Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Work for Me: Review, Kinda, and Etc.

If you are looking for my weekly review of Works for Me Wednesdays, I am sorry, but I had limited time to assemble one. I do have two favorites, though:

Kim had a great post about weeding techniques I'm going to try. I am going to find a secure place near the door to keep my straw hat and a weeding knife.


Katherine Has a "Handy" way to help your kids remember their job routines. I especially love this one!

My kids have their morning, bedtime and after school routines. They have done really well with learning to do the morning and evening ones without prompting, but the after school one is hard for the girls. I think they have a hard time focusing after a long day at school. Especially Maddy. I had been writing them down on a 3 x 5 card for them to carry around and cross off as they did them. (They like checking things off a to do list as much as I do.) This works quite well, but writing the cards out is tedious and I was too lazy to get around to making some up with the computer. Besides, I want them to eventually do them without prompts!

So, today I tried Katherine's hand technique with my girls as soon as they got home from school and they really liked doing it this way. I put it on a piece of paper they could cross off the chores as they did them. I'm hoping, after a time, to shorten each finger to a single word, then a letter that I will eventually write directly on their fingers. After that I'm hoping they'll be able to remember them just looking at their fingers.

This is their after school chores:

S - Stuff put away (shoes, backpacks, lunch boxes, papers to mom's desk)
L - Laundry (clean put away, dirty sorted)
B - Bath (Tidy)
B - Bed (Bedroom tidy, including bed made)
C - Chore (an assigned after school chore that varies from day to day)

We didn't have room for homework and snack, but decided homework could go on their palm, and who needs a reminder about snack time anyways!

Thanks, Katherine!

On a totally unrelated note, I have to introduce you to one of my new favorite blogs. Jen at Amazing Trips. This woman will very soon have developed the patience of a saint. She seems to manage life with triplet toddlers with aplomb. (YES, that is THREE toddlers!) She is ingenious, funny, informative and always makes me feel like a wimp for trying to manage with just one toddler. For fun reads, try May Day! May Day!, Tub Time...Trials & Tribulations, and the sweet Babies, babies, everywhere...

Works For Me: Family Night

Once again, it's Wednesday and time to participate in
Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer's Works for Me!

I definitely cannot take credit for this Wednesday's Works for Me. But, I can heartily endorse it. In fact, this is the most important Works for Me Wednesday I've shared so far. By far! This is something we do every Monday night called Family Home Evening. This is a program endorsed by my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It is a night that is reserved for just family time.

Each family has their own way of doing things. Sometimes we just do something fun as a family like go out to eat, swim, go to a park or movie. But, most nights we follow the following agenda:

Opening Prayer
Greeps, Gripes and Grumps
(This name is based on the book Cheaper by the Dozen. It is an opportunity to
praise and problem solve.)
Go over the weekly calendar
Family activity (usually a game)
Closing Prayer

It takes us about an hour. Everyone takes turns doing everything. We use the above "assignment board" to keep track of who is in charge of doing what. Whoever is in charge of sharing a scripture also conducts.

The Benefits:
-Greater love in the family
-An organized time to teach spiritual principles to increase faith and gospel knowledge
-promoting family togetherness and unity
-The presence of the spirit in the home is increased
-Skill development for children: conducting a meeting, problem solving, gratitude for others, ability to speak in front of others, ability to prepare a lesson, cooking skills to prepare treats, good sportsmanship
-Increased family organization and planning
-Opportunity for one on one time as older family members help younger family members prepare for their parts.
-Greater Obedience of children to their parents
-Listening and Reverence
-A weekly date with my husband, because we take the time to plan for it

We usually do our preparations on Sunday, which is a great Sabbath Day activity as well.

Here are two great resources for planning your own Family Night:

Family Home Evenings at For more information on the program and its benefits, plus many resources for planning.

Deseret Book's FHE Lesson Archive. A source of close to 200 complete family home evening lesson plans including a quote, song, scripture, lesson, reinforcement activity and treat recipe.

Works For Me!

(Be sure to check out Shannon's link above for more great Works For Me Wednesday ideas!)

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Se7ens Meme

Tori tagged me! This one is a se7ens meme. It took me awhile to figure out that "7" in the middle was also supposed to be a letter "V". Yeah, I can be a bit slow sometimes...

7 things I want to do before I die:

See my kids grow up to be good, responsible adults
Visit all the temples in the world, the US Utah with my husband
Spoil my grandkids
Go on an International vacation
Learn to play piano really well
Serve on a mission with my husband
Find a good recipe for Orange Beef

7 things I cannot do:

Snap the fingers on my right hand
Vote for a Clinton
Let my babies cry it out
Say "No, Thank You." to chocolate
Renounce my Faith
Bungee Jump
Sleep in whenever I want

7 things that attracted me to my spouse:

His sense of humor
The quirky way he dances
The loving way he treats his mother
He's a smarty
The way he willingly serves others and in the church
His briefcase
His Attractiveness

7 things I say often:

Love Ya, See Ya, Bye!
What the heck!
Are your chores (homework) done?
Sit on the chair, stand on the floor. (Okay, used to say this. I've given up.)
Where's my tape? (scissors, stapler, glue stick....)
Your sister is not a toy.
Quick, pick up as many things as twice your age!

7 books I love:

Shel Silverstein poetry
The Complete Works of A.A.Milne
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
A Book of Cape Cod Houses
A Garden Primer by Barbara Damarosch
The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias
Everything by Jane Austen

7 Movies I could watch over and over:

Sense and Sensibility
Anne of Green Gables
You've Got Mail
Operation Petticoat
Waking Ned Devine
Second Hand Lions

7 People I'd like to hear Se7ens from:

Lammy Ann
Momma Darlin'
Handie Mom
My Full Hands

Don't feel like you HAVE to play, but it'd be fun!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Painting Clouds

When I painted my daughter's nursery, I had wanted to do a room with clouds for years. Most of the ones I had seen were done with white paint sponged over a blue back ground. I wanted something that was more subtle and with greater depth to it, so this is what I did instead:

Nursery Clouds

My clouds are not actually white at all. They are the background blue color of the walls. Here are the steps:

1. Paint the entire surface a background of light blue and let dry. I used Walmart's Bonnet Blue.

2. Mix Folk Art Ultramarine Blue with some of the Bonnet Blue to deepen it's tone. Then mix the result with 4 parts of glaze. Add about 10% of water.

3. Right before you glaze a wall, prep the wall surface by spraying it with a solution of half water and half glaze mixed in a spray bottle. You want it to stay moist as you work. You also only want to do one wall at a time. If it is a big wall, you might even want a helper.

4. Decide your approximate horizon line. I recommend either 1/3 or 2/3 down from the top of your mural. Also, decide where the light source is coming from.

5. Starting at the top of the wall, apply the blue glaze in horizontal strokes, across the entire surface of the wall, lightening as you get closer to your horizon line. (The sky is a lighter shade of blue near the horizon than it is high in the sky.) I applied the glaze with a brush, but I wonder if a small roller would make a more even application.

6. While the glaze is still wet, use a damp sea sponge to pull off the glaze in cloud shapes. Use a dry softening brush to soften edges with gentle horizontal strokes. You can mist with the "water and glaze only" solution if it seems to be getting dry, but go easy or you'll start to get drips.

6. Let dry. You can come back and lightly sponge with white, gray or even pink or lavender acrylic paint to add further definition and color to your clouds if you'd like. I didn't.

Tips about cloud formation:

-Things that are further away appear smaller. The size of the clouds should get smaller as you near your horizon line.
-Things that are closer are more distinct. The clouds near the top of your wall should have more distinct edges.
-Traditional clouds have billowy tops and flatter bottoms. Think of 3 dimensional clumps of puffs as you work so they don't appear flattened on the wall. Also, be sure to vary your cloud shapes.
- Pull off more paint where the light would be reflecting off the cloud's top, and less paint off the shadowy undersides.
-Check out the sky and study the clouds for a few days before you start.

Columbine Fairy

Iris Fairy

The leaves and flowers I did using Donna Dewberry's One Stroke Techniques, although I had to make up some of the flowers since I didn't have her examples of most of them. Since it was January when I did it, I studied pictures in garden catalogs instead of the actual flowers. I think I would have done some of them differently if I'd had actual examples to work from. For the fairies, I printed off images from the internet and used carbon paper to transfer their outlines to the wall. I then used acrylic paints to paint them. It took me a while since I would only paint one type of flower or one fairy each day. I just kept my paint palates in plastic bags on top of the fridge, so they wouldn't dry out. My older girls have been after me to do something in their room ever since. I finally have a plan, but I may not get to it till school restarts in the fall. It is a lot of work, but really fun!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Works For Me: Review 2

Okay, I'm done reading the WFMW over at Rocks in My Dryer. It takes a huge amount of time to go through them all, but I have picked up some great ideas, so I perservere! The fact that my daughter has an ear infection and wanted to be held all day was a good excuse! These are my favorite "I'll be trying this one" ideas. Hopefully by posting my list, I'll actually remember to implement them:

Barb has a great container idea for storing picnic supplies in an easily transportable way to the table.

Sue Has a way to keep restaurant coupons and other promotions handy in the car so you'll actually use them.

Kim is welcoming ideas about dealing with kids shoes and shares what she does. Check her comments.

Jenn suggests a portable sewing kit for mending purposes. She has a clever container idea for it, too.

Shalee has a gift idea for graduates that would also be good for christmas gifts for college aged family members and missionaries.

Lammy Ann has an idea that will keep my potatoes growing in my garden and no longer in my kitchen. Plus, save me cooking time.

Gabriela has a fun, artistic and portable way to entertain the kids.

Meg suggests quick digitial scrapbooking through Shutterfly. I must check this out.

Stephanie tells how to keep your drinks cold on the run.

Jeana has yet another laundry tip, but a good one. She talks about how she sorts her laundry and how she gets her kids to help with the laundry.

Kim from Hiraeth has a suggestion for bringing the outdoors in through greenery.

Rebecca has a couple tasty sounding freezer meal recipes.

Speaking of freezers, Grammy has the most organized freezer on the planet, I believe. Check her site to get the skinny on how she does it.

Works For Me: Cleaning Magic

Today is Wednesday and I am again participating in
Shannon's Works For Me!


1. Open a new file in your PC.
2. Name it "Housework."
3. Send it to the RECYCLE BIN.
4. Empty the RECYCLE BIN.
5. Your PC will ask you...

"Are you sure you want to delete Housework permanently?"

6. Calmly answer, "Yes," and press the mouse button firmly......
7. Feel better?

Works for me!

Okay, I actually do have a great tip for housecleaning. Monica mentioned this in her WWFM last week, but I think it is worth expounding on. If you have yet to find this product:

- it will change your life. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Allow me to illustrate with my wall:

Yes. I Did. No, I have not gone crazy. Just watch:

And, voila:

GONE, like Buttah!

Also, great for soap scum, black marks on floors and those scuff marks you thought you could only paint over! For a bucket full of other uses check here.

Works for Me!

PS. Momma Darlin and My Full Hands, I'll post the how to paint cloud instructions tommorrow!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Flower Fairy Nursery

Elsie's Nursery

I love when people put photos of things they have created on their blogs, so I thought I would put something I created on mine.

Another Angle

I finally got to have my first nursery with our fourth baby. We just never had the space for one with the first three. Since this may be my one and only nursery, I really had fun with it. My inspiration was Cicely Mary Barker's flower fairies, specifically, the forget me knot baby fairy:

Where do fairy babies lie
Till they're old enough to fly?
Here's a likely place, I think,
'Mid these flowers blue and pink,
(Pink for girls and blue for boys:
Pretty things for baby's toys!)
Let us peep now, gently. Why,
Fairy baby, here you lie!

Kicking there with no one by,
Baby dear, how good you lie!
All alone, but, you're not-
You could never be forgot!
O, how glad I am I've found you,
With forget-me-nots around you,
Blue-the color of the sky!
Fairy baby, hushaby!

Blue Bells Fairy

I had always wanted to try my hand at mural art, so I painted the walls with clouds, added a six different varieties of flowers in shades of blue and purple, and finally, hid versions of the Barker fairies among the flowers. Because I love gardening, I tried to recreate actual types of flowers so I could teach my daughter to identify their names: Lavendar, Lilac, Columbine, Sweet Pea, Blue Bells, and Iris. My Mom made a beautiful quilt and pillow (with fabric provided by my MIL from her quilt shop) and crocheted a cozy afghan for my rocking chair. We used a vintage white dresser we already had and bought our first crib, an inexpensive Jenny Lind style. I love the way the room feels and my toddler's surprise when she discovers one of the fairies. Now, I just need to get around to decorating the rest of the house...

Lilac Fairy

Sweet Peas Fairies

I wanted the clouds to be very soft and subtle, more so than just sponging white paint on a blue background creates. If anyone wants to know how to do them, let me know and I will post instructions!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Paint Samples

I'm starting to get restless with my walls. Thankfully, when we moved into our current home, there was hardly any redecorating necessary. My son's room had to be repainted, because he just wasn't going for the lovely pink it came in, but every other room was definitely in livable shades. In fact, I absolutely love the red dining room and half bath. Oh, and we did redo the nursery. But, I'm starting to feel the need for change. So, I've started collecting paint samples again.

I secretly would love to have the job of naming shades of paint. I love names like "Smokestack", "Rice Cake" and "Scandinavian Sky". I always ask people the names of their paint shades when I visit their homes. It tickles me that my nursery is "Bonnet Blue". My son's room, on the other hand, is "Sebago Blue". I believe Sebago is a lake in Maine. I also have a table painted "Ground Cover". A lovely shade of green, naturally.

But, my favorite shade of all time was introduced to me by ItyBtyFrog called "Verde Antique". She used it in her laundry room once and, I loved it so much, I used it in the basement bathroom in our old home. When we put the house on the market, half the realtors wanted to know the name of the shade. Unfortunately, the room had no windows and the lighting in this photo just doesn't do it justice.

I've learned always to test paint before using it. Our last home needed complete repainting when we bought it. My kind brother in law, who owns a commercial paint sprayer, offered to paint it for us. We picked out a very light putty color called "tender taupe". The tender part should have tipped us off. After hanging out in the backyard for a couple hours, we went back in the house to discover our entire house was painted a very muddy shade of pink! My mother loved it, my husband DID NOT. So, we had to redo. This time in "Suede" and "Ranchwood." Ahhhh, Dear Hubby's masculinity restored!

So, I need suggestions! What is your favorite shade?

(All paint shades credited to Wal Mart Color Place. Cheap price, but great paint!)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Works for Me: Review

Okay, is it just me, or is this WWFM thing getting way huge! I am loving all the tips, but holy cow is that a list! It gets a bit overwhelming and by the time I am done I can't remember half the good tips I'm going to try. Tonight, I decided to keep track. In case you didn't have time to go through them yourself, this is my list of favorite "I'll be trying this" tips:

Everyday Mommy has a great tip for keeping toy clutter at bay in your main living areas.

Shalee tells how she easily preps chicken for dinner.

Traci at Mostly Precious Moments has an idea for how to keep your dish towel handy while cooking.

At Brant Bunch Holly has a calendar concept to keep your kid's summer activities organized for them.

And, last but not least,Rabbit tells how she has organized all those OTC medicines, etc.

I think these will work for me!

Whew! Now I'm going to bed so I'll have the energy I need to implement these tommorow!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Works For Me: Butter Crock

It's Wednesday! Time to participate in Shannon's Works For Me Wednesday.

We love to have butter to spread on bread at the table or on toast. (Duh, who doesn't?) In the summer it tends to get too soft in the heat and spoil more quickly when left out on the counter. Kept in the fridge, it gets too firm for ease of spreading and tears the bread or toast. One day, at my brother in laws, we noticed they were using something called a butter crock. We have one now, too. They are fabulous! Before refridgeration was common, food was often kept fresh by putting it in stoneware crocks which were then submerged in cold water. The butter crock, or bell, as it is sometimes called, works the same way. The butter stays nice and spreadable and fresh for up to 30 days. And it is a lovely way to serve butter!

To find one, look here.

Works for me!

"Man has always decorated those objects related to the eating ritual. There is only one reason for this--to make the process of meal preparation and presentation more satisfying. No matter what your traditions or tastes, there is a real opportunity for self-expression and enjoyment in the selection and use of the containers in which you serve food and drink." -Alexandra Stoddard

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

As we have had baby birds here this spring I have often thought of the following story shared by Howard W Hunter:

"It was on a summer day early in the morning. I was standing near the window. The curtains obstructed me from two little creatures out on the lawn. One was a large bird and the other a little bird, obviously just out of the nest. I saw the larger bird hop out on the lawn, then thump his feet and cock his head. He drew a big fat worm out of the lawn and came hopping back. The little bird opened its bill wide, but the big bird swallowed the worm.
Then I saw the big bird fly up into a tree. He pecked at the bark for a little while and came back with a big bug in his mouth. The little bird opened his beak wide, but the big bird swallowed the bug. There was squawking in protest.
The big bird flew away, and I didn’t see it again, but I watched the little bird. After a while, the little bird hopped out on the lawn, thumped its feet, cocked its head, and pulled a big worm out of the lawn."

I am grateful that I had a mother who taught me so well, in what she told me, but especially by her example!

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Works For Me: Tub Medicine

Shannon's Works for Me!

Pediatricians don't seem as eager to recomend baby vitamins like they used to, back when my teenager was just a wee one. Vitamin supplements aren't really necessary if your child eats a well balanced diet. I would agree. Unfortunately my toddlers haven't always been eager to eat such a diet when offered to them. To ease my mind about their nutritional needs being met, I have always given them baby vitamins. The problem is they don't taste too great, so they don't exactly suck every drop right down. Rather than having every item of their clothing covered with brown stains, I started giving them their vitamins in the tub, where dribbles are easily rinsed away. I found this actually works with any kind of medicine, such as antibiotics, too. Because, I'm not crazy about hot pink Amoxicillin stains, either!

Sunday, May 7, 2006

Money Lessons

Lessons learned about money issues this past week while shopping and having a neighborhood garage sale, including a kid's "lemonade stand" :

1. My junk is junk. No one wants to buy it. Used clothing, even if it is like new, is snubbed. Total take: $5 and change.

2. Marvin's (age 12) junk is not junk. Used toys sell well at garage sales. Even the ones the dog has gnawed on. His total take: $12 and change.

3. Emily (age 8) is Frugal. When I took her grocery shopping she left her money in the car at the regular store, planning instead on making her purchase(s) at the discount store we were visiting second. She also helped her younger, nonfrugal sister find a "buy one get one free deal" on chips.

4. Emily should also probably go into sales. She convinced her sister into buying her a necklace, a bracelet and a cat sculpture at the neighbor's garage sale. She also sold more ice cream and soda than any of her siblings on a cold spring morning. (Probably had to do with that dramatically sad face she made while sitting on the fence, all dejected and penniless like.)

5. Money related math: Calculating cost per item, calculating retail value of items, calculating gross and net sales, dividing profits, calculating tithing and savings on said profits.

6. If you let Maddy (age 6), buy as many things as her money can buy- she will. And then weep that she has no more money when she finds yet another thing she must have. Her purchases in the last few days: 2 large bags of potato chips, two necklaces, a bracelet, cat sculpture, a travel mug, large bag of cheese puffs, a tie, a robot dog, a talking stuffed puppy, a stroller toy, ice cream, a used camera, a stuffed whale with a baby, and a set of soda can insulators. Final money: 15 cents.

7. Maddy is, however, a very generous person, as she gave half of the things she purchased to other members of her family.

8. If your goal is to declutter, head out of town during the neighborhood garage sale. (see #6)

9. But,if your goal is to teach your children about money, stick around. (see # 5 and #6) Just next year, donate the old clothes and take the tax deduction.

I did ask Maddy yesterday if she had a dollar what she would do with it. She said she'd save it and wait till she had more money to buy something so she wouldn't be "broke". Lesson learned?

Stay tuned - tomorrow I will be posting a picture of my husband wearing a sheet in public.

Friday, May 5, 2006

Why I'm Singing

I just thought I'd write a post about why I named my blog what I did. I don't want anyone to get the impression that I CAN sing. Don't get me wrong, I love to sing, but since my kids have frequently asked me to stop, I generally limit my singing time to vacuuming or lullabying my toddler who is too little to say "Knock it off, Mom, that hurts!"

No, the reason I am Singing a Verse of My Song is a quote from this article:

"Do not be deceived in your quest to find happiness and an identity of your own. Entreating voices may tell you that what you have seen your mothers and grandmothers do is old-fashioned, unchallenging, boring, and drudgery. It may have been old-fashioned and perhaps routine; at times it was drudgery. But your mothers and grandmothers have sung a song that expressed the highest love and the noblest of womanly feelings. They have been our nurturers and our teachers. They have sanctified the work, transforming drudgery into the noblest enterprises." -James Faust.

My opening quote also comes from this same article. I highly recommend giving it a read.

I remember feeling some angst awhile back about the years I was not going to be pursuing a satisfying career while being a SAHM. Given the choice, I pick nurturing my children over any other occupation any day of the week. But, part of me wondered if I was missing out on something. I then tried a life planning exercise, probably from one of the Covey books. It was to make a time line of my life, marking all the significant periods. Since I plan on living to 100, I decided my timeline was pretty long (I'm very healthy and had a great grandmother live to 104.) When I marked off the section of years I would have young children at home, I was shocked. Even with a 12 year spread between my children, these preschool years will only take up 17% of my total life. Once all my children have graduated from high school, I will have almost half of my life span (45 years) left of my life to live. Plenty of time to pursue interests and occupations outside of mothering. Of course, if we are blessed with any more children this will adjust somewhat, but only by a few years. So, I am focusing on enjoying these few years I have with my children as much as I can. They are never coming back. So, THAT's why I'm singing.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

YW: Mom Love Jars

I loved when Smart Mama posted about the Service Fiesta she did with the youth at church, mostly because I am always on the look out for such ideas to do with the youth here. I thought I'd share what we did with ours last night, partly because there may be others out there also looking for such ideas, but also because I think it is a great idea anyone can do.

A few years ago, I gave my mom a "Love Jar" for mother's day. I decorated a jar and filled it with notes of gratitude for the thing's my mom has done for me and recollections I love of growing up as her daughter. She loved it and still reads from it. So, last night we helped the young women make love jars for their moms. It was really fun to hear what some of the girl's wrote and see teenagers expressing their gratitude. Most were more serious, but a few made me chuckle. "Thanks for giving birth to me, even though your epidural only worked on one side of your body." was nice. But, my favorite was a note that said, "You don't look a day over 35!" to a mom who was over 35, of course.

We precut little slips of paper for the girls to write on, bought decorative lids to put on canning jars we already had and one of our super talented leaders made the darling tag to tie on with ribbon. I brought Maddy along and she made one for me. I can't wait to see what she wrote!

Works For Me: Blog Template

Shannon's Works for Me!

This is going to be an obvious tip for more experienced bloggers, but for the newbies like me this may be helpful.

I learn how to do computer stuff by hands on experimenting. This can be bad when it comes to messing around with my blog template. After a couple nail biting, "Why couldn't I have left well enough alone!" experiences I now do two things:

1. I have a "Screw it up as much as I want blog" called Template Playtime. If you are very bored you can visit it here. It's where I experiment with new blog skins, colors and collect images and backgrounds, etc. (Did you catch that "skins" term? I'm getting blog lingo savy now!) It doesn't show up in my blog list on my profile sheet because I made it a non public blog in its settings.

2. Anytime I'm about to really try something bold, I copy my entire template and squirrel it away in a word document. That way I can delete the new mess I make and bring back a fresh copy of the old mess.

What template tips do you have? (Anyone know how to add categories?)

Works for Me!

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Update On the Birds

Remember how cute and little the baby birds were a few days ago? Look at them now:

And I thought my babies grew up fast! Unfortunately, they're not so cute anymore, either. They must be in the awkward, gangly teenager phase. Sometimes, when momma bird sits on them, there will be a head sticking out, like she can't fit them completely under her any more or they insist on wriggling free. I'm glad I don't have to sit on my kids to keep them warm. Course, it might be fun to try. Hmmmmmm...."HEY, KIDS! Come here. I want to try something..."

Monday, May 1, 2006

Plant Garden. Check!

240 square feet of garden, half of it berries.

We got the garden planted today. I decided to do it all at once this year. I am watering handicapped. I enjoy digging the dirt and planting, but then I get distracted with life and forget to water. This works fine later in the season when watering is less needed or, sometimes around here, not needed at all. I figure by planting it all at once, I will only need to be watering viligant for a short, but very intense time. This means I will either get garden satisfaction sooner, or my garden will die all at once in one spectacular wilt.

Elsie was very cooperative. She ,thankfully, felt like sticking close. I gave her some water in her very own watering can to play with. She loved it, and playing with the empty flats and picking all the flowers. (That'll just make them bloom more, right?)

The kids each are in charge of part of the garden. It was nice spending one on one time with each one as we planted their own little plot. At one point, DH was teaching Marvin how to remove a lawnmower blade after hitting a metal post. At the same time, Emily and I were discussing faith, how seeds grow, why the sky is blue, and the three divisions of the federal government, all while planting beets. It is for such moments that I live.

If you're curious, and even if your not, here's the list:

sparkler radishes (Marvin)
Sweet Treat Hybrid Carrots (Marvin)
Detroit Dark Red Beet (Emily)
Ruby Queen Beet (Emily)
Derby Bush Bean (Maddy)
Jung's Tricolor Blend Bean (Maddy)
California Wonder Bell Pepper
Jalepeno M Pepper
Jung's Kaleidoscope Mix Lettuce
Evergreen Bunching Onion
Burpee Pickler Cucumber
Sweet Burpless Hybrid Cucumber
Roma Tomato
Million Cherry Tomato
Better Boy Tomato
Jelly Bean Hybrid Tomato
Early Perfection Pea (planted earlier)to be followed by Golden Acre Cabbage (Emily)
Bloomsdale Longstanding Spinach (planted earlier)

Annuals for front of house

Lemon drop marigold
Petite Yellow marigold
Scarlet Starlet marigold
Dwarf Cherry Rose Nasturtium
Bonfire Salvia
Vermillion Terrace Vinca
Victoria Blue Salvia

Annuals for perrenial beds
Blue Moon Lobelia
Hot Pink Snapdragon

Annual vines for porch railing
Heavenly Blue Morning Glory
Scarlet O'Hara Morning Glory
Giant White Moonflower

Purple sage
Hot and Spicy Oregano
Logee's Blue Rosemary
Italian Large Leaf Sweet Basil
Mammoth Dill

Maddy also helps with the raspberries and Marvin is in charge of the strawberries. The vegetable focus this year is on pickling. Other than the cucumbers, though, we are staying away from the cucurbits (squash and melon family). We were devastated by verticulum wilt carrying cucumber and squash beetles last year, so we are pulling back and regrouping.

I also repotted 3 houseplants and finished planting the containers. Final spring garden tasks: Finish pruning the forsythia bush and thin the raspberries. Anyone need some raspberry starts? For now, I'm taking my sunburned neck to bed to dream of blt's and berry pie.

Yes, this bush. Large enough for a small house into which the girl's have happily moved into this spring.