Archive for July, 2008

Fall Crops

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

That’s what we just planted today.  I am trying my hand at container gardening, since I am not sure what to do to work with this red soil yet.  I have also been hesitant to plant because of not knowing the best places to plant here.  We are on a hill, so our yard is continually sloping from one end to the next, except where they leveled off for grass and concrete.  With containers I can move them around if an area doesn’t seem to be doing too well. 

I was going to plant some lettuce, but I didn’t have enough room in the containers for everything and had to let them wait.  We planted some marigolds (I hope it’s not too late in the season for them to do some good for the veggies), some broccoli, carrots, and peas.  Not a lot, but with my history I better start out small.  :)  I have a few containers like a milk jug, an apple juice container and some water bottles that we have poked/nailed holes in the bottom of to help with watering.  I heard that it can work as a continual drip system, and since remembering to water is probably my biggest weakness with gardening I am hoping that they help.  The marigolds are the only plants that won’t have any continual drip system going, so I will have to be on my toes still.  I just need to make it part of the morning and evening routine to check on the plants. 

I posted before about goals, well one of mine this year is to have at least one successful crop from something I planted.  By successful I mean that we are able to eat what is produced.  I’m not picky about the amount.  If all I get is enough that my kids are eating the peas out of the garden when they go out to check the water I will be happy.  That is something I still remember about when my mom planted peas one year.  Of course she planted a lot more, but that just meant that we had peas to eat every morning before we started playing.  She has since told me that she had planted enough that she thought she would be able to bottle some, but not one pea made it into the house that year.  Boy were they tasty!  I remember scouring the patch with my brother Steven until we couldn’t find any more to eat.  It was what we did every morning that spring.  Peas have never tasted as good as they did right out of that patch.

Well, we’ll see how this goal turns out.  I have got quite a bee in my bonnet right now with trying to stretch our dollar, and have been endeavoring to learn more about how to do that.  I have to admit that I have had a valuable resource for this right under my nose for years now, and I have only just started to utilize it.  It is a book my Grandma wrote title A Stitch In Time.  She has included things that I have been thinking about for a couple of years now, like how to darn socks (I understand that right now it is cheaper to buy new socks than to purchase the darning thread, but I think it is a valuable skill to know for when that might not be the case anymore).  It has definitely been an interesting read for me.  It’s a shame I have had it on my bookshelf for so long without ever reading it. 

I am also trying to do better with rotating my food storage.  Some of the #10 cans in my pantry have been in my home since my oldest son joined us.  Pretty sad.  So I am trying to do more to use my dry milk, my wheat, the egg powder, etc. in my cooking and baking.  Collin apparently has my picky taste buds when it comes to milk, but everyone else was fine with the half dry milk half regular milk we tried, and the hot cocoa mix I made up.  Since milk is one of my comfort foods, I am pretty picky about the taste, I guess.  :)  In my opinion nothing beats raw.  I’m praying for the day we can own some land and raise a milk cow along with chickens.  *sigh*  That just sounds heavenly to me.  Alena is rooting for horses, but I think we will probably start out with chickens and work our way up from there.  For now I am just trying to do what I can with what I have. 

Stand for Something.

Goals and School

Monday, July 21st, 2008

There are different times of the year that start me making goals.  There is the obvious resolution time around the beginning of each new year.  Sometimes I feel it is so cliche to make New Year Resolutions that you only keep for a couple of days to a couple of months, that I hate to do it because when I make a goal I want to keep it.  Period.  It upsets me when I find that I haven’t accomplished one of my resolutions when I check on myself at the end of the year.  I used to make a long list of them, and then I never accomplished any of them.  There were too many, and I wasn’t really able to focus on one well enough to complete it.  At that point I decided baby steps would benefit me.  It was very hard going from a long list of things to change, to only picking one.  I picked the hardest one, and then it was even harder when I didn’t get it finished that year.  But I made a lot more progress on it than I ever had before.  Now I make a few goals, and I try to accomplish all of them.  When I don’t accomplish all of them I feel bad, but I usually get most of them done, which helps to spur me on. 

This is another time of year for me when I get consumed with goals and planning.  It is the “ending” of one school year, and the “beginning” of another.  My children have complained at times in the past that everyone else gets summer vacations except them.  That is when I have to point out that they got time off when no one else did… when I had the new baby, or when we moved (like just now), or some other such occurance.  I also don’t feel that I am being that mean to still work on school through the summer time.  Summer school is different than Winter school.  Fall school is different than Spring school.  One of the great things about helping my children attain their education “at home” is that we can tailor our educational experiences to what is available.  We can have field trips at the drop of a hat when we hear about something.  Or we can plan things that only happen at certain times of the year.  For instance going to Cedar Breaks and having the children participate in the *free* Jr. Ranger program there.  It was a great learning opportunity, and although it would have only been considered a fun family outing by most, for us it was classified as a school day for us.  They learned about the difference between spruce, pine and fir trees by touch; learned what columbine, blue bells, and indian paintbrush looked like in person; interviewed a park ranger, along with learning about other things such as birds, lightning safety, and more.  A couple of days later we went to the Old Iron Town Ruins, as well as Iron Mission State Park.  Another great school day learning about how they founded this area and the processes of mining for iron ore that were used over 100 years ago.  Again there was more, and they had the opportunity to take things in because of the Jr. Curator program that was $1 per child who participated.  We still have our summer days where we spend more of it indoors doing group learning and personal study, but doing year round educating at home means we can fit it to the seasons in great ways. 

Tomorrow is the day I have designated as the “first day of school” for the 2008-09 year.  I have spent my hours studying, typing, and researching what I really want to make sure we cover in the next year.  I have my personal study areas listed and now I just need to make the commitment to not let my study time get swallowed up in other needs.  I need to be careful about filling my jar with the big rocks first, then the smaller rocks, then the pebbles, then the sand.  The hard part is listening and deciphering which are the big rocks and which are the sand in my life.  Some are obvious, of course, but there are other needs which tend to blur the lines sometimes.  I need to read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  Hmmmm.  Sounds like another goal.  :)

Stand for Something.

Bit of a Breather

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Well, things have been a little hectic and busy here.  I will try to catch up here on everything that has been going on.

My parents are doing well from what I understand.  I spent a few days up there to help get things ready for them, and then I stayed to help for another couple once they got home.  I haven’t been up there for just over a week now, but I understand that everyone is improving.  I’ll be up there again this coming week and I can help out some more then.

We came home in time to get ready to teach our lesson on Sunday, prepare our talks for Sacrament meeting, and to get the house ready for our company that we were expecting to come Sunday, and who were planning on staying for a few days.  The talks went well, at least that is what we keep hearing.  The lesson went well, and we have enjoyed quite a time with Sione’s sister and her family who came to stay for 3 days.  We went to Cedar Breaks where the kids were able to become Jr. Rangers through a program they have there.  It was free, and they had booklets that had the kids learn about different things to become a Jr. Ranger.  When they completed the booklet they each got a badge.  We went on a few little hikes and had a picnic while we were out.  We also stopped in Parowan to visit Sione’s Grandma’s grave, and her home where my father-in-law grew up.  The next day Sione had to leave pretty early in the morning to get to Salt Lake for the week.  The rest of us went to the Old Iron Town Ruins, and then we had a picnic at the park.  After we let the kids get soaking wet in the little stream that runs through the park we went to the Iron Mission State Museum.  They had a program there that was $1 a booklet where the kids could become Jr. Curators and earn another badge.  We did that, too, so now my children are walking around with two badges on their clothes.  :)  I’m glad they like them so much.  I also like how involved it got them in looking and learning as we were out and about.  Our guests left on the 3rd, and then a little later Sione got back. 

I had hardly given a thought to the 4th or what we would do for it.  We have spent the 4th with the Hydes for years now, and missed them a lot this year.  I was pretty worn out, I guess, and I slept in so we missed going to get a pancake breakfast that Sione had been hoping for.  We also missed the parade downtown.  I still feel pretty badly about that.  The paper I got that explained the celebrations said there would be a festival at the Main Street Park with a kiddie festival, booths, and hamburgers and hotdogs from 10am to 1pm.  We showed up at about 11 or so, and enjoyed having the kids do a few bouncy things, and a few booths.  At 1:20 as we sat enjoying a sno cone, we looked around and realized that the fair was from 10-1, not just the hamburgers and hotdogs.  Most of the people had already left, and there were a lot of the booths in the process of being taken down.  Sione and I looked at each other and thought of what we would be doing from 1:30 to 10pm when the fireworks would start.  We went to see a movie as a family.  We watched Kung Fu Panda, which was pretty cute and funny.  T-Bone was laughing his head off next to me, and he never got antsy at all.  Then we went home and relaxed for a while.  We thought we would be able to watch the fireworks from our deck, but they were going off on the other side of the hill, so we only got to see the glow on the horizon when they went off.  We could see Enoch’s fireworks from afar, and there was someone doing some pretty nice illegal fireworks somewhere nearby that we enjoyed watching.  I decided I needed to plan out Pioneer Day a little better. 

Losahina’s birthday was the 5th, and so now our little princess is 2 years old.  I did forget to wish Julie a Happy 13th Birthday on here, and I will take this opportunity to do that.  She has been growing into quite the young woman.  I am so grateful that she hasn’t been growing into a nightmare teenager.  I have seen her work on being a young adult, and I am so glad.  And not just because it makes it so much nicer at home.  I have to admit part of me is glad because of all the times people have said to me “Wait until you have teenagers” and I responded “I’m not having teenagers.  I am raising young adults.”  I know she is only just 13, but I see what she is becoming, and barring some drastic change that would need to originate from an outside source, imo, she is not headed that way.  We talk about it, and she knows the differences and wants to be a young adult.  She doesn’t want to be a teenager anymore than I want her to be one.  Anyhow, back to Losahina’s birthday.  Sione and I went on a date for her birthday, lol.  Thankfully 2 year olds don’t care if their birthday includes being left at home with her siblings while their mom and dad get away for a few hours.  Our oven went out on Tuesday, and as I am still waiting for a maintenance guy to come and fix it, we had to buy Losahina’s birthday cake.  We tried an ice cream cake, which we believed would be part ice cream and part cake.  We were wrong.  It was all ice cream.  lol.  It was still good.  She got a ball, two books, some coloring books and crayons, and some hair stuff.  She loved it.  This girl LOVES to do her hair, and anyone else who will sit still long enough to let her.  I got her a brush with plenty of headbands and elastics in a carry case.  She has been in heaven making her hair pretty.  On Sunday I had a bit of a job getting her to let me take out the 5 headbands she wanted to wear to church.  :)  And that was over the barrettes I had already put in. 

At church I remembered that Tevita was supposed to give a talk in Primary.  I wrote it in Sacrament, and when it was time I helped pull out the little steps they have for the little kids to reach the microphone.  Tevita climbed the steps, pulled the microphone close to his mouth, and before I could whisper the first words for him to say he used his tongue to flop over his mouth and say “blulblublbubl” which of course brought quite the laugh from the other primary children.  And some of the adults.  Including my husband and myself, if I am going to be honest.  I brought him back down the steps, straightened my face and told him that was not appropriate, and we couldn’t do that in primary.  He said ok, and we proceeded with his talk.  Of course once you get a room full of primary children laughing, it is hard to get them to stop.  There were giggles all through his talk, which is what I think prompted him to do it again after he said “Amen” and was climbing off the steps.  He loves to be funny.  He loves to make people laugh.  I need to work with him more on when it is appropriate and when it isn’t.

I have been typing up semester outlines for Liberty Girls so we can put them on the website for people to use if they want.  When I finished with that I started working on the lesson plans and curriculum for the coming year.  So far I have done it for Losahina and Tevita.  Only 4 more kids to go.  And the group one for kid school.  That worked so well for me this last year, I decided to do it again. 

Our guests stopped in today for a rest on their return trip home.  They had a family reunion in California that we were the midway stopping point for.  They just left a litte while ago, taking my husband with them on their drive.  I always miss Sione when he leaves.  I will be glad when he doesn’t have to do this midweek commute anymore.

Well, I’m off to work on more lesson plans and the Liberty Girl chapter start up packet needs updating. 

Stand for Something.