Saturday, May 30, 2009

My Garden -- Little, Baby Vegetables

Since I worked last weekend, I did not take any pictures of my garden.  It has really grown since my last pictures, hasn't it?  The medium for this type garden (no, it's not dirt) is so loose that the plants need support so they don't fall over.  That is what the pipe and mesh is for.  Summer squash is on the left, Roma beans in the center, and corn on the right.  I will need another level of the mesh for the corn.

I am so excited about my little baby squash.  There are a couple of them, and I will enjoy watching them develop into something edible.

My beans look like they will flower soon.  I guess that makes them itty, bitty, premature beans. 

For those of you with gardens, how are they doing?


I was tagged by Sasha at Cherished Moments, and I think maybe someone else tagged me for this, too, but I cannot remember.  My apologies to whomever you may be.

Eight Things I Look Forward to:
  1. Lunch with my good friend Laura at Red Robin.  Our husbands are on a road trip for the day so we figured we would do something fun.  It will be fun:  the two of us with our combined seven children.
  2. Number one should count as two things:  lunch and fellowship.
  3. Seeing my husband this evening.  I miss him when he is not here, especially when he is supposed to be here, e.g.  on the weekend.
  4. Nap time.  I always look forward to that.  Is that bad of me?
  5. Seeing my parents at church tomorrow.  They have recently joined another church, but occasionally they join us at ours.
  6. Leftover birthday cake from Baskin Robbins as my bedtime snack.
  7. Spaghetti for supper.  I haven't cooked all week, and I look forward to it.
  8. Using my new crockpot.  I will put the spaghetti sauce in it to cook all afternoon.  Yum!
Eight Things I Did Yesterday:
  1. Met Laura at the park.
  2. Date night with John.
  3. No laundry!  How did I get so lucky?
  4. Forgot to turn the dishwasher on.
  5. Went to a bookstore and didn't buy a single book!  I wasn't even really interested since I love getting books free in the mail!
  6. Laughed at my children because they are so silly.
  7. Bought these bowls.  I have been saving my money for them for months, and finally yesterday I sold one more book on Amazon, and had enough money to buy them.  They may not be the most practical use of my money, but they will make me smile every time I see them.  (If they don't, I will send them back!)
  8. Mopped the floor.
Eight Things I Wish I Could Do:
  1. Knit.  One day I will learn, again.
  2. Keep the house immaculate without lifting a finger.
  3. Go a whole day without becoming impatient with my children.
  4. Have enough money to buy all the books I want new!
  5. Remember to do the things John asks me to do.  Or even just to write them down.
  6. I wish I had more time to crochet because there are so many things I would like to make.
  7. Protect my children from all physical hurt.
  8. Fly.  I just think that would be fun.  Except that I'm scared of heights, so maybe it wouldn't be.
Eight Shows I Watch  (please don't judge me!):
  1. All things Star Trek.
  2. Eureka.
  3. 18 Kids and Counting
  4. The Office.  Thanks, Angela, for getting me started on this one.
  5. Fringe.
  6. The 4400 via Netflix.
  7. Knit and Crochet Today.  
  8. The Twilight Zone.
People I Tag:

Friday, May 29, 2009

I Love PBS!!

Have you heard of PaperBack Swap?  I had read several recommendations of this wonderful site on a couple of different blogs, but I just never got around to it.  Finally, about a month ago, I bit the bullet, so to speak, and joined PBS.  If you like to read, if you like books, I highly recommend becoming a part of this system.  

In case you don't know, here is how it works.  Basically, you get books for free in the mail.  When you sign up and list ten books, you get one credit.  You can use that credit to request any book that has been posted in the site, and it will come to you (free!).  You get more credits when people request your books and receive them in the mail.  Here is where the money comes in; you have to pay the shipping when people want your books.  But it is counteracted by the fact that you don't pay anything for books that come to you.  

This is a great site.  I had been buying used books from, but they are at least $4.  Most of the books I have shipped via PBS have been for a little more than $2 which is almost a 50% savings.  Granted, the book you receive may not be in the best condition, but if you don't want to keep it, just re-list it!  Since joining this site, I have even been inspired to go through all of my books and weed out more of the ones I really and truly will never read again.  

My only problem with PBS is the fact that I now have more books to read than time to read them in!

I do have one selfish request:  if you decide to join, please put my email address (jds_nps(at)hotmail(dot)com) down as your referrer.  I think I will get another credit if you do!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Daniel's Doings

Poor Daniel!  Yesterday was his sister's birthday, but Daniel did not have a good day at all.  First, he fell down the stairs into the garage and banged up his forehead pretty good.  I have no idea how he scratched himself there without getting a mark on his nose.

After nap time, we went to the pool.  As soon as John put him in the kiddie pool, Daniel fell down and had to be rescued.  Then he walked around for a long time playing in the fountains with a cup he found.  At one point, he got too close to the edge and fell into the pool.  Again, he had to be rescued.  

Later, while I was changing his clothes for bedtime, he fell off our bed.  It was a tough day!

I took that picture this morning, and he looks like he's feeling sorry for himself, doesn't he?  Was yesterday really so horrible?  Let's see.  Daddy took the day off work; we all played outside in the morning; lunch was pizza; we went to the pool after nap time; cousins came over to play in the evening; we had hot dogs and hamburgers and potato chips for supper.  Maybe yesterday wasn't so bad after all!  (We had ice cream cake for Sarah Beth's birthday, but Daniel didn't like it.  Apparently it was too cold.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sarah Beth!!

Today is Sarah Beth's third birthday.  It is hard to believe that the time has gone by so quickly, but we are pleased with how she is developing.  
  1. Sarah Beth is a wonderful big sister (as long as Daniel leaves her stuff alone!).  When Daniel cannot get his bear and puppy out of his crib, Sarah Beth gets them for him.
  2. Sarah Beth loves to help Mommy.  When I need something, I just ask her to get it for me, and she runs to get it.
  3. Sarah Beth enjoys helping Mommy cook.  She pushes a chair over to the counter where I am working because she loves to "stir up."
Three is a big year (so far) in our household; things change when you turn three.  
  1. No more pacifier.  Sarah Beth is only allowed to have it in her bed, but after today, it will be all gone.
  2. No more riding in the buggy at the store.  She is just too big for me to lift in and out!  Besides, she is old enough to stay with me in the store.
  3. No more sippy cups.  We had her using regular cups, but one of her babysitters let her use a sippy cup last summer, and she wanted to keep using them.  And after cleaning up three spills in two days, I decided to let her.  
  4. Time to start being a productive member of the household.  I'm not quite sure what chores I will start her on, but it's time for her to start helping out more around the house.  I'm sure she can handle things like setting and clearing the table, and putting the clothes from the washer into the dryer.  
Most of my family is coming over for supper and ice cream cake tonight, and we look forward to celebrating her birthday with them.  Sarah Beth will only turn three once!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Book Review -- How the Irish Saved Civilization

Do you remember my new goal of reading a little bit of a "worthwhile" book in the morning with my quiet time?  I am not trying to supplant my time in God's Word, but it's the only consistent time I can find in my day to read something when I have the peace and quiet I need for these thought-provoking books.

I finished the first one How the Irish Saved Civilization - The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe by Thomas Cahill this week, and I highly recommend it.  When Rome fell, the barbarians took over the land, and learning and literature were lost.  As that happened, Patrick took the Gospel to Ireland where the people embraced it and became scholars of all kinds of classical works.  Then they sent missionaries to the mainland who retaught the people there.  Unfortunately, the Vikings attacked Ireland and destroyed the centers of learning.   Ireland did not have a long period of importance in history, but God used that country to preserve books and learning.

This book is very readable; you know how a lot of history books are dull and dry.  This one is not.  The author brings out several different stories of the Irish that make this book interesting.  If you would like a good history book about this period of time, you ought to read this one.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

WIP Wednesday

Remember this doily?  I haven't forgotten about it; I have just been too busy with all of those baby blankets to work on it.  Finally, I pulled it back out yesterday.  It took a few minutes to remind myself how to work with thread again, but it came back pretty quickly.  Unfortunately, the finished size is supposed to be 11 and 1/2 inches, but mine only measures about 8 inches right now.  I only have three more rounds to do, so I don't think it will even make ten inches.  Oops!  Remember to work your gauge swatch, Nikki!  It'll be okay, though.

I have been thinking of crocheting a bigger doily and having it framed for our dining room.  One of the ladies in church has something similar, and I think it looks very nice.  What do you think?

I have also been working on my church wrap.  It is a simple repeating pattern, actually with just one repeated row.  It is great to work on when I want something mindless to do.  I think it is going to turn out much better than "mindless" work would suggest, though.

Do you have a work in progress?  Even if it has nothing to do with yarn, you should head over to the Place of H, and link up!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Book Review -- God's Prayer Book

I have been using God's Prayer Book:  The Power and Pleasure of Praying the Psalms by Ben Patterson for my devotions lately, and I highly recommend it.  I was struggling in my prayer life because my prayers seemed flat and lifeless.  I knew it did not have to be that way, but I did not know what to do about it.  Then I came across this book, and I knew that I needed to see what it could offer.  

Patterson goes through the psalms (not all of them) and demonstrates how to pray them in a practical way that is also glorifying to God.  He provides a little background about local customs and traditions that help explain what the psalmist meant.  He even shows ways to pray some of the harder verses that we just do not know what to do with.

After experiencing this book, my prayers have become stronger and fuller.  I feel like they are more pleasing to God which was my ultimate aim.  I also feel better equipped to pray from other parts of Scripture.  If you feel like your prayer life could use some help, I recommend this book to you.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My Garden

I wanted to start this post with a variation of "Mary, Mary, quite contrary...," but I cannot think of anything to rhyme with "Nikki."  (Sticky?  Micky?)  Anyway, here is a current picture of my garden.  

Here are my little zucchini plants.  I just planted them Tuesday, and the package said it would take seven to ten days for them to germinate.  Nope.  How about five. 
I know that I will have to thin my zucchini plants because of how big my squash plants are already, especially that one in the lower right.  Do you see my little, baby zucchini plants in this picture?

I was talking with my mother a few days ago about our gardens, and I mused on the amazing feat of a little, dead seed becoming a vibrant, fruit-producing plant.  Isn't it a wonderful analogy of our lives as Christians?  We start as little, dead people; but when God regenerates us, we become vibrant, fruit-producing people.  Wow!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

WIP Wednesday

Can you guess what I'm making?  No, it's not a baby blanket, although it does look like one.  I am always cold at church, so I decided to make a shawl to keep me warm.  I wish I had taken this picture from a different angle because I do not know how to rotate it.  Anyway, you get the idea.  This pattern is very easy and works up quickly, so I don't think it will take me long to finish it.

For more works in progress, or to add your own, head over to the Place of H.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Prayer Request

Please pray for the Freeman family as they lost their precious baby girl yesterday.  I started following her story about a month ago, but already she has impacted my life.  When you head over there, be sure to take some tissues with you.  I can only imagine how hard it is to lose a child.


No, this time I'm not the one doing the giveaway.  My good, real-life friend Laura is giving away a CD from Vision Forum.  You can check it out here.  She also has a link underneath it to another giveaway for a free blog makeover, if you're interested.  

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

I had a lovely Mother's Day yesterday.  It started with Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast which John graciously picked up because I decided that I was not going to fix breakfast.  Sarah Beth gobbled hers up as fast as she could, but Daniel doesn't seem to like donuts; he only ate a quarter of it and then started fussing.  Of course, I ate mine fairly quickly, too.  Yum!  And a special treat!  I cannot remember the last time I have had a donut; Daniel has never had one; but I think my mom gave Sarah Beth one once.

We don't usually do big gifts for these types of days, but when John asked me what I wanted, I knew immediately what I wanted to ask for:  a radio/CD player that mounts under the cabinet.  Guess what I received?  You guessed it!  Do you see it in that picture above, along with the beautiful flowers that John got me as well?

We didn't do anything yesterday, other than attend church as normal.  It was nice to stay home and rest up.  Besides, I am a homebody, and I like to be home!

How was your Mother's Day?  I hope you had a good one.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Several of my readers have asked that I post periodic pictures of my garden, so here is one.  Whenever I plant a seed, and it sprouts, I am always amazed.  I cannot believe that plant came from that little, bitty seed, and that it happened while I was taking care of it!  

My squash, beans, and corn are all doing great.  Two of my squash plants did not come up, so I replanted them yesterday.  However, if I can get some zucchini seeds this week, I may plant those instead.  We'll see.  

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Have You Been Worried...

about the Swine Flu?  I thought this picture was a perfect representation of what has been going on.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

WIP Wednesday

I am still working on this blanket which will be done by Saturday morning at 10:00 because that is when my friend's shower is.  Really, I should not have too much trouble completing it by then because the body of the blanket is done; I am working on the border and only have a couple more rounds to do, I think.  

I enjoyed working on this blanket.  The pattern looks very intricate, but it works up quickly.  Since the body of the blanket is made of the same little square over and over, I was able to memorize the pattern, so it went quicker because I didn't have to keep looking at the pattern.  My favorite part of this blanket, however, was the "join as you go."  I hate, hate sewing seams, and I don't have to with this blanket!!  I have a feeling I will make another one of these at some point.

Are you working on something?  If you are, you ought to head over to the Place of H and link up!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New Year's Goals Reviewed

With the first of the month, I like to review my New Year's goals to see how I am doing.  I have added one or two since that time, and I have eliminated one or two others that I found to be unrealistic or that I have accomplished.
  1. Crochet one baby blanket a month.  In fact, I am ahead in this goal as my May blanket will be given to a friend at her shower on Saturday.  (Ready or not!)
  2. Teach Sarah Beth her letters.  I have not been doing too well with this lately, and I need to improve on this.  However, even if she does not learn all her letters this year, it will be alright.  She is only two, almost three.
  3. Get Daniel to walk.  Okay, I did not have too much to do with this except to refrain from knocking his legs out from under him (which, as you may remember, I was tempted to do).  He decided this weekend that he's too big to crawl anymore, so he only walks now.
  4. Exercise.  Finally, the weather is right for me to start walking.  Well, that is, it should be except for the rain we are supposed to get every day this week.  Maybe next week.
  5. Getting up.  I have been doing better at getting out of bed in the morning in order to spend some time with the Lord and to read a little to improve my education.  And most mornings, I succeed in finding the time before little ones demand my attention (and breakfast!).
  6. Hospitality.  This one is very hard for me.  Do you have any suggestions?  Maybe I'm trying too hard.  Maybe I'm not trying hard enough.
  7. Writing letters.  If only I had someone to write.  Would you like a letter?
How are you doing with your goals for the year?  

Saturday, May 2, 2009

And the Winner is...

The winner of these two dishcloths is pinecone304.  Please email me at jds_nps(at)hotmail(dot)com with your address so I can mail these out to you.  I wish I had more dishcloths to give away to thank everyone for making this the best giveaway I have had yet!