on Friday.  Now I’m really sore.  But, we’re dancing to ABBA music from Mamma Mia.  How fun is that?!  While we were there, Wild Man was with the AWANA group on a trip to some really cool caves.  I think we’re going to do some serious relaxing tomorrow.

So that’s our crazy week!  Check our Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see how others did this week.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday – May 15, 2009


Technically, it’s Saturday, but I feel like it’s Friday, so I’ll write my post anyway!

1. Wicked migraine today.  I ended up having to go to the clinic for medications.  The good news, though, is that the migraine started early enough that I got into the clinic while they were still open instead of having to deal with the Emergency Department.

2. We have onions and lettuce coming up in the garden!!  I’ll post pictures in a day or two.  Maybe we’ll have more than one carrot sprout as well!

3. Next year is 25 years since I graduated high school!  EEK!  Some of the alums have set up a reunion website already, so we can see what others have been up to.  Pretty cool.

4. I got Inkheart on CD from the library and I really want to listen to it, but Wild Man doesn’t want to start it until we finish Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.  We’re more than halfway through the Harry Potter book, so maybe we can start this week.

5. Sophie (Rosie Girl’s cat) loves ice cream and is right now licking the leftovers from my ice cream cup from earlier this evening.  Crazy cat.

6. We need to build a trellis for the garden to hold the pumpkin vines, but we were going to have to pay about $30 for the supplies.  Mr. Math Tutor, though, found that we have some very usable old pipe behind the garage that he can use.  Talk about saving money and being ecologically conscious!

7. I think we’re going to get our kitchen and dining room painted for us!  For free (kind of)!  The teens at church are trying to raise money to go to camp this summer, so they are offering to do work at people’s homes.  We would support them anyway, but would be thrilled if they would paint for us.  I’m all excited.

Check out Conversion Diary for more great 7 Quick Takes Friday posts!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday Links – May 14, 2009

I’ve come across some cool links recently that I thought I’d share with you:

World’s Best Visual Illusions – this is way cool.

Doing “Church” – Great stuff from Compassion’s recent trip to India.

Cultural domination concern vs. evangelism opportunity – More provocative thoughts from Michael Spencer.

The Green Box – I thought everyone already tore up the top of the pizza box for plates.

My own LOLCat – Mr. Math Tutor and I made our own LOLCat with a picture of Silver.  Isn’t she cute!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Weekly Cooking – WFMW – May 13, 2009


About 10 years ago, a friend of mine and her husband used to do once a month cooking one Saturday a month and fill their freezer with food so that they didn’t have to worry about dinners for the month.  I thought it was an interesting idea, but I’m rather picky and didn’t like about half of the stuff in the cookbook that she was using.  Recently, though, I decided I wanted to try weekly cooking so that I could have food in the fridge even when I have migraines so we’ll eat less frozen pizza!

Here’s how I do it:

1. Grocery shop on Monday or Tuesday

2. Cook on Tuesday or Wednesday

3. Make all menus before shopping (although I do adjust if I find a great deal at the grocery store that wasn’t in the newspaper).

4. Break down menus into cooking steps then order it based on use of kitchen resources.

5. Prepare entrees and put in fridge ready to be heated.

6. Some entrees I just prep and get ready to cook – for example, I cut up all the meats and veggies for stir-fry and cook the rice, but do the stir-fry on the day we eat it.

7. Prep all the veggies and put in Zip-Loc bags for the day when I’ll cook them.

Why I like it:

1. I only get the kitchen really messy one day of the week!

2. We are tempted to eat frozen pizza and other convenience foods less often.

3. Even when I have a migraine, the rest of the family can heat up the entree and cook up the veggies without too much trouble.

4. We’re eating more veggies this way.

5. Saves money because I don’t get to the beginning of the next week and realize that we never ate something because I forgot about it and now it’s gone bad and has to be thrown out.

I know that I won’t be able to keep up with this every week because of the migraines, so I am trying to make one extra entree every week to put in the freezer for the “bad” weeks.  This week, it was some beef and rice cooked in the pressure cooker.  Other times, it might be an extra pan of lasagna or chicken divan.

So far, this weekly cooking has been working our really well for our family!  Check out We Are That Family for more Works For Me Wednesday posts!

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Simple Woman’s Daybook – May 11, 2009

simple-woman-daybook-small Outside my window . . . just a few clouds in the sky and the birds are singing.

I am thinking . . . about how much I need to clean the living room.

I am thankful for . . . my wonderful family who gave me a lovely Mother’s Day yesterday!

From the kitchen . . . not much.  We have sandwiches on Monday and no one has started making lunch.

I am wearing . . . a Fort Wilderness T-shirt, jeans, white socks, sneakers.

I am hoping . . . that our gardening is successful!

I am creating . . . Mr. Math Tutor’s sweater – I’m on my second time through it.  I completely ripped it out before because the sleeves were too long and the body too short.  I’m also working on a purse for Rosie Girl.

I am hearing . . . the birds singing and Mr. Math Tutor talking to himself as he gets ready for an online tutoring session.

In the learning room . . . we have five more weeks of “school” left, but I haven’t scheduled any science during these five weeks.  Rosie is working on her research paper now while Wild Man is up in his room reading.

Around the house . . . the living room is a mess and needs to be cleaned.  The trampoline is put up so the kids have been playing on it for the last couple of days.  My desk needs to be straightened.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . do schoolwork, organize little bits and pieces, clean windows, pray for few (or no!) migraines.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing . . . Wild Man made this for me yesterday for Mother’s Day.  He got Mr. Math Tutor to do the sawing, but he did the drilling all himself!  The inside part says “is always good to me”.


Check out The Simple Woman’s Daybook for more entries!

Menu Plan Monday – May 11, 2009


Last week, I didn’t plan menus or go grocery shopping.  We pretty much ate what we had in the pantry or freezer.  The exceptions were that we did buy milk and bread.  We are now completely out of fresh produce, though, so it’s time for real menus and a real grocery trip.  Mondays are always sandwiches for everyone because of activities, so I have six other days of menus planned:

1. Barbequed chicken – out on the grill (Yippee!) – with roasted asparagus and corn.

2. Baked chicken with broccoli and corn

3. Leftover chicken

4. Roast beef, rice, and gravy with broccoli

5. Roast beef leftovers.

6. Mac and cheese and broccoli

Yeah, lots of broccoli this week.  I’m not feeling real imaginative.  I’m going to buy salad stuff, so we can have salad if we don’t feel like broccoli.

Check out Menu Plan Monday to see what others are doing this week!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mom Perks!

On Mother’s Day, I thought it would be fun to list the things I love about being a mom.

1. Cuddling – Wild Man is a real cuddler – he loves to snuggle up first thing in the morning on the sofa. Rosie Girl likes to cuddle up later in the evening. They’re both far to big to hold on my lap anymore, but they’re never to big to cuddle up close for me to stroke their hair and whisper how much I love them.

2. Watching them perform – Both my kids are performers. Last night was Rosie Girl’s piano recital, and she played her Schumann piece with feeling and only one (barely noticeable) mistake. I was so proud. I get to watch them both perform in their dance recital in a few weeks.

3. Cleaning up everyone else’s mess – Oh yeah. One of my favorite things in life is cleaning up behind kids! Isn’t it yours?!

4. Using “Mom” sayings – I love getting to say things like “Don’t make me have to tell you again” or “Did you do your chores?” or “Don’t cross your eyes or they’ll stick like that” or “I brought you into this world and I can take you out!”.

5. Kid activities – Here in the Upper Midwest, we have widely varying weather, even in the summer. At Rosie Girl’s last track meet, it was chilly and I was glad to have on a sweatshirt. Wild Man will be playing baseball in the summer, and I’m sure we’ll have some days when the heat rivals that of the Equator. But, I hang out there and cheer on the kids because I love them.

6. Telling stories – Mr. Math Tutor and I tell our kids about our childhoods. They have a hard time believing that we actually did not have microwave ovens our entire lives. And, what did we do without cell phones or mp3 players? It’s kind of fun to shock them with stories of life in the “dark ages”.

That’s just a small sample of the great things of motherhood. I didn’t even include any of the great stuff about being the mom of a baby and toddler! Feel free to add anything in the comments.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Our Week In Review – May 9, 2009


This was our vacation week, so the children did not learn a thing – nothing, zilch, nada (or was it nothing, zilch, noodle?).  Nonetheless, we got a lot done, particularly in our garden.


1. Mr. Math Tutor and I got almost everything we needed at Fleet Farm first thing in the morning.  It was highly romantic.

2. Rosie Girl and I went to a garden center and met some very nice people who have us lots of advice about what we can grow in this area and when we can plant it.  They also helped save us money by recommending starting several things from seed that I was planning to start from transplant.  We went ahead and bought some seeds, strawberry plants, and raspberry plants.

3. Mr. Math Tutor and the kids made the boxes.  I was very impressed.  The children did NOT learn about using a square and did NOT learn about measuring and cutting.

SANY1525   SANY1526


1. Mr. Math Tutor took Rosie Girl to her piano lesson in the late morning.

2. When they got home from piano lesson, I took Rosie Girl and Wild Man to the track meet.  Rosie Girl wasn’t competing, but she wanted to go to support her teammates.  Mr. Math Tutor met us later after his tutoring appointment.

3. That evening, Mr. Math Tutor and I dug up the sod for the first box.  We were going to put the boxes right on the grass, but they would have been uneven and not looked very pretty, so we dug up the sod to make it all look nice.


1. I woke up with a migraine.  Mr. Math Tutor took the kids to EAA for their schedule field trip.  They made an air compressed rocket, but did NOT learn about the parts of a rocket or how rockets work.  They also did a parachute experiment in which they tried to keep their “egg-stronaut” from cracking but they did NOT learn about parachutes or drag or how to design a parachute.

2. My headache was short-lived, so I went out later in the afternoon and finished digging up the sod for the second big box.  The kids helped me mix the dirt and then I put down weed cloth and filled both boxes with dirt (technically, Mel’s Mix).


1. During the morning, I had an appointment with my counselor and Mr. Math Tutor was teaching an online class, so the kids vacationed appropriately.

2. After lunch, Mr. Math Tutor and Wild Man made the grid for the first box.  Wild Man did such a good job, that Mr. Math Tutor had him do the grid for the second box all by himself, but Wild Man did NOT learn how to measure, how to use a drill safely, or how to finish a project.  Nope.

3. Rosie Girl and I drilled holes in buckets for growing tomatoes and cucumbers.  Then we planted onion sets, lettuce seeds, and strawberry plants.  Rosie Girl then helped me put weed cloth in her raspberry bed and she filled the bed with Mel’s Mix and put her raspberry plants in the bed.  But, she did NOT learn anything about planting or getting the beds ready for the season.  Nope.

4. Mr. Math Tutor and I finished up our day by making the first wire cage that goes over the 4x4 box to keep the rabbits and other pests out of the garden.



1. Mr. Math Tutor took Rosie Girl to turn in job applications at the grocery store and the Dairy, but she did NOT learn about filling our forms appropriately or how to carry herself when interacting with other adults.

2. Wild Man and I finished the chicken wire cage for the other 4x4 box.  It involved lots of bending chicken wire and fastening it with wire ties.  Wild Man did NOT learn anything about persistence even when working with an unpleasant material.

3. I developed a migraine (although not too severe) later in the day.  The rest of the family cleaned up the backyard, put the rest of the Mel’s Mix into planter pots that we’ll use for mint and morning glories, and started to put up the trampoline (not quite done yet).  But, the children did NOT learn the satisfaction of a job well done or the joy of working together as a family.  Not a bit.


Today has been a pretty lazy day around here.  Rosie Girl has a piano recital later this afternoon that we’re looking forward to.  We might make a stop at Home Depot to look for some nylon netting to help make a trellis.  (Mr. Math Tutor realized that we have some metal tubing back behind the garage that will work to make a trellis for the pumpkins, so we just need the netting.)  Otherwise, we’re looking at the rain outside and actually enjoying it now that we have plants in our yard that need it!!

Check out Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see what others have done this week!


Friday, May 08, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday – May 8, 2009


1. I am seriously sore from all the yardwork this week, but I’m incredibly happy that I’ve had only one migraine until today.  Overall, it’s been a good week with a large amount of exercise.

2. I’ve been praying a lot more, particularly at night after the kids go to bed when Mr. Math Tutor is doing online tutoring and when I have a migraine.  The more I pray, though, the more questions I have.  I’m not really a Calvinist but I know that God is omniscient, so how much effect do my prayers have?  Lewis says that prayer changes me, not God.  Yet, Jesus tells us in the Gospels that the Father does listen to and respond to our prayers.  Deep sigh.  The more I learn about the Christian faith, the more mysteries I find (and I’ve been a Christian all of my adult life).

3. Speaking of Christian faith, I’m finding more mysteries with the Old and New Testament views of God.  I’ve always known that God deals with humans differently in the Old Testament versus the New Testament, but it is weighing on my mind more heavily these days.  I mean, the book of Judges is filled with genocide that is commanded by God.  Yet, Christians today very rightly condemn such actions.  How do we reconcile this?  BTW, that’s a rhetorical question right now.  I’ll be looking this up in some commentaries later on.

4. My daughter applied for jobs at the local dairy and the grocery store today.  EEK!  Can she really be old enough for this?  She wants a job so she can buy herself a “real” keyboard and save up for a car.  She also wants to save up for college.  I think we’ve instilled in her the need to save up money.

5. We only had two casualties from gardening this week – I burned my thumb on the drill (those bits get really hot) and scratched my arm on chicken wire.  Rosie Girl and I had some serious fun with power tools getting the buckets ready to grow tomatoes and cucumbers upside down.

6. The kids have been playing lots of video games this week since it’s been vacation.  I hope they don’t have too much withdrawal next week!

7. I never made it to the grocery store this week, so we’ve only bought milk and bread (thanks to Mr. Math Tutor) and have otherwise been eating out of the pantry and freezer.  We haven’t felt deprived at all.  However, I’m getting a migraine tonight, so Mr. Math Tutor and the kids are having to deal with dinner tonight.  It might be a frozen pizza night!

Check out 7 Quick Takes Friday for more great posts!

More About Mom – HOTM Meme May 8, 2009


For yesterday’s Thankful Thursday meme, I blogged about how great my mom is. But, of course, one blog post can’t do justice to my mom. So, for today’s Heart of the Matter meme, which is also for Mother’s Day, I’ll add to the list of cool things about my mom. You should check out yesterday’s post first, then read on:

1. My mom is insane about having a clean house. She passed this on to me, but I’m almost recovered from it! Three years of constant headache will do that to you. The advantage, though, is that I learned very young how to clean house. Even though my house isn’t actually clean, you should know that it could be.

2. My mom works third shift and loves it. And I think I have inherited her night-owl tendencies. She is an Intensive-Care nurse and really enjoys working the middle of the night shifts. I used to hate working in the middle of the night, but it was always because it was after working a full day (as a Family Physician). As a stay-at-home mom, I have found that I prefer to stay up until 11 or midnight and then sleep in until about 9 or 10am.

3. My mom is not at all a picky eater, but I am an incredibly picky eater (despite Mom’s best efforts to make me an omnivore). Despite this, she does not like cooked spinach, but one of my favorite foods is spinach pie which includes (you guessed it) cooked spinach. HA!

4. My mom graduated from college two weeks before I did (and with a higher grade point average – but who’s comparing?). I drove from Baton Rouge to South Florida for our joint graduation party. There were about 70 people at my parents’ house for the party. My dad designed the cake himself and the decorator did a great job with it. It had a picture of a nurse on one side with “To Work” and (1965-1990) on it for my mom and a picture of a graduate with “To Med School” and (1985-1990) on it for me. It was a great party. (I’m not sure my mom was all that thrilled with everyone knowing that it took her 25 years to get her degree, but considering that she raised two kids, worked several jobs, and managed a home while getting her degree, I don’t think anyone thought a bit less of her for taking a non-traditional route to a degree!)

5. My mom encouraged me in my education. She always said that I could go as far as I wanted in school. So, I got my M.D. – why settle, right? Mom also discouraged me from getting married until I finished my education until Mr. Math Tutor and I decided we wanted to get married when I was in med school and then it was OK. I figure she didn’t want to take any chances on Mr. Math Tutor getting away.

6. My mom is very competitive. This is not always good. She has been known to chase people around our house when they have the audacity to beat her at Trivial Pursuit. (Sorry, Mom!)

7. My mom (and dad) is (are) incredibly supportive of homeschooling. I feel so bad for other homeschoolers who feel like they have to prove to their families that they aren’t ruining their kids by keeping them at home. Our situation is the opposite. I think we’d hear cries of protest if we tried to put our kids in public school! It is very nice to have the grandparents support our choices, to ask the kids what they’re learning, and to be as involved as they can in the kids’ educations.

8. My mom was supportive of my career when I was working as a physician, but she’s just as supportive of my being a stay-at-home mom (even though she’s as unhappy as I am about the migraines that are keeping me completely out of the workforce right now). My sister-in-law and I are both professionals who are now staying at home with our kids. She is doing it completely by choice, while my choice was made by my health issues. In any case, having a supportive mom makes life so much easier than it would otherwise be.

9. My mom is beautiful. Mostly it’s because of her gorgeous smile. I hope I’m still half that pretty at her age.


If I think of any other interesting things about Mom, I’ll add another post tomorrow. And that’s very likely because my mom is quite the character.

Check out Heart of the Matter Online for more great posts!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Thankful Thursday – May 7, 2009


Today’s Thankful Thursday theme is Mothers. With Mother’s Day approaching, I’m sure we are all thinking more about Mom and how we can honor her this weekend. So, let me tell you why I am thankful for my Mom.

1. She raised me in a Christian home. Not only a Christian home, but a religious home. We were in church two to three times a week, because all “good” Baptists go to church Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening. Not only did we go to church, but my brother and I also went to a Christian school for five years. I was incredibly fortunate to grow up with faith all around me.

2. My mother passed on to me all her Southern cooking knowledge. Growing up, we almost never ate out. My mom also cooked just about everything from scratch. I never had Mac and Cheese from a box or Potato Buds or other “convenience foods”. My mom cooked “real food”. And it was good!! She also made sure my brother and I knew how to cook before we left home. Nowadays, those scratch cooking skills are coming in quite handy. When I was working, there was money for a dinner out when we didn’t have time to cook. These days, we eat at home. And I’m glad we can eat at home and still eat well.

3. I’m thankful that my mom made sure I knew basic household skills before I left home. At the time, I might have told you that I resented being “slave labor”, but now, as a mom myself, I can see how important it is to make sure kids know how to do laundry and clean a bathroom. And, yeah, maybe it is a little slave labor-ish. But, it’s OK, Mom, I forgive ya!

4. Mom taught me chemistry. Well, not all of it, but stoichiometry and balancing chemical equations as well as dimensional analysis. My chemistry teacher wasn’t actually all that great at explaining stuff, but Mom explained the chemical equations in a way I could understand. I have to say, though, that learning dimensional analysis was one of the best things that happened to me – and it was all because of my mom. None of my teachers really explained well how to work with units, but my mom explained it and it made sense!

I’m thankful for my mom for a ton of reasons, but those are the four that my exhausted brain came up with tonight. What are you thankful for today? Check out Thankful Thursday for more great posts!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

More Gardening – May 5, 2009

First of all, if you are interested in family issues, if you are part of a family, if you have children, if you might ever have children, if you ever were a child (you get the picture), check out this post about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  OK, now that you’re done with your political reading for the day, we’ll move on to being blissfully domestic.  I decided to post on gardening this week instead of cooking because I don’t have any time to cook this week because we’re gardening – and recovering.  The first two posts on our garden plan are here  and here.

Yesterday morning, Mr. Math Tutor and I went on a very SANY1526 romantic date to Fleet Farm.  We came back with everything we needed to build our boxes as well as some compost and our peat moss.  Rosie Girl and I then went to the gardening center for more compost and some plants and seeds.  This ended up being a very productive visit because the garden center folks are very helpful and can tell me what is good to grow in this area and when.  They also saved me some money by recommending that I grow several things from seed.  I thought I would buy transplants, but they said that they usually don’t have them as transplants because they’re easy to plant the seeds right into the garden.  So, I’ve made some modifications to our gardening plan.  The only plants we purchased were strawberries and raspberries.  Later in the afternoon, I went by Lowe’s when we were in Stevens Point to get vermiculite.  They sell vermiculite in rather small bags, so I ended up getting vermiculite and Perlite.  I sure hope it works.

Mr. Math Tutor was in charge of making boxes.  He and Wild Man SANY1525cut the wood and then screwed the pieces together.  For those of you keeping track, this is our vacation week, so I would like to reassure you that no learning occurred during any of these activities.  The children are really and truly on vacation and letting their brains rot appropriately!

There we are!  Today, we won’t get much done because I’m not feeling great and we have a busy afternoon with Rosie Girl’s track meet.  Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy and the kids and I are going to EAA for a field trip (OK, maybe they’ll learn something there – I scheduled it before I realized when our vacation was scheduled).  But, the weather is supposed to be nice on Thursday so we can level out the ground a bit for the boxes, then put out the weed cloth, make the Mel’s Mix, fill the boxes, sow the seeds, plant the strawberries and raspberries, and then collapse in our beds.

One thing we did realize yesterday was that we have to bring the strawberries and raspberries into the garage every night until they’re planted and make sure we have the wire cages to cover them as soon as they’re planted because we have rabbits in our yard.  I hope we can get them in the ground soon.  Probably should have waited a couple of days on that purchase.

We’re having a blast on this foray into gardening.  Mr. Math Tutor is also very committed to it, so that he can pitch in and do whatever is next even if I end up with a migraine.  Check out I Am Blissfully Domestic for more great domestic posts!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Protect Our Families!!

In 1989, the United Nations adopted the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.  Since that time, all of the member countries of the UN have adopted it except for the United States and Somalia.  President Obama has said that he would review this issue during his administration.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international convention of 54 articles stating the rights of children under the age of 18 in the countries which have adopted the convention.  Most of the items are benign and common-sense: children have the right to life (Article 6), children have the right to an education (Article 28), children have the right to a name (Article 7).  Others are more controversial: children shall have freedom of expression only limited by concerns of national security or the rights of others (Article 13), children shall have freedom of assembly limited only by the interests of public safety or public order (Article 15), children shall have the right to privacy even in their own home (Article 16), children have the right to social security and social insurance (Article 26).

During the Clinton administration, Madeleine Albright signed this treaty, but it has not yet been ratified by the 2/3 of the U.S. Senate required to put it into effect.  Under our Constitution, a treaty automatically supercedes all other laws, federal and state.  In this country, most of the laws regarding families, children, and welfare are made at the state level.  If this treaty is ratified, all of those laws would be replaced by this treaty.

There is serious concern, also, about the parts of the treaty guaranteeing children freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.  There is absolutely no discussion of parental authority over children’s activities.  Although the treaty talks a great deal about the importance of families and parents, there is discussion mostly about parents’ role as advisors, not as authority figures.

Another area of concern is Article 26 which states that children have the right to social security and social insurance.  Our government is democratic and our economy is capitalistic.  Guaranteeing economic security is the role of a socialistic government, which is not part of our economic or governing system.

Basically, this Convention threatens our rights as parents to direct the upbringing of our children as we see fit.  If it is ratified, there is no recourse.  It will automatically take the place of all other laws, both federal and state, that govern the interactions of family and state.

What can we do?  The first thing to do is to pray.  God is in control of all of this, so we don’t need to worry, but we must pray that His will is done in everything.  Then we need to learn more about this treaty.  The text of the Convention can be found is an organization that is devoted to “Protecting Children by Empowering Parents.”  Wikipedia has an entry with more details about the treaty itself.  The Campaign for US Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child is an organization that is supporting the ratification.

The treaty has not yet come to the Senate to ratification, but we can and should let our Senators know our feelings on this matter by a phone call or email.  You can also join by signing their petition and considering their argument for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to codify parents’ rights.  Of course, if you agree that this U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child is a bad idea for American families, then please tell your friends and neighbors and encourage them to get involved as well.

It is important, though, that we remember not to get discouraged whatever happens in this struggle for families.  Jesus told us that “In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have over come the world.”  Notice that he doesn’t say, “I have overcome the world as long as the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child doesn’t pass” or “I have overcome the world as long as American families are doing OK.”  He has overcome the world.  Period.

Paul tells us “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guards your heats and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  We are not to be anxious, but to pray.  Through all of this, God tells us to be obedient, to pray, and to accept His peace.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Square Foot Gardening

My dear hubbie mentioned today that I talk about Square Foot Gardening (SFG) in my posts, but I haven’t really explained what it is or why we’re doing it (instead of traditional gardening).  So, here it is.

SFG is an approach to gardening that was introduced in the late 1970s by Mel Bartholomew.  It appears to be experiencing a resurgence in popularity.  You can learn quite a bit more from the SFG website.

Here are the basic tenets of the SFG method (as far as I can tell):

1. The garden is made above ground in a box measuring 4x4 feet.

2. The box is divided into 1x1 foot squares for growing.

3. The plants are grown in a mixture of equal parts peat moss, vermiculite, and compost (Mel’s Mix).

4. Two or three seasons of vegetables are harvested each year (I have trouble seeing how you can get three seasons worth in the Great White North, though).

5. Only the plants that you want for that year are planted.  That is, you don’t plant so many vegetables that you end up being sick of seeing vegetables by the end of the summer.

From what I can understand, there are lots of advantages of SFG:

1. No fertilizing is needed.

2. Minimal weeding is required (a weed cloth is placed underneath the garden to minimize weed growth and there are no weed seeds in your soil to start with)

3. It is inexpensive.  No expensive tools are needed, the materials for the garden are rather cheap, and the seeds are cheap (although I’m starting mostly with transplants which increases the cost some).

4. Can be done in a small yard or on a porch – very important for us and our postage stamp-sized yard!

5. It’s easy.  Since I will use the Mel’s Mix (soil mixture), I don’t have to have my soil tested, etc.  There’s no tilling required.  The learning curve is pretty manageable.

Now, I’ll tell you over the next several months how much of this I agree with.  In any case, I was glad to find a gardening method that seems to be well-suited for our little house in town.  And, if it is, we’ll get lots of fresh veggies all summer and fall!

Our Garden

 SquareFoot Gardening may 3 2009

This is the plan for our garden this year (Rosie Girl made the grids in SmartDraw and showed me how to fill them in.  She’s so smart!).  We will have two 4x4 boxes with plants in approximately this configuration.  We will also have another 2x4 foot box with raspberries (actually this will be Rosie Girl’s box – she will be growing the berries and eventually making jam).

I’ve made a calendar as well.  Here’s the gist of it:

May 3-9:

Shop for supplies (shopping lists made)

Make boxes

Plant asparagus, broccoli, parsley, spinach, lettuce, onions, carrots

May 10-16

Plant beans, corn, yellow squash, mint, pansies, marigolds

May 24-29

Plant tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, pumpkin, raspberries, cilantro

The tomatoes and cucumbers will be planted upside down in plastic buckets and not in the gardens.

I have no idea how all this will work out, but it sounds like lots of fun, and the whole family is looking forward to it!

Lagniappe – May 2, 2009

1. I woke up today too late to get to church which bums me out, but my head doesn’t hurt too badly which makes me really happy.  I’ve had a rough headache week, including a migraine on Wild Man’s birthday.  Ick.

2. I’ve got our garden all planned out, including diagrams and timelines.  OK, it’s probably overkill.  Boy have I learned a lot about plants in the last few days.  I’m trying to get everything all planned in detail so that the family can get things done even if I’m out of commission with a migraine.  Yeah, it’s a little pessimistic of me, but sometimes it’s just reality.

3. Wild Man got Mario Kart for Wii for his birthday so the whole family has been playing.  I’m notoriously bad at video games, but I got first place on my first race on Mario Kart!!!  I do much better with a Wii Wheel than a video game controller.

4. We got a notice yesterday that the health insurance for Mr. Math Tutor and the kids is going up by $60 per month, or $720/year.  EEK!  We were really fortunate to get their insurance three years ago for just $150 per month.  It’s gone up a couple bucks here and there, but as of next month it’s going to be $227/month.  I just Anthem wants to make all their profits before the US health system goes socialized.  Sigh.  I’ll be researching insurance for those three this week.  I won’t let them go without insurance, but we may scale back to just catastrophic.  We pay for dental care out of pocket so I guess we can do that for routine health care.  As long as we have insurance for potential catastrophes, we’ll be OK.

5. After the two day birthday celebration, my house was a wreck.  I got up expecting to have to spend a little while cleaning the kitchen.  Guess what??!!  Mr. Math Tutor had already cleaned most of the kitchen before he went to church at some crazy hour of the morning!

6. Our neighbors had a big party last night, complete with loud music.  It’s spring, so we had our bedroom window open.  I’m glad I wear earplugs to sleep.

7. The gluten-free diet has some real disadvantages.  For one thing, it’s kind of hard for me to get lots of fiber since I used to depend on whole wheat as my major fiber source.  I’ve started adding FiberOne to my grits in the morning.  But, I did try some gluten-free French bread and, while it doesn’t really taste like French bread, it doesn’t really taste like cardboard either.  It will work pretty well to let me have sandwiches for when we go on our field trip this week.  I also made a gluten-free chocolate cake which was actually rather passable, if a bit gritty (from the rice flour).

Well, that’s it for now.  I’m going to go whup my daughter’s you-know-what in Mario Kart.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Wild Man Turns 11!

As of yesterday, Wild Man is 11 years old.  I can hardly believe it.  Why, it just seems like yesterday that he was a tiny little baby who wanted to eat every two hours and snuggle up the rest of the time.  Well, the snuggling sure hasn’t changed!

SANY1519 His birthday this year started with a breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon, courtesy of Mr. Math Tutor.  After breakfast, Wild Man opened his present from Grams and Grandpa which was some new Legos, and his present from me, Mr. Math Tutor, and Rosie Girl, which was Mario Cart for Wii.  The rest of the day was spent largely playing Wii and Lego!

SANY1508 A friend came over in the evening to stay the night.  We had 40 Cloves and a Chicken with French bread for dinner (one of Wild Man’s favorites).  Rosie Girl had baked the cake earlier in the day, and I decorated it after dinner according to Wild Man’s specific directions.

The boys slept downstairs (although I’m not sure how much sleep they actually got).  At SANY1515_edited11am, another friend came over and the “real” party started.  The boys played Wii bowling and Mario Cart until lunchtime when they filled themselves up with Little Caesar’s pizza.  After pizza, they went to the bowling alley for some real bowling and to work off the big lunch they had eaten.

SANY1518 Then, it was time for cake and presents.  Wild Man blew out his candles and everyone got to enjoy his baseball cake.  Then he opened his presents from his friends.  After all that, Mr. Math Tutor took the other two boys home.  While Mr. Math Tutor and Wild Man were driving back here, Wild Man fell asleep in the car.  Talk about a long day!


Our Week In Review – May 2, 2009


It’s been a pretty typical week around here.  We did school every day except Friday because of Wild Man’s birthday.  The kids have been pretty good about getting their chores and daily work done.  I had a migraine last weekend that lasted through Monday, so I was glad Mr. Math Tutor was able to drive Wild Man to his music and dance lessons Monday afternoon.  The migraine messed up my shopping and cooking schedule a bit, but I think we’re back on track.

Wild Man still struggles with spelling.  He finished All About Spelling Book 2 this week, but he’s just not ready to move on to Book 3.  I have decided that we are going to spend some time just reviewing Book 2.  I am going to have him use Spelling City online which allows him to practice with online tests and games.  In addition, I’ll review all the different spelling rules with him a few times a week.  Hopefully, we can start Book 3 in the fall.  I really don’t want to rush this because I know that the language part of his brain needs the review in order to develop those connections.

Rosie Girl had three track meets this week!  She is just exhausted today.  The track team left the school each day between 1:30 and 3:00 and got home around 9pm.  EEK!  Even with doing homework on the bus, I don’t know how the kids in school manage.  Rosie Girl is wiped out.  She finished all her weekly work and has done lots of reading for her research paper.  She will finish making the cards and outline for her research paper next week, even though it’s technically a vacation week.

Next week is our vacation week.  We are planning to put in our garden.  I want to put in asparagus, broccoli, onions, lettuce, spinach, beans, parsley, corn, squash, carrots, cilantro, garlic, and mint.  Rosie Girl wants a smaller box so she can grow raspberries.  We’re all hoping and praying for a good growing season.

Check out Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see what others did this week!


Friday, May 01, 2009

Heart of the Matter Meme – May 1, 2009


Today’s Heart of the Matter Meme topic is “What’s In Your Garden?”  So far, nothing.

I have not been blessed with a green thumb, as I noted last year on this blog.  But, with some hard work and the grace of God, I did manage to grow some very nice nice flowers and herbs in the front planter.  Actually, the lavender, chive, yarrow, and some other unidentified perennials are coming back up again for another attempt at growing in our yard.  We’ll see what they think.

But, like any good homeschooling family, we have had hopes and plans for a garden.  And this year, we are going to plant one.  After all, we’ve only been homeschooling for eight years.  You’d think we might have done this back when we had a yard larger than an acre.  No, we decided that it was better to have a garden now that we have a yard the size of a postage stamp that is already burdened with a trampoline, a dying tree, a patio set (from when we had a deck at the other house), and a fire pit.  Yes, a challenge is what we need the year we decide to do something which we are completely unprepared to do that we have no idea how to do.

Yet, we are undaunted.  Armed with our copy of Square Foot Gardening and knowledge of the nearest lumber store and nursery, we are going to put in our square foot garden this upcoming week.  (Remember, we live up North, so no one has done a lot of planting yet.  I know you Floridians are ready for your first harvest, but we’re still eating last year’s deer meat and potatoes.)  The funny thing is that since we decided to make a square foot garden last fall, I have read about this kind of gardening all over the web, and our town has even started a community square foot garden.

Our plan (right now – we reserve the right to change our minds at any time) is this: two 4x4 beds in which we will plant some or all of the following: asparagus, broccoli, parsley, spinach, leaf lettuce, onions, corn, summer squash, and peppers; and a taller 1x1 foot bed for carrots (yes, I know the punctuation in that sentence was abysmal – sorry).  We also have to make chicken-wire covers for the 4x4 beds to protect them from rabbits.  We know there are rabbits because one took cover from the winter cold next to our basement window during several days in January and I’m betting he/she doesn’t have any qualms about eating our veggies.  We will also be growing tomatoes and cucumbers upside down in plastic pails.  (My dad wants to know the feasibility of doing this, so he’s paying my kids to grow them for him and report on how well it works for them.  Rosie Girl loves tomatoes and Wild Man loves cucumbers so it’s win-win all the way around.)

I’m sure I’ll post more next week about our progress (or lack thereof).  Pray for us.  We’ll need it.  There are plants all around us growing without any help from humans at all.  Why should it be so difficult to get plants to grow where we want them to?  Hmmm.  I’m not sure there’s a good answer for that question.

Rosie Girl has several incentives to make this successful.  She would like to grow some berries either in the garden or somewhere else in the yard and then can berries in the fall (a skill I can’t teach her).  I told her that I’ll give her some high school credit if she keeps gardening records during her high school years and writes a summary or report at the end of the growing season.  I’ll also give her credit for freezing and canning if she does that  each year and writes a summary.  She’s thrilled about being able to have fun, play in the kitchen, and get credit.  Works for everyone.

Check our Heart of the Matter Online to see what others are saying!