Every time you feel in God's creatures something pleasing and attractive, do not let your attention be arrested by them alone, but, passing them by, transfer your thought to God and say: "O my God, if Thy creations are so full of beauty, delight and joy, how infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy art Thou Thyself, Creator of all!
- Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain

You can’t get to joy by making everything perfect. You can only get there by seeing in every imperfection all that’s joy.
-Ann Voscamp

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Quieter Week Than Usual

Yesterday afternoon I said goodbye to my eldest two children for a whole week. Their dad drove them to camp. It was HARD seeing them go! They've been looking forward to camp for months now but I have to say that I don't look forward to it quite as much as them. It's almost too quiet around here!
I had all the chores to myself yesterday evening and today, but since it finally rained watering the gardens didn't have to be included in that today. It was so nice to see the plants getting a nice drenching.
Something seems to be feasting on the broccoli and cabbage in one of my gardens, but not the other. Hmm... I sprayed them with Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap and water tonight. With the rain it probably won't last long, but it did seem to help when I sprayed them a couple of weeks ago. I'm really not sure how often to apply the soapy solution to the plants, or if I should do it when the actual edible parts of the plants are forming or not. I'm not even sure which plants to use it on and for what pests. I guess I'm going to have to research that, but if anyone has any info for me I'd be grateful. Hint, hint. ;)
Today was a super laid back day for the little girls and I. Dan is still not back from bringing the kids to camp. He spent the night with my aunt and uncle before dropping them off today. It's a 5 to 6 hr. drive from home, so he enjoyed not having to make the whole trip in one day. That meant we could take the whole day at our own pace. We all slept in a bit more than the animals would have liked. I think they got their breakfast by 8:30. I'd planned to do some "school" with the little girls when we have rainy days, so we spent some time on that this A.M. Hattie and I reviewed some multiplication rules and ways to think about multiplication, and then reviewed the factors of 0,1,2,5,10 and 11 up to 12x. She actually likes flash cards and had a great time. :) It's always a treat for the teacher when her pupils enjoy learning! Dani and I worked on addition and reading. She did a great job reading to me, though she still thinks that she can't read. I can't wait until it dawns on her that she is reading! :) One of these days she's going to make the connection and she'll be flying solo like a fledgling leaving the nest. In fact, tonight she was saying things like, "Mom, if there was a b at the beginning of stop instead, it would say bop, right? And if there was a p at the start of go instead of a g, it would say po, and if the o was in front of the g, it would say og!?" I'm thrilled that she's starting to "get it".
After our "school" they helped me chop some rhubarb for making a rhubarb crisp tomorrow and we ate a lunch of peanut butter and rhubarb strawberry jam sandwiches and apple slices, watched a movie and worked together to make chocolate cupcakes for a snack. By then we were ready to get out for a while so we made a quick trip to town for a few groceries and a slice of pizza.
We got home with enough time to get the chores done before it was too dark to see in the barn (I'm so glad we're getting power to the barn this summer). The girls visited the bunnies and gathered eggs while I finished up.
We ended the evening making a town with lots of towers out of all the building blocks we could find. We really packed it full of fun and relaxation. I feel rejuvenated and ready for another week. :)


  1. Camp-love camp-great invention .To bad they are so spendy but I'm sure the one your kids go to is well chosen.My grand-kids got to go a few years back-only because of a grand-parent program through the Lutheran social services. They received funds for camp. from the former owner of the Twins baseball team Carl Polad.It was a life memory for the boys.[ they had a ball]your children are so lucky to have you to home school them. that must be a lot of work. but hearing what they are doing in some states-well worth it. I heard they are gonna remove teaching cursive to only teaching key-boarding and they are trying to make it a law.

  2. Judy- Camp is wonderful for the kids, but yes, expensive. I don't know that we'll be able to keep sending them, at least not every one every year.
    I know that in some schools they already use key-boarding almost exclusively. I think it's important to be able to leave technology behind though. We take our nature journals outside and draw or write in them often. I'm sorry (well, not really), but it's just not the same if you take your laptop or notebook computer along and use that instead. :)

  3. You're kids are so lucky to be off to camp, some of my fondest memories! You shouldn't have to worry much about insecticidal soap up where you are - down here I can only spray in the evening because the heat will burn the plants if they are wet with it. I will use it on most any insect (bad ones, of course LOL), and yes, you can spray the fruit as well. That stuff washes off easily with rain. I tend to actually spray the insects and not the plant much since it doesn't have any lasting ability really. I find it works well on most insects, but not well on hard shelled like squash bugs, but you don't have those up there, do you? Mama Pea will be the expert on your insects! Sounds like you and Hattie are getting some nice one-on-one girl time, making rhubarb crisp sounds fun!

  4. One of my best memories as a child was going to Girl Scout Camp. For a whole week I was on my own, sleeping in a tent with 3 other girls, horseback riding, swimming, campfires and of course learning new Girl Scout skills. LOVED it.

  5. Erin-
    Thanks a lot for the soap info. We do have squash bugs here, at least I think we do. I'm pretty sure I've got some pics of them on my blog. I didn't know that it was really only effective if you sprayed the bugs, which might be a problem since I never actually see whatever's chewing on the leaves (at least not yet). It did seem to help last time, so maybe I hit something after all. :)
    I have been having a LOT of fun with my little girls so far this week!

    Tami- I went to a conservation camp when I was a girl and you're right, camp is pretty unforgetable. I know the kids are having a blast! :)

  6. I've never sprayed with Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap and water. On my broccoli and cabbage I usually use diatomaceous earth. I don't have much trouble with cabbage but I CANNOT grow broccoli without worms so I'm sure no expert! I've even tried covering the broccoli so the moths can't get in and lay their eggs to no effect. So if you figure that one out, let me know.

    I've never been bothered by squash bugs (where's some wood, quick, so I can knock on it!) so don't have any good advice there.

    Even though you miss your two oldest, keep remembering what a wonderful experience it is for them. You'll make it, Mom. Enjoy the little ones while you can give them a little more attention . . . and maybe have a bit of time for yourself?

  7. I think this is one of those times when you can "really make mom feel guilty" because she never let me go to a camp and I begged and begged. Of course I only tease her about it now!

    Glad you let your kids go! One less thing for them to tease you about later!

  8. Thanks Mama Pea, for sharing your wisdom. Do you sprinkle the diatomaceous earth under the plants? I think broccoli and worms seem to just go together. If anyone could get around that problem, it would have been my grandmother, who grew and preserved enough veggies to feed her family of 7 all winter. Yet, I remember her soaking the broccoli in salt water to get the worms out when I was a girl. Even at the coop I sometimes get wormy broccoli. It makes me wonder what nasty "secret formula" is being used on the broccoli found in the grocery. I've never gotten wormy broccoli there!?? Hopefully they won't be a huge problem for me. :/

  9. APG- I'm sure my kids will still have OH SO MANY things to tease me about when they're grown, but I am glad that won't be on the list! :)

  10. I put the diatomaceous earth mainly ON the plants but some does sift down onto the ground. It's not harmful to us humans and washes right off if there is any on the plant when it's harvested.

    I soak and soak and soak my broccoli in warm salt water, get out those ugly little green worms but STILL find one or two on our plates. *SHUDDER!* I can't stand that! I'm hoping they stay far away from you garden!

  11. Oh, Mama Pea! That would certainly ruin my appetite! Thanks again for sharing your gardening wisdom with me! People and their stories are so interesting, and gardening books are...well, just not.