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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

18 down, many more to go.

What you may ask - Japanese Beetles! They have become my official enemy and it's survival of the fittest. I've looked into other methods - yes even spraying believe it or not. And those bags that claim to catch them - I've heard nothing but horror stories about those. Attracting more to your yard than you had before and definately not trapping them all.

So, how am I doing it you may ask? Below is a link that explains what I'm doing. Yes, our children run out and help identify them. Jon is a great catcher of japanese beetles. This may be solely his job in a couple years. lol!

The below article can be found in it's entirety at the below link.

Easy Steps to Capturing and Controling the Japanese Beetles
1. You will need a small bucket, some dish soap, and a small butterfly net.

2. Add a squirt of any dish soap into a plastic bucket. Fill the bucket with about 2 inches of water. Slosh the water around to create some suds.

3. The hunt begins!

I like to use a small butterfly net. Place the net under the infested leaf and gentle tap the leaf. The Beetles will roll right off into your net.

4. Tip the net over the bucket and the beetles will fall in. They may cling to the net. Just brush them off into the bucket. They don't bite.

5. The soapy water will kill the beetles.

Remember after a few days to dump the bucket out or the smell gets pretty ripe. Rinse your bucket out and you are ready to start again.

6. Now I take my plastic bucket and net with me every time I go into your garden. It's part of my gardening routine.

My kids love sneaking around the garden ready to capture the Japanese Beetles. Jon is especially good at catching bugs - his sister praises him for it. lol.

I have caught at least 35 more in the past two days and I'm sure I'll have many more to catch tonight!

Friday, July 25, 2008

We're getting there.

It's amazing with 2 kiddo's and a husband how messy and cluttered things can get. Ok, I'll admit some of it is me. For those of you who really know me, I've actually gotten a lot better. You would not believe the stuff I'm still getting rid of. Crazy! I was able to go to Goodwill and Salvation Army. I was able to find some very much needed pillow cases for our room and a couple sheets for Jon's room as well as one for lou's room and a lavendar sheet that will be used to make a futon cover. Wow, talk about long run-on sentence. I also got 2 jean skirts for Lyshie and one for myself. You see, I'll be taking our pix at the nature preserve and want us all to wear black long sleeved shirts and jeans/jean skirts. I'm hoping to get a neat picture of us all holding hands walking onto the trail. Shhhh - don't tell anyone. They're going to be used for Christmas gifts. Let's see, I can't remember what else we got but it was all things I've been looking for - not just "stuff". I LOVE resale shopping.

Lyshie is learning to play the recorder. In fact we just had our first lesson yesturday and she is doing really well. She now has rhythm down. We were wondering if that was ever going to happen. lol! I'm doing blanket training with Jon and let's just say that he didn't do nearly as good with his new task as his sister did. For those of you who have no idea what blanket training is - here's a link.

Hmmm, what else? Matthew and I are going on a date tomorrow for our belated anniversary. We're so incredibly excited. I'll try to remember to take the camera so we can get some pix up here. Of course I'd like to have them to look back upon as well.

Matt is doing well with work. This week towards the end had gotten better. He's been handling stress so much better. I know it's because of his time camping as well as the prayers of others. In his words if he hadn't gone to camp he "would have gotten fired" last week. EEEkkkk! Yeah for Bike Camp right?

Well tata for now. It's 11:35 pm and I still have lots more cleaning to do:)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Jon and his puzzles

A huge thanks to my sister-in-law Beka for reminding me to do puzzles with Jon. I picked these up in March at the homeschooling convention. It's 3 parts per animal. So cute! You can see he was doing some all by himself and was so proud!

For those of you who were around then, my Lyshie was doing much more complex puzzles at this age. She had quit doing them for awhile but just recently found some within this past week and started doing them again. Yeah! I think we'll make up a schedule and have puzzles on it. Very cool!

To be honest I have not put together a puzzle in a very long time. I must do it again very soon.

Again, big thanks to you Beka! Some things I just completely forget.

My herb garden

Well, it didn't start out that way. It's still my vegetable/fruit garden wtih herbs mixed in. I'm hoping it can totally be herbs next year and have another garden the size I have now for fruits and veggies.

Last night was so incredibly fun. I went to a freecyclers house and got some lemon mint, spearmint and oregano plants. I just got those planted and they look so happy in their new home.

I know we're talking about gardens, but I had a mom meet-up last night for our homeschool group at Barnes and Noble. Let me tell you it was super fun! So nice to meet new homeschooling mama's. Well, not new to homeschooling but new to the group anyway. Very, very fun.

So back to my garden. I now have the following herbs growing.

Lemon Peppermint
and Chives if you consider them an herb. lol. It's coming along and I'm so excited.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Jon's Leg

The lovely plantain plant.

While camping I was sitting Jon up high on a ledge and noticed his leg did not look so well. The first picture below does not show it up very well at all. It was very red all over the swollen area, the sores were open and weeping, it was hot to the touch and very inflamed around the actual mosquito bites with dark circles around it. I showed it to the nurse at camp and she said to keep a very good eye on it because they had just had a kid with a similar looking leg go to the dr. and found out it was staph infection.

Wasting no time we headed out to the local health food store. I was looking for clay or dried plantain to make into a paste and put onto the leg to draw out the infection. The clay they had was very expensive and in a large quantity and they did not carry plantain. Thankfully the woman there told me that plantain grows everywhere in the area and that she'd take me out to see if we could find any so I'd know what to look for. Wouldn't you know we found some!

I was instructed by her as well as my herbalists to take a couple leaves, chew them up a bit to get it 'working" and place it on my sons wounds. After several hours I needed to take it off and re bandage.

We headed back to the camp where I found some more of this lovely plant, washed it, chewed it up and placed it on some gauze, then his wound. I am amazed at the results. I also gave him Silver Shield (nature's sunshine) and his multi-vitamin. Within a day this was already looking much better.

It amazes me how God put these amazing plants here for us to use. They are right under our nose and most of the time we don't even realize it.

Here's the first pix of Jon's leg. The lighting wasn't well but that whole side of his leg was red and swollen.

This was taken 2 days later! Because he moves so much I wasn't able to get the exact angle. You can see some slight redness where the bites are. The main thing to see here is that is his leg is not swollen anymore.

Back from "Vacation"

Talk about a crazy family!

This past week Matt was a counselor for a Bike and Paddle Camp for Camp Alexander Mack in Indiana. His group of kids went to Pennsylvania from Monday - Saturday. I can't give you much detail on that as I was not there but you will see pix below.

The kids and I stayed at the campground the first few nights in a room at the campground. Needless to say Jon woke up at 4am in the morning on Monday wanting to sit in his carseat and go home. That was all bad. So...we stayed at Grandma Shannon's place while she was gone. It's still on camp property but has much more space, ac and is much more familiar to Jon. While we weren't able to do as much as I had hoped, Jon was at least somewhat better by Wednesday.

So all in all it was fun. I got to sneak away while Jon was sleeping (Lyshie watched him) and go take some pix at camp which you'll also see below. That was definately the start to my sanity for the trip. lol! Enjoy the pix!

Jon with a sucker - I know I'm bad. He's sporting a little monkey backpack that has a leash on it.

Here is Lyshie sitting in the same gazebo looking out at the lake.

This guy was beautiful! I followed him for a bit, then he just sat there and let me take his pix. I was super excited!

Mom used to grow these in the back yard under the kitchen window. How beautiful! The name currently escapes me.

Mmmmm - berries! And for our mother's, no we did not eat the berries.

Ok these guys were cool. The unfortunate thing is my camera would not let me use the macro setting and zoom in anymore. Just click on the pix for a larger view.

I can't even begin to tell you how much I missed this guy. This was taken when he had gotten back. Coincidentally, our anniversary was the day before he got back. We had to have some kind of picture to remind us of where we were for our 5th anniversary. We have an awesome date planned in a couple weeks.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Our Mini Family Vacation

Lyshie and I at Zhenders.

Jon and Matt at Zhenders

Jon in his cute little wet suit with floaties built into the suit.

Cool Zhenders sign with restaurant in the background. It's called Elf Hollow.

Here's a pix of part of Splash Village. So much fun!

Last but not least is a pix of our whole family sitting outside of Frankenmuth on a bench - hoping Jon does not jump up and run out in the road. Eeekkk.

We all went to Splash Village. So fun! Here are some pix. We stayed one night at Zhenders Splash Village and of course ate the famous chicken dinner from there. Thankfully Matt and Lyshie all had coupons for the dinner so we got off pretty cheap - well comparatively speaking. lol!

There was quite the event that took place with Jon and I. If you want to hear about it please email me. I'm NOT posting it on here.