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Giveaway Time!!

Giveaway Time!!.

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Math and Science through Plant Exploration

The Marigold School of Early Learning

Math and science are aspects of early childhood education that can be learned through plants.  Columbine and spider wart are two plants that have unique petals and leaves; each plant allows for children to learn about how a plant grows and incorporates numbers and patterns.

                                                                                                  Heidi's School Pics 059

There are a couple of ways I will mention that a provocation for math and science can be set up for children to question, explore and learn from.  First I like to set up a potted plant or fresh cut flowers so that the children can admire the the plant and incorporate both art and literacy…

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Gardening and Worms

I have to admit that I hate worms.  I don’t think they look nice and I certainly don’t want to touch one-not even in my garden!

I’ve had a garden every year since 2006 and not only has it grown to more than a  couple of cherry tomato plants and a pepper plant, I spent the first several years using-gasp-Miracle Grow and other yucky stuff to get it grow.  I just didn’t know about the harmful chemicals in that stuff.

In 2012 I began to attempt organic gardening.  That’s a tough feat considering I had used all that nasty stuff for years.  I really don’t remember how that garden turned out.  But in 2013 I decided to continue to garden organically.  Of course, we also decided to sell our house that summer and the garden got a little less love than it had in years past.

But, the garden grew and it grew fairly well.  We didn’t get nearly as many tomatoes but considering I didn’t use anything but some good old compost, I thought it did okay.

Fast forward to last spring and I was anxious to plant a garden in our new backyard.  I knew it would be a learning experience and it certainly was!

First, we had to build our raised beds.  Although we got that done we didn’t have time to fill them with more soil!  But at least the garden was defined.

As I dug up the new garden, I realized there weren’t many worms.  You already know about my dislike for worms and this should have made me very happy.  But I knew that worms were a sign of a healthy garden.

So I simply used more compost, watered, and waited.  After quite some time the plants began to grow and they began to flower.   But toward the middle or end of July they still weren’t producing fruit.  My first thoughts went to the bee population in my area, but no, I saw plenty of them hanging around.

Finally I mixed Epsom salts with water and used that mixture on the growing plants.  I have to say, I should have done that much sooner!!  The plants began to fruit and we did end up with a small harvest of tomatoes (not the bushels I had hoped to can).

This year my kids and I went to plant our cool season veggies and you’ll never guess what I found-WORMS!!!  Tons of them were crawling in the soil.  I knew that was a good thing but I still can’t stand the sight of them.  Instead of screaming (and teaching my kids to be afraid of these harmless creatures) I simply picked them up with the shovel and buried them.

Growing organically must take time but I’m glad to see it’s starting to pay off!

I’ll leave you with some pictures of what’s growing right now!

carrot1

Radishes…Can you see the tiny carrots coming up?

Onion1

Yellow Onions

Potato Plant1

Potato Plant!  Needs to be mounded.

Sugarsnappea1

Sugar Snap Peas; It looks like one vine needs to be cut down!

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After a Break…

If you’ve followed my blog to any extent in the past, you have noticed that I disappeared.  During this time, I’ve attended to other things (my children, for example).  I also have considered whether or not my attempts at writing are futile.  While I’m coming to a decision, I’ll let you know that I’m considering a new blog.  One that holds my interest (and hopefully yours).  In the meantime, thanks for reading.

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Bittersweet

While pregnant with my daughter, a friend of mine arranged for two of her friends to give me baby clothes.  I went to visit with one of her friends while she sorted baby clothes.  I asked her if it was nice to give all these clothes away and free up much-needed closet space.  Her response:  It was bittersweet.  I didn’t really understand what she meant until recently.

We have a son and a daughter and decided that our family is complete.  So I began the task of sorting baby clothes.  And with sorting came giving away and selling baby clothes and baby equipment that we no longer have a need for.  So slowly, over the past couple of weeks, baby items moved from our hometo many other homes.

Last week I sold my son’s crib bedding and 0-3 month clothes.  I almost cried handing these things over.  And now I understand that this experience really is bittersweet.

It’s bitter because my kids will never be a baby again.  They’re growing up (they seem to do this quickly).    We’re closing the door on one phase of our life but looking forward to many new adventures.   So it’s time to look ahead and make memories that will last a lifetime.

I think I’ll take some time to just enjoy my children the way they are.  And look forward to the sweet things ahead for Punkin and Baby Girl.

(Next week, I’ll be posting my knitting swatches and a couple of more recipes.  So keep reading)!

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Being Productive During Bathtime

 

Punkin is 3 1/2 years old and enjoys his bath time.  After he’s washed, he likes to play with his toys.  And that leaves me with some free time to sit and do nothing.  Or to be productive.

So I use his bathtime to complete other minor tasks.  I can brush my teeth and was my face.  I also take time to inventory the bathroom cabinets so I can determine what needs to be stocked.

But the biggest time saver is cleaning the sink, toilet, and mirrors.   We have only one bathroom (and although that is occasionally an issue, we really do fine-plus, there’s less cleaning to do)!   So while Punkin splashes in the tub, I cross one more thing off my to-do list.

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Friday Morning Adventure

I woke up rested and had my to-do list ready.  After feeding the kids breakfast, we went to the backyard so they could play.  I noticed the rest of my onions were ready to be pulled so I got to work while Baby Girl played in the dirt and Punkin played with his basketball hoop.

I forgot to mention that we have a bird.  A cockateil named Harvey.  Punkin has a new-found interest in him.  I had let him out earlier in the day and forgot he was downstairs.

Anyway, while pulling onions, Punkin exclaims “Mommy, Harvey’s in the tree!”  I turned, not quite sure I heard right and sure enough, the bird decided to fly outside and join us.  He landed in a tree and I began to look for him.  Two hours later, I still don’t know which tree he is in (although I can hear him and I do know he is in a neighbor’s tree).  So our time has been spent trying to lure the bird back to our house.

I called my husband for advice and he said to call Petsmart.  First, I put the kids and the bird-cage in the mini-van and drove to the street behind us (yes, I drove-I couldn’t push a stroller, hold Punkin’s hand, and carry the bird-cage (in case we managed to get him).  Our neighbors weren’t home so we came home.  I decided to put Harvey’s cage in the backyard and hope that he would eventually return.  Then I called Petsmart for advice.  Their advice:  Put the cage outside with food and water in it and he will eventually return.  Oh, well.  I already did that.

So that’s where we’re at right now.  Waiting for Harvey to return home.   When he returns, I’ll be sure and let you know.  So for now, my to-do list is on hold.  Maybe I’ll get to it later.

UPDATE:    7/3/12

After a day of waiting for Harvey to return, I was certain he was gone.  But we took one last walk around the neighborhood Friday night and found him in a tree two streets over!  Imagine our joy when he responded to the sound of my voice and finally flew down!  I ran home-carrying him in my hands.  He’s safe in his cage once again!

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It’s time to Plant!

Spring arrived weeks ago and  it’s time to get in the garden and plant!  April is a great time to begin planting your cool season veggies in Colorado.  If you’re new to gardening, you may be wondering what you can plant.  Well, wonder no longer!  Here is a list of cool season veggies that can go in the ground now:

Onions (usually planted in March though but April is not too late)

Garlic (if planted last fall, you will get bulbs; if you plant now, you’ll have green garlic)

Spinach, Lettuce, Swiss Chard

Carrots, beets, radishes, turnips and rutabagas

Peas (Soak the seeds overnight to speed up germination.  I missed that part so my seeds aren’t breaking through the ground yet

Broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, potatoes

Asparagus, chives, horseradish, rhubarb and shallots  (Perennial Plants-I do not grow these, but might try to plant chives this year)

If you have kids, get them involved by planting radishes (they are ready to harvest within about three weeks) and carrots.  Punkin wanted to plant carrots back in February because he saw Curious George plant them.  We started those carrots in a container and moved them outdoors when the weather was nicer.  They are growing beautifully!

                                                                          Onions planted last month.  Garlic is in the back, near the fence.

Pick a couple of veggies to plant or plant more.  Either way, you’ll be excited to eat some of what you grow.

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Taking Care of Mom (That Means You!)

Moms are really good at taking care of everyone.  We make sure our families are fed and clothed.  We make sure the house is cleaned, laundry is done, and dinner gets on the table every night.  But we often neglect ourselves.  I was reminded of this last week at an appointment with my allergy doctor.    While talking to her, I began to cry.  She handed me a tissue and told me what a great job I do taking care of two young kids.  She said she has one and couldn’t imagine having two kids so young.  Then she said it was time for me to start taking care of myself.  This isn’t a new revelation for me.  At my six-week postpartum checkup with Punkin, my OB told me that you can’t take care of anyone else unless you take care of yourself.  Obviously, I had forgotten what he told me.

As moms, we need to take care of ourselves!  We need to feel good about ourselves and keep our bodies healthy to meet the demands of everyday life.  So, how do we take care of ourselves?  We need to start by  making healthier eating choices and exercise

Part of taking care of ourselves includes exercise.   So I borrowed a Leslie Sansone DVD from the library.  It’s called A Closer Two Mile Walk.  I’ve used it several times and I love it. Exercise can give you more energy and improve your mood.  My doctor also suggested exercise to strengthen my immune system.  I have had a recurring sinus infection all winter.  So I need to help my body out a little bit.

In addition, I’m drinking more water.  I’m also trying to make healthier choices when I eat.   I’ve found that eating a lot of protein and carbs at breakfast helps me throughout the day.  Cereal is no longer a breakfast option for me, unless I’m eating Grape Nuts with my morning meal.  (Cheerios just don’t cut it for me- I’m hungry an hour later).  Eating eggs and whole grain toast with milk and fruit is more substantial for me.  It keeps me feeling full longer.   (I’m not on a diet; I’m just trying to make healthier choices in what I eat and drink everyday).

I think we also need to find some time for ourselves.  This is hard!!  Punkin seems to require almost constant attention and Baby Girl is only 11 months old and needs constant supervision.  So I need to figure this out.  (When I have an answer for you on this one, I’ll let you know! )

So let’s commit to taking care of ourselves.  Our bodies are the temple of the Lord and we should treat them well.  Thanks for reading! 

 

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A Song in my Heart

On this Good Friday morning, I woke with a song in my heart.  After all, without the crucifixion and resurrection, Christianity has no merit.   The cross was gruesome and Jesus suffered for me-and you.  He was beaten, mocked, crucified.  Even on the cross He was forgiving others-that was His mission on this earth.  To be a ransom for us, because without His death and resurrection, we had no direct bridge to God.  So He gave Himself willingly as a sacrifice for our sins.  His forgiveness is there for us-we just have to believe and ask.  I’m so glad that Jesus died for me.  He died for the whole world (John 3:16:  For God loved so the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life)!  You are a whosoever!

But even more amazing, after the crucifixion, comes the resurrection -three days later-on Sunday morning.  As the tomb was approached, the stone was rolled away and Jesus wasn’t there!  The angels said He has risen!

So this morning I”m singing.  Hallelujah!!! Jesus is Alive!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxHuqvGiN-s

What song are you singing this morning?

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