Friday, April 30, 2010

How does your garden grow?

It is that time of year.
As a kid, we always helped my parents ready the yard for my Momma's garden. We went to the store or farmers market and helped with plant selection, we got the water hoses ready for use, and we all got in the dirt and helped plant a 10x10 veggie garden. We were also commandeered to help weed, water and harvest the multitude of plants. But let me tell you, there is something magical about eating a fat, ripe, juicy tomato while it is still warm from the sun. If you have no idea what I am talking about, you are MISSING OUT!!

This year, my husband decided we should have a garden of our own. So he started some plants from seeds, and others he purchased, and since we have a SMALL backyard, he decided to invest in a raised bed. We figured it would be easier to keep the dog out of it since there are clear boundaries.

So here is my darling husband, loading up Bailey's wagon to transport all the plants to their new  home in the backyard.

You have to start with good dirt. We have none in our yard, so we are cheating and using the Miracle Grow. I will be adding compost and mulch to the top to help with weed prevention and to add nutrients to the soil.
Here you can see all the fun Randy and Bailey had planting the garden. There is a little of everything in there. Several types of tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, corn, melons, eggplant, peppers, and I think a random jalapeno plant.
Half of the finished product. We started Friday afternoon (last week) because there was a storm coming and we wanted the benefit of all that rainwater. We put the other side in Sunday afternoon, and this week everything is thriving. The dog only got in here once...and I think Randy's screaming  terrified him so much, he has not looked at it since.

I am not a super green person. I do my part when I can. I carry fabric bags to the grocery store, I turn off lights when I am not in the room, I have my thermostat set to let the house get warmer when I know there will be no one in it, and I always wash my clothes in cold water. Most of this stuff I do because it benefits me. It lowers the cost of living. And that was a big reason for the garden this year. Last year we hit the local farmers market every weekend and spent at least $20 every time. I LOVE fresh produce. And I would rather support someone local than the supermarket. Have you shopped the produce section lately? Tomato's are $2/lb or more! Its crazy. Cucumbers are 2/$1 So yes, this garden will have paid for itself by the time fall gets here, and maybe I can meet some neighbors while sharing all the extras I hope to have!

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Family Itinerary

Head on over to Alabama Bloggers!
My post about fun stuff to do as a family in Montgomery is up today!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

An Online Chore Chart

Did you have chores to do when you were a kid? We did. I am the oldest of three, and we all had assigned chores for as long as I can remember. When we got older, it was more expected that we pitch in and help, but we had assigned chores and we were paid a weekly allowance if the chores were completed.

I would like to think that it helped me become the responsible adult that I am today. It teaches that there are rewards and consequences to your actions, and time management. I think its also supposed to help teach money management, but that one slipped by wasn't until I was 21 getting a divorce with several thousand dollars in credit card debt (from buying STUPID stuff) that I took a Dave Ramsey class and opened my eyes to money management.

Ah...but I digress. I was recently sent an email that encouraged me to try out a new product called My Job Chart.

My Job Chart is a FREE online Chore Chart that teaches kids to work in a fun and productive way. Using an easy and fun online system, My Job Chart inspires kids to do their chores on time. An interactive point system tracks your child's progress, creating excitement and enthusiasm among kids. And the fully customizable chore chart allows you and your child to decide upon mutually determined rewards, fostering communication and developing responsibility. You even get an email or text message when your kids finish their chores or they earn a reward! son is 3, so what type of jobs can I realistically expect him to do around the house? And I don't exactly expect him to go online when the tasks are completed and update me. But they also have a function that allows you to print out a weekly sheet that has all the daily chores listed.

So I can print this out and make sure that Bailey is getting all of this fun stuff accomplished every day.They do have "point" values assigned to each chore, and you can make these point values or monetary values. But lets face it. He thinks money is the stuff you find in the dryer, or he steals out of my husbands pockets at the end of the day. Its shiny and we put it in the piggy bank. Its pretty meaningless to him. But a trip to the bookstore is a big maybe we will work on this and teach him that brushing those teeth and cooperating when picking up toys and books at the end of the day has positive consequences, like a new book.
Also, since I am not working at the moment, I think it would also be a great tool to make sure that I am getting daily/weekly tasks accomplished. (Its easy to forget when the last time you steam cleaned the carpet was.)

So...if you are looking for a way to get your family chores on track, go check this out. Its free, so you have nothing to lose, and it was a quick and simple sign up system, all it required was an email address.
Let me know if you try it and how you like it!

Just to be clear, I was not paid to do this review. I was entered in a contest to win a gift certificate, but lets face it...contest winners are few and far between.  :) Kristen

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fun things about living in Montgomery

So there are a few fun things going on in Montgomery in the next few weeks.
And you should head over to Alabama Bloggers to see my post about what they are!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Life's a Beach

Ok...I have been absent. We took the family to Gulf Shores for the week and had such a good time! The weather cooperated, the 3 yr old cooperated, it was fun. So here are a few pics so you can see the fun stuff that kept us occupied.

We played in the sand.
We watched the boats go by... (did you forget that I am now 8 months pregnant?)

We raced along the beach...

We posed for Dad in FREEZING COLD water.

Then we played putt putt. Bailey showed us the secret to a hole in one EVERY TIME! Who knew it was so easy??

Then Randy took Bailey on his first go kart ride ever! We worried the noise or the smells might be too much for him, but nope...He LOVED it!

Then on Wednesday we went to Mobile. At the Exploreum they have an exhibit called "Dinosaurs Downtown" and there are 12 life sized dino's. This was a small area, but packed with dinos. Bailey was so impressed with ALL of the dinos. They all made realistic noises, they weren't too scary, and one even spit water at you. We went thru this exhibit 3 times! For a little boy who LOVES the dinosaur, this was the perfect treat!

I love the beach. We rented a 2BR/2B condo that was beachfront and fully equipped. We got an excellent deal since its in between Spring Break and Summer Vacations. (But it was actually SB for my step son from IN) All this for under $100 a night. And we purchased breakfast goodies, so we saved $40 a day on breakfast out, we even ate a few dinners of hamburgers and grilled cheese. And by saving money on dining out, we were able to go and do other fun activities. It was Win/Win!