Saturday, April 30, 2011

Garden Challenge Link Up

I think I'm a tad bit late for this Garden Challenge Link Up because I did not link up last month, but better late than never right?  Find out more about the Garden Challenge at the Homeschool Village. They will be hosting a monthly link-up where everyone can share what they are doing, planning and progress on their gardens and/or containers.

I have to admit that I do not have a green thumb and half the time I forget to water things so you could say I am "garden challenged":)  Unlike my neighbor who knows ALL the names of plants and flowers in LATIN, I can't even remember the names of what I planted in English!

But, I must say since my 2 oldest cupcakes are currently taking a homeschool Junior Master Gardener class for 2 hours a week at a local arboretum, I have been more interested in overcoming my challenges because of their enthusiasm and interest.

So in our backyard we replanted our flower garden during our spring break from homeschooling last week. The original flower garden looked like this.  The big butterfly bush in the center of our small flower garden should bloom soon during the summer. (My neighbor told me this AND the Latin name for it)

Here's an up close picture of the Camelot Rose Foxglove ("Digitalis purpurea 'Camelot rose') that my daughter picked out to plant that is on the far left of the above photo.

We planted these Feather flowers in containers by our front porch steps.  My cupcakes call them Easter egg flowers since they reminded them of the shape of eggs.

We bought some hanging baskets to hang on some stands around our yard.

I also went to the Dollar Tree and picked up some cute garden decorations.

My in-laws started a vegetable garden and my cupcakes and I helped plant their garden a few weeks ago. 
Here are my cupcakes with my father-in-law as he dug the holes for the tomato plants.

Here's my oldest daughter planting collards.

Row of radishes and cucumbers

I am on the right helping 2 of my daughters plant. What fun!

Here is my son and youngest daughter planting more collards.

We planted peppers, radishes, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, collards, and blueberries and next month I hope to give you an update on my in-laws garden with the Garden Challenge Link Up in May!

Then after we helped plant the vegetable garden, we headed across the street to my in-laws neighbor.  He has lots of land and some furry and feathered friends on his property.

I've never seen or touched a baby donkey before, but this little fellow came right up to the fence for us to pet. 

He was staring right at my youngest daughter!  So cute!

Here I am with my 4 cupcakes petting our furry friend.

After we saw the baby donkey we checked out the chicken coop and each of my children were able to hold a chicken.

Our family would love to raise our own chickens since their eggs are so delicious.  Does anyone have any resources to share on how to get started with raising chickens?

Please join Lynda, Anna-Marie, and myself at No Ordinary Blog Hop (NOBH).  Click button below for details and to read some great blog posts that have already linked up!
Friday, April 29, 2011

(Eastertide) Art Showcase Link Up

Before I begin this post, I just wanted to say that our family has been keeping all those affected by the tornadoes and storms in our thoughts and prayers.  I can't even begin to imagine what so many are going through with lost homes and loved ones.  A friend of mine just posted the article below on her Facebook page and I wanted to share it with you.  May God give this family and so many others comfort and peace during this difficult time. 

Faithful Father of Thirteen Gives His Life for His Children In Alabama Tornado Destruction



I'm linking all the following art work to Kimberly's Art Showcase over at Happy Hearts Academy. You can link up each Friday and join the fun! 

My 10 year old daughter recently sketched this drawing showing perspective in her homeschool art class.

 The same daughter took some Easter candy, Laffy Taffy, and made a flower garden out of the candy.  She worked on this by softening the different colors in the microwave and forming it into flowers.  She even took the picture and asked, "Mom, can you put this on your blog?"  :) 

Did you know that Easter is not just a day, but a season called Eastertide?  Eastertide begins on Easter Sunday and ends on the day of Pentecost, 50 days after Easter Sunday.  Pentecost commemorates the giving of the Holy Spirit to the apostles, the beginnings of the Church and its mission to every tongue and people and nation.

So since we are still celebrating the joyous resurrection of Jesus Christ, it's still not too late to post Easter art!  Just before Easter we dyed eggs and did some art on the eggs.  Have you ever taken a white crayon, wrote a name or design on a hard boiled egg, and then dipped the egg in food coloring?  That is how we got the cross on the egg below.  We also wrote names of all our family members on each egg.

 Just before Easter we took our salt dough crown of thorns that I posted about HERE and got ready to change our crown to a golden one with jewels.

My cupcakes are painting the crown here with gold glitter paint.

Here they are gluing the jewels on the crown.

Another tradition we do at the beginning of Lent (forgot to post this during Lent) is burn last year's palms, which by the way is the only proper way to dispose of blessed palms.  Then we put the ashes in a small pot with soil. 

Then a week before Easter Sunday, we plant rye grass seeds in the pot.

The grass shoots up quickly and we decorate the grass with chocolate eggs and bunnies just in time for Easter morning. Here is the finished crown of thorns and the pot of real Easter grass (vs. that annoying fake Easter grass that gets all over the place! :) )

 These two fun activities sum up the truths and joys of the Easter season:  Jesus, the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, conquered death and He gives us new life!

May you have a blessed Eastertide! 

I also linked this post to Hopping Along to Easter Blog Hop over at  Tots and Me
Tots and Me 

Please join Lynda, Anna-Marie, and myself at No Ordinary Blog Hop (NOBH).  Click button below for details and to read some great blog posts that have already linked up!
Monday, April 25, 2011

Is Your Favorite Homeschool Blog in the Top 25?

I just found out that Circle of Moms is hosting a contest to find the Top 25 Homeschool Blogs.  So if you want to check out all the great blogs listed do so by clicking HERE.

You can vote once per day for your favorite homeschool blog until May 11. To cast your vote(s),  just scroll down to your favorite blog and click the yellow "thumbs up" button next to the vote count in the upper right corner of each blog listed.   Vote for your favorites and I hope that if you are visiting this post now, you will consider including my blog as one of your favorites.   Have fun blog hopping and voting!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday Reflection, Art Showcase, and Feature Yourself Friday

You can refer to my Palm Sunday post that I wrote at the beginning of Holy Week to find more links to the Triduum and Good Friday.

My dear friend, Lynda, at My Heart's Desire, recently posted this photo and the video, The Hill of Crosses, about the history of Lithuania and The Hill of the Crosses.  This story is amazing and I thought it was appropriate to share especially today when Jesus suffered and died for each one of us on the cross.  Click HERE to view the video via Lynda's blog since I couldn't get it embedded onto my blog post.

Speaking of crosses and Good Friday, I thought I would share this art piece that my 10 year old daughter made  last year in her homeschool art class.  She made it out of different colors and types of beans and I'm linking this artwork to Kimberly's Art Showcase.

abc button

On this Good Friday, I have a Feature Yourself Friday post on a great blog,  ABC & 123, a learning cooperative.
Included in my post is the recipe for the Resurrection Cookies we make as a family each Holy Saturday and this year we are trying Resurrection Rolls for the first time.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Our Easter Egg Garland

I was visiting Kylie's blog over at Our Worldwide Classroom recently and I found a cute and easy Easter craft to do with my children that she got from another blogger.  The definition of an easy craft for me is using supplies that are usually around the house (which means no extra trips to the craft store!) and the crafts are not too time consuming and they are fun to do!  Check out Kylie's Easter Egg Garland with a link to the instructions. Using egg shaped cardboard pieces, foil, paint and Q-tip swabs, here is what our garland looked like:

My 3 year old painting her cardboard egg that I wrapped in aluminum foil.  As you can see our art table is dirty...I mean well loved! :)

 My 10 year old loved painting her egg lavender.

My 6 year old using a Q-tip swab to draw lines on her red painted egg.

Here are some of the completed eggs.

And here they are hanging from our mantle with the front view at the top of this post. I taped tulle to each end of the mantle and stretched it across. Then I hole punched the top of each egg and tied a knot using a small piece of tulle to allow them to hang straight and face forward.  I also had fun making some of these eggs with my cupcakes!  To go along with the craft I read The Legend of the Easter Egg which my children enjoyed hearing. 
Thanks Kylie for the inspiration and fun!

Please join Lynda, Anna-Marie and myself for April's No Ordinary Blog Hop (NOBH). You can link up any or all your posts for the entire month of April. The blogger with the most posts will be awarded a Star Blogger Award!  Click below for details!


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I'm Tracy. I love my faith, family and on most days, homeschooling my 5 blessings. When I'm not busy baking cakes for my family or making memories in real life or dreaming I had a housekeeper or professional chef, I enjoy documenting a slice of Smith life in blog land.

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