Monday, July 18, 2011

IMPORTANT *** I've Moved *** IMPORTANT

What else do you title a post that you want to make sure is read?

Sadly, this is the last post you will receive from EverythingHomewithCarol.blogspot.

My new address is http://EverythingHomewithCarol.com.

I really do NOT know what I am doing. But somehow, over the course of the last six weeks, I've managed to purchase my domain name and host it through HostGator. I've downloaded WordPress, loaded a template, and customized that template to make it feel more like home.

This is what I haven't figured out, yet--how to move my followers. If someone knows how to do that, please, please, tell me. Otherwise, please, please, hop over to the new digs right now and subscribe so that you do not miss a thing. In fact, I noticed a few new Feedburner subscriptions in the last few days that I'm suspecting were meant for the new site (mainly because one of them was my own) and went to this one. So, if that describes you, bear with me as I work through this technicality. I'm also trying to get it changed in Networked Blogs through Facebook.

At the new place you will see a few different things. First, I have added some Amazon ads. I've done that to make a place to show you the books that I use on our homestead and in our homeschool. (Of course if you decide to purchase any through my site, that doesn't hurt me either. :-)) Secondly, you will notice that all my blog friend buttons are missing. I didn't move my buttons because #1, I only want to display buttons of those that follow Everything Home; and #2, a lot of you have changed your buttons and I'm showing old ones. So this is the deal...if you want me to put your button on Everything Home, send me an email and let me know.

One last thing. I'm still playing with the look of the new place. So if you have any suggestions...don't like the colors, columns too wide, whatever...please let me know. I'm open to suggestions. Also, don't be surprised if you log in one day to see things moved around. Like I said, it's a work in progress.

So, with no further rambling from me, please hop on over, subscribe by clicking on the little RSS button or by giving your email address, and then you won't miss a beat.

Next up...new e-booklets!

Blessings,

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Do Your Children Have Weeds?


This morning while pulling weeds I was just busting with pride over the garden. I want so much for you all to come over and gloat with me at how beautiful everything looks. You have to remember that last year my garden suffered from neglect because I was working outside the home. We also suffered with drought.

However, this spring God has blessed us with an over-abundance of rain. The Shenandoah river has overflowed its banks three times. And, not only do I have beautiful green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, cabbages, etc., I also have weeds that are flourishing.

This one is my worst nightmare. Spiny amaranth is its name. We never had any until we took some horse manure from a neighbor. My guess is that the seeds came in that manure. The first year it was everywhere. I had so much trouble eliminating it. Now, it's not as bad. Fortunately, this fine specimen was discovered in the compost bin. My seven year old dug it out and put it in the fire pit. Burning is the only way to deal with it. This weed is such a nightmare because it has thorns that are hard as nails and sharp as needles. They are camouflaged as well. There is no getting them out without a shovel.

Anyway, as I was dealing with the other less dangerous weeds in the potatoes this morning, I realized that as beautiful as my garden is, I do tend a more important garden. That is the garden of my children's hearts. As a mother, my children are a garden that I tend to daily, hourly, even by the minute. And if that garden is not beautiful, then I have failed as a mother.

So, while bending over those potatoes, that still, small voice whispered in my ear, "Do your children have weeds?"

"Do my children have weeds?" I asked back. "Let me think about that one."

Tattling, whining, sneaking, ignoring my voice, teasing..."Yes, Lord, my children have weeds."

So, as a conscientious mother, it is my job to pull those weeds. I use various tools for the job. Sometimes, it's just a talk. Sometimes, it's a story. Sometimes, the tool is a little less pleasant. But as any gardener will tell you, if the handles of your tools are not secure, the job is more difficult. That is why the "handle" holding all my child-weeding tools is the Word of God.

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. --Hebrews 4:12

Something to ponder...do your children have weeds? How do you get them out?

Blessings to you,

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What's Up for July

July is my blogoversary month. I can't believe it's been two years already. And in honor of this occasion, I have several surprises for you.

First, I'm moving this blog. I've been working on this process for several weeks now and it is not yet complete so don't ditch me yet! When I have the other site up and running, you will be the first to know.

Second, I will be compiling another set of FREE (don't you love that word?) ebooks:
Everything Home with Carol--Homeschooling, the SECOND Year
Everything Home with Carol--Homesteading, the SECOND Year
and
Everything Home with Carol--Homemaking, the SECOND Year

For those that missed posts, just joined us, or just want everything compiled in one place, these are a great idea. Then,

Third, I will be having a super giveaway that you will not want to miss.

So hang in there, because I will be scarce this month trying to get all these things together. But I promise, it will be worth it.

Thanks for understanding and blessings to you all,

Monday, July 4, 2011

I'm Guest Posting Again

Happy 4th of July!

Today you can find me at The Kerrie Show. Kerrie's blog is about...being a mom, being a homeschooling mom, attachment parenting, working around the kiddos, and just life with the family in general.

The post is about Seed Catalog Curriculum. So, if you haven't heard my schpeel on that...hop on over to Kerrie's and read all about it.

Great day to ya'

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Connect With Your Teens without Spending Much Money

Oh my stars, I read so much that I can never remember where I read something. Likewise, I cannot remember how I stumbled upon The Homeschool Jungle. But Jana has a great site, there, and we agreed to swap posts since summer is always a hectic season. So, with no more rambling from me, I want to introduce Jana Miller.


Why is it that we spend so much time wishing them to grow up and then it happens and we are shocked?

Start a Hobby

I took up blogging 5 years ago when my son was 12. He was always entrepreneurial minded. I knew I needed to help that grow. I knew he would look at what I was doing and get interested in making some extra money. My goal starting out was for him to have some kind of business that would provide him passive income during college. I had to go and learn about blogging and how to make money online so that I could inspire him. Through the whole process, we found a hobby we both enjoyed. We always have ideas to bounce off each other. One woman I know became an expert in baseball and all the statistics involved in order to connect with her teenage son who loved baseball. That was my mom. She set a good example for me.

It’s Always about Food

This doesn’t have to mean junk food but it can. My son and I meet friends at the farmer’s market every Sunday morning. We shop and talk and pick up healthy food. The other day, Chase said, “I didn’t go out with my friends for fast food because I knew we had so much good food here at home.” Of course I love that he likes my food but I also get to sit and talk with him while he eats. This doesn’t mean having to spend extra money but simply having things that my kids prefer to eat, and choosing to stop what I’m doing.

Books

Ask them what they are reading. This won’t work if your kids never read. But it’s the rare homeschooler that doesn’t like some sort of reading. Then take time to read the books they like. My older son had read, Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller. Then my younger son read it. So I picked it up and after reading it, I was able to have some lengthy conversation about God and formulas and what they think about Christianity for their generation. I lucked out…..I really don’t like fantasy fiction so it would have been a stretch to try and read some of the other books my son enjoys.

Teach Me

It’s a humbling experience. But I make it a habit to ask my kids to teach me things. Even if it’s something I pretty much know how to do. Most often this involves the computer, a printer or a cell phone. When they are able to teach me, we connect on a different level. They feel great about being the expert and they are able to see their strengths. You can start this when your children are young and they will become more teachable as adults.

How do you connect with your teens?

Jana Miller is a freelance writer and creator of The Homeschool Jungle, a website to encourage new home school families. Her first e-book came out earlier this year, The Homeschool Jungle: Get Started Homeschooling Today. She has been homeschooling her sons for the past 10 years. Her older son just finished his first year at Wheaton College outside Chicago and her younger son will graduate from high school in 2012. She admits to liking red meat and full-fat dairy products. She lives with her family in Orange County, California.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Garden Update







I know I've been updating you on the garden in the sidebar. But I couldn't help but show you what I've been doing. So here are a bunch of pictures for you to see.

Now, you know why I don't do pictures very often. I really think this is the unfriendliest part of Blogger. :-|

I can never get my pictures to go where I want them. So for this montage I will just keep typing away and let the pictures fall where they will!

So, from my standpoint, we have potatoes in the upper left. This is one of three rows in this garden, then we have a couple more rows in garden #2.

Next over is corn. I guess that is pretty obvious. They always say "knee high by the 4th of July" and I guess mine's made it.

Moving to the right is the beet row. It doesn't look that great. I think that a bunch of seeds got washed away in all the heavy rains. But that's okay. I get another chance in the fall.

Next, on the left, growing up the trellis is the cucumbers. We've already picked one and these plants are loaded. They are also climbing up the other side of the arch.

To the right of that, in the tires, is my 10 year old's tomato plants. I did not want to plow up any more earth so this is his way of being resourceful.


Next on the left is one row of cabbages. I took the row cover off them because it had cabbage moths underneath it! SIGH! Now I have to go out every day and look for little worms.

To the right of the cabbages is the Brussels sprouts. I had to take the row cover off them because they were getting too tall. That is why they look like someone sat on them. I have little sprouts about marble size in there. We are so excited. This is our first try at Brussels.

Then, this last picture is of my tomato row. That's it. I did NOT plant
75 tomato plants this year. Let's see how these do.

This garden measures 25x75 feet. It is the size of my house!
We have another patch in the back with potatoes, zucchini, and
more greens.

What did I not show you? Green beens, bird's egg beans, and peppers.
They just weren't very photogenic. Plus I bet you're tired of my garden by now.

I hope you've enjoyed my show and tell. How is your garden doing?
My husband keeps saying, "This is your best garden yet!" I tell him the proof is in the pudding. Hopefully in a month or so I will be complaining about all the canning and freezing I have to do. Without my daughter--who got a job!

Blessings,

Friday, June 24, 2011

Freedom Ranger Chick Update and How To Weigh a Chicken

Can You Believe It?

We're guessing these guys weight about three pounds. But since I want 6-7 pound birds, we're going to give it a few more weeks. I switched their feed to a higher protein mix to help them put on the desired weight.

How do I know how much they weigh? In the past we've used my son's fishing scale. It's a nifty little device that you hook the fish through the gills with and hang it to weigh. When I asked to borrow it again, he said he broke it but that I could get one at WalMart for $3-4. I'm going to look next time I'm up that way.

Anyway, we hang a 5-gallon bucket on the scale and take note of its weight. Then we put a chicken in the bucket. We subtract the weight of the bucket from the total. I once tried to use a plastic grocery bag so that I didn't have to mess around with subtracting the weights. But a chicken has sharp claws that go right through a plastic grocery bag. So don't try that. Your chicken will fall right through onto the ground.

I'm dreaming of fried chicken...chicken pot pie...chicken stew...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I'm at the Homeschool Jungle Today

homeschool jungle 125 by 125

Ever wonder how to prepare your teen for filling out that first job application? What about choosing the right "first job" for him? Well today I'm guest posting at the Homeschool Jungle, and that is what we're talking about.

"Is Your Teen Prepared for His First Job" is a checklist for parents to consider before sending him out into the "real world."

So, hop on over to Jana's Homeschool Jungle and join in the conversation.

Blessings,

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bramble On -- In Hobby Farms Magazine

I love it when I can tell you I have a new story out in a national magazine. But more importantly, I love it when that story can really help you out.

If you've ever thought of growing brambles--of any sort--this is the tell all article. In it, I interviewed friends and raspberry farmers Marlin and Christine Burkholder. The Burkholders have successfully sold their Heritage raspberries at our local farmers' market for years. They have gotten so proficient in the process that raspberries are now their number one cash crop.
I also interviewed several other experts in the berry field from Cornell University and Sakuma Brothers Farms in Washington.

If you do not currently subscribe to Hobby Farms, you can do so here. If you just want a copy of this issue, it is currently available on your local newsstand.

I must point out, too, that there are several other articles in this issue that inspire. If you ever thought of raising meat rabbits, here it is. You can also learn how to effectively deal with those weeds that have come with our abundance of rain.

So run on down to your local book or farm store and pick up a copy of Hobby Farms. I promise, you'll like what you see.

Blessings,

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Are Your Kids Outside?

A quote I recently stumbled upon:

Most children in the US spend only 30 minutes of time a week in unstructured time in the out-of-doors, whereas the average 10-16-year-old spends over 30 hours a week in front of some kind of electronic screen.

Not my children!

Thank the Lord!

Only by God’s grace are we different.

My brother-in-law has a saying, “But for the grace of God, there go I.”

But…those statistics are staggering, don’t you think?






My boys have been spending hours putting a room addition and closet on their tree fort.




My 10 year old spends hours helping me in the garden. Because my back was in a kink, he was responsible for planting almost all of our potatoes. He runs the roto-tiller, hoes, weeds, and plants. And he loves doing it.









Here's a picture of half of our potato crop.





My 7 year old spends hours a day looking for critters to feed his pet lizard, building things, and just otherwise getting dirty.

But that is not all. Because we fostered this love for the out-of-doors, my adult children spend many hours outside as well.

My 16 year old works for a landscaper. When he’s not working or playing his guitar, he’s riding his bike long distance over country roads.

In fact, most of my adult children’s leisure time is spent out of doors.

Even if you live in the city, there are ways to get your children occupied outside. There are parks, biking trails, even your own backyard to explore. If you have nothing more than an apartment balcony, then for their sake, buy some pots, potting soil, and seeds and start a container garden. Get a Styrofoam cooler and start an earthworm bed. If you grow enough to sell, you’ve not only taught your children to play in the dirt, but entrepreneurial-ism as well.

Turn off the TV, computer, cell phones, iphones, smart phones, ipads, Wii, and all the x, y, zcontraptions I failed to mention and go outside! And then report back here and let us know what you did.

Food for thought,