Monday, February 21, 2011

Starting Seeds Indoors

Spring Fever - a feeling of restlessness and excitement brought on by the coming of spring.

Each year about this time I get a case of spring fever.  The cure...starting seeds indoors.  It's really easy and fun.  It can save you money in the long run and it is enjoyable for any garden lover. 

There are several ways you can go about it.  This year I invested in a couple Jiffy Greenhouses...

Some Jiffy-Strips and some Jiffy Organic Seed Starting Mix.

And of course my seeds.

My seeds of choice this year are...tomatoes, zucchini, squash, cucumber, cantaloupe, peppers, watermelon, broccoli, parsley, chives, basil, dill, lettuce and marigolds.

I love the little greenhouses because it is all ready for you.  It has everything you need but the seeds!

The first thing you have to do is add water.  This expands the peat pellets.

This is how they look after they expand.
Then you need to gently pull back the netting that is on top of the pellets.  It's also good to kind of fluff and level the peat.
This is how they should all look now.
Next, plant your seeds.  We did 2-3 seeds per pellet and we covered them lightly with the peat.
If you are planting several different kinds of seeds be sure to label so when they come up you no what is what.  
Next put the lid/dome on the tray and place it in a warm spot.  
 When the first seeds begin to sprout you can prop the dome open.  When they all have sprouted you can remove the dome and place the tray in a sunny location.  Be sure to water your seeds when the peat turns a light brown. 

Pretty simple!  Be sure to save your greenhouse for next year.  You can buy refill pellets or you could just fill the tray with starter mix. 

If you'd rather not invest in a little greenhouse there are several alternatives.  Egg cartons work great!  Some people use old tea cups, be creative with it and enjoy yourself! 

                                                                                                                   “It's spring fever.... You don't quite know what it is  you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”  Mark Twain.

Baby Bunnies - 5 days old

They are getting their fur and are so cute!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mini Pizza's

In our house, Sunday's are mom's day off.   At least cooking wise.   Every other day of the week I pre-plan and cook a family meal, but Sunday's is a day for mom to get a break.   Instead of cooking a big meal I fix easy snackins.  Sometimes everyone fends for themselves and heats up left overs, sometimes I fix pancakes, or doughnuts, or cinnamon toast.   This evening I threw together something on a whim and the outcome was delicious! 

I had some Nature's Own 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Rounds (I must add that one sandwich round is only 100 calories)
I opened each one up (that's two mini pizza's per sandwich round) and layed them on a cookie sheet.  I spread some pizza sauce on top of each one, topped with pepperoni and mozerella cheese and voila...a delicious, super easy, and super yummy meal! 
Minimal preparation and minimal mess!  That's my kind of Sunday meal!  I may have to keep the ingredients on hand just for Sunday's.  Wait...then I'd be pre-planning. : )

He's like the Wind

Today was a gorgeous day out.  My daughter Bethany brought her journal outside with her.  She read to me what she wrote and with her permission I'd like to share it.

God is like the Wind

Today  I just thought of something...God is like the wind.
I can't see Him.
I can't touch Him.
But I can feel Him all around me.
I can hear Him.
I see what He does in the things around me.
I can't predict Him.
I can't change Him.
I can't stop Him.
I can't live without Him.
but most of all He's always there, even though I can't see Him.
                                                            Bethany ~ age twelve.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Lesson from a Stranger

Due to an out of town appointment, the kids and I stayed in a hotel Wednesday night.   Thursday morning while we were eating our complimentary breakfast in the breakfast room of the hotel, an older man man came in, got his food and sat at a table next to us.  He was alone.  I had seen him the night before, a matter of fact, I thought he was a worker, like a "fix it" man or something.  It turned out that he was staying in the room next to ours.  He was an ordinary man upon first impression.   He was wearing the same clothing that I seen him in the night before, his unkempt hair, beard and attire gave little flare to his appearance.  But when he sat down, he did something.  Something that touched my heart, something that made me think.  He prayed.  He prayed out loud.   A prayer of thanks to his Master, for the food he was about to eat.   No hushed tones, no rushed words.  I know many christians when they are in public pray over their food, but it's usually a silent, rushed prayer sometimes followed by a quick look around to see if anyone was watching. 

Now I am someone who believes that just as quickly as we are to complain about something done wrong, we should be just as quick to commend when something is done right.  So I stepped out of my comfort zone and  I went over to this man and spoke to him.  I told him that his prayer blessed my heart and explained that most people do not pray out loud over a meal in public and it was a blessing to hear him do so.   He looked up at me and smiled, a smile I will not soon forget, almost angelic, and simply stated.... "it's a relationship, I don't even think about it, I just talk to Him."

Checking your Vision

This is a really good video. People we come in contact with each day are all facing problems and situations we know nothing about. So next time you get annoyed at a stranger over something minor, remember they may be going through a terrible situation and you may be just the person to brighten their day.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Baby Bunnies!!

 I am so excited!!   We FINALLY have baby bunnies.   Our Dutch rabbit Brownie had 7 kits (that's rabbit talk for babies) this evening!!

My family and friends who know my crazy rabbit story can understand why this is such a happy day!   The story is almost  emarassing, but since I don't have a problem laughing at myself I'll share it with you. : )  A little over a year ago I decided I wanted to raise rabbits.   When I was growing up my dad raised rabbits and I loved it.  So I studied it out and decided on Dutch bunnies for reasons that aren't really relavent to this story. Anyways, me and the kids built a hutch (which is a story in itself :) and we invested in 3 bunnies, and imagine if you would, 3 Buccheit workers, 2 kids and a mom standing in a circle in the store trying to decide if the bunnies were male or female.  According to the employees we had 2 girls and 1 boy.  I kept saying "hmmm, I just don't see the difference"  but 2 girls and 1 boy is exactly what I wanted so I went with it.  The time came that they were old enough to breed.  I often found myself looking to see if we indeed had 1 male and 2 females.  I'd say "hmmm,  they look the same to me" but I would breed them anyway.   They did what they were supossed to do, but I was still not sure.  I had read that doe rabbits do "that" as a way of defending their territory.  After MONTHS and I do mean MONTHS of trying to breed with no success,  I decided that they must all be females.   We located a male dutch bunny and the lady assured me that it was indeed a male.  When we picked it up she tried to show me, but you know what...I just didn't see a difference.   At this point we were racing with time.  A female doe is suposed to have her first kit before she is a year old, otherwise she could die while giving birth.   Our male rabbit was not of age so all we could do was wait.   As he got older I checked again, and what a suprise I really CAN tell the difference lol!  There was no doubt!  We now had a buck and I couldn't help but laugh at all my attempts of breeding female rabbits together.  Today all the waiting and false attempts have paid off.  I was litterally jumping up and down in excitement! 

In my inexperience I wasn't even sure if Brownie was pregnant, I was very concerned because she is a little over a year old.  She started pulling her hair out today(she had did that once before with a false pregnancy)  so I put her nesting box in and a good thing I did, about an hour and a half later we had babies!  All went well and from what I read 6 kits for a dutch bunny is a large litter and she had 7!  

Bethany wants to temporarily name them (she knows we can't keep them all)  Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  I was hoping for Basil, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Paprika, Ginger, Clover and Rosemary, but since she takes care of the rabbits more than any of us, I think I'll let her have her choice. :):):)

No Talk Tuesdays

In our effort to learn Sign Language we have decided to start something new.  We are calling it "no talk Tuesdays".  That means no talking, just signing for us!  It's amazing how much you learn when  your only means of communication are your hands.

Monday, February 14, 2011

♥ Be Mine ♥

I love you.
You are mine.
Your name is written upon My heart.
Your prayers are precious to Me.
Your life is in My hands.
I am with you always.
I am nearer to you than your own heart.
I gave My life so that you
might live forever with Me.
All I ask in return is your love.
Be Mine,

~ Jesus ~

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Boys to Men - Raising Godly Boys

As a homeschool mom of a boy and a girl it didn't take me long to realize that resources in purity, modesty, and virtue are limited when it comes to raising boys.   You can find numerous books, blogs, curriculum, etc. for raising your daughter to be a Godly woman.  But what about raising Godly men?  There are a few good books out there, but compared to what there is to offer for girls it's very limited.  As important as it is to raise our daughter's to be Proverbs 31 women, it is equally important to raise our boys to be godly men.  I like to think that there is a mother out there that is raising her son and teaching him about God's ways right now, a boy that will someday be my daughter's husband.  Likewise, I want to raise my son in a way that he is prepared to be a good husband, father, family provider and leader, all according to God's word.  So I thought I would share a few great resources I have found for raising Godly men!

Online Resources

Online Bible -  Best resource!

In all Purity - This is a blog written by a young man on purity.

The Rebelution - A great online resource to encourage young men.  Alex and Brett Harris are young men of conviction, passion and courage.  Their call to their generation is faithful to the gospel and honoring Christ.  We had the pleasure of getting to know Alex and Brett a little bit last year when we volunteered at their conference.  These boys are the real deal.

A Look at Life from a Deer Stand - this is my son's devotional blog.  He also had a friend who has a great blog called....

Counter Cultural - Another devotional type blog.

What better way to teach your son to live a Godly life then showing him that there are other young men out there that are trying to do the same. 

BOOKS for Him
The Bible - The best handbook ever!

A Call to Die - Two words for this book...Life Changing. It goes straight to the heart and is able to do some amazing things in your walk with God.   I seen a profound change in my son with this book.

Do Hard Things -  This book was written by Brett and Alex Harris when they were 18.  It is a revolutionary message in its purest and most compelling form, giving readers a tangible glimpse of what is possible for teens who actively resist cultural lies that limit their potential.

Books for Parents
The Bible - The best guidebook ever!

Future Men

Raising a Modern Day Knight

Homeschool Curriculum
The Bible - The best resource ever!

Doorposts has so many great resources for boys and girls alike.  Plus resources for parenting.  I've listed several but you may find something that fits your needs better on their site!

The Best Resource EVER

THE BIBLE -  I have listed it under each category, why???  It's the best, it's full of truth, answers, and encouragement.  It is the most important resource needed.   All other books and curriculum pale in comparison.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sew Busy

I have been a busy little seamstress in the past couple weeks.   I've completed several projects, mainly for Bethany's spring/summer wardrobe, but I did manage to make myself an outfit.  

A tier skirt and a peasant blouse.  

 I call it my Homestead Blessings, wanna run through green pastures barefoot and maybe milk a cow skirt

 Weird name?  Maybe, so let me explain.  I have made several tier skirts in the past, but my motivation for this one came from the Homestead Blessings Art of Sewing DVD.  Have I mentioned how much I LOVE the West ladies?  I can't remember where I got the material, because I have had it so long, but I know someone gave it to me.  Same goes for the lace trim, which I just had to add!  I love the extra girly, girly look it adds.  When I look at this skirt I think of summer days, green grass, and I envision myself running thru the green grass barefoot.  It looks so country (add milk cow here) and yet so feminine!  Considering we still have snow, ice, and frigid temperatures, green grass appears to be a long ways off and come to think of it, I don't even own a cow.  So maybe it was a bad choice for a name, maybe I should call it my "make some bread and curl up with a good book skirt"  naaah!  Doesn't have a ring to it or give me the same warm fuzzy feeling.  I'll stick with the former. : P   

As for the peasant blouse....I love finding deals and saving money, I went to Goodwill a couple weeks ago and found several sheets for $2.00 each and several pieces of material for $.50 a yard.  I was super excited!  Anyways,  I made the blouse out of a white knit sheet.  It was also inspired by the West ladies in their Art of Sewing DVD.  

For the pattern, I found that my mom had this old 70's pattern that would work great. 
 I altered it a little, followed the instructions given on the DVD, added elastic to the bodice and voila! 

And even though I didn't plan it this way, the peasant blouse looks great with the Homestead Blessings, wanna run through green pastures barefoot and maybe milk a cow skirt!

Methinks it is a token of healthy and gentle characteristics, when women of high thoughts and accomplishments love to sew; especially as they are never more at home with their own hearts than while so occupied.  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Marble Faun, 1859

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I am Lost in Blindness

I love, love, LOVE this!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Embracing the Season

No winter blues here! The U.S. has been hit hard this winter. Snow, ice, frigid temperatures. A lot of people are counting down the days till spring. Spring and summer are my favorites, but I am not quite ready to push winter out the door, not yet anyway.

There is something about the possibility of getting snow that really excites me. I guess it brings out the kid in me. I love the idea of being snowed in. I love the relaxed pace of winter. I love the the chance to do things I don't really do in the summer, like scrapbook, sew, and all things crafty. I love having time to blog hop. I love hot cocoa. I love listening to Dakota play his guitar. I love watching Bethany do crazy creative projects (her latest was a cape and mask for our dog, now known as Daisy the Wonder Dog), I love the way the snow makes everything look so beautiful and warm.  Yes, warm. Even though the snow is cold, and we bundle up to go out in it, when I look out my window at the snow covered earth, I feel warm inside.

So, even though spring is just around the corner, and I will love the green grass, the beautiful flowers, the warmer temperatures.... today I am perfectly content with my winter wonderland.