Tuesday, March 29, 2011

SFCV Spring Fundraiser

Mother's Day fundraiser

It's time to start thinking about what to give our moms this Mother's Day as a token of our love.  What do we get for the mom who gave her all to us?  How about making a donation in her honor to SFCV!  What better way to honor the one you love than to help children without a mother's love and care.  

These two were once without a mom to care for them and love them.  They were without a mom to kiss their owies and to wrap her arms around them and hug them and tell them it would be ok.  



During that time, each child has ayis (nannies) to take care of them.   We don't have any pictures of Shaoey with an ayi, but we are very blessed with this special photo:
It is of Grace and Song Ayi.  Song Ayi  was one of Grace's main ayis.  Grace had to move from one SFCV house to another before we could travel.  Song Ayi  was able to move over with her.  She took care of Grace from her early days at SFCV

While waiting for a family, the ayis do the best they can to care for them and love them.  We are very blessed that Grace was at SFCV where they strive to give each child a semblance of a family life.  The ratio of children to ayis is kept to about 4 or 5 per ayi versus 10, 15, or more children to one ayi in a traditional orphanage.  This of course does mean more staff, which means more funds are needed to operate, but what a gift to the children.  SFCV is funded through donations and sponsorships.  Which leads me to..............

I am excited to debut our newest fundraiser!

 We have 2 AWESOME silver pendants to offer.  Shaoey (left) is wearing the Faith, Hope, and Love (in Chinese) pendant; while Grace (right) is wearing the God is Love pendant (also in Chinese).   

Faith, Hope, and Love

God is Love

For a donation of $35, we will send you the pendant of your choosing on a silver chain.   There will also be a small certificate letting the recipient know that a donation to SFCV has been made in their honor.  Another family has been working on some very unique envelopes for me to ship them in.  I know you're going to enjoy them!  (Chain one is more rope style, adjustable length from 16"-18".  Chain two is a slender box style, 16" length)

If you feel led to do more, please consider sponsoring a child.  For $35 a month, you can sponsor a child.  You will have the privilege of helping support your sponsor child and being able to pray for him/her.  You will get quarterly updates and photos.  You can even send small care packages for holidays and birthdays.  You get the chance to be a blessing in their lives.  

You can email me at troyandcharlene93@yahoo.com to make a donation or with any questions about SFCV.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring has sprung!

Spring is here, the pecan trees are blooming and you can't fool a pecan tree.  It won't start getting it's leaves until frost is over and as you can see...

leaves!  And we're moving rapidly into warm summer weather.  Sadly spring weather only lasts a few weeks here.  I thought you might enjoy a glimpse of our spring here.

My rock princesses:

 My sister Charlotte:
(I don't know if I've posted much about her here.  Maybe she'll be my next Sunday Snapshot...) 

Fishing spiders in the pool (also called dock or wharf spiders--learned that from our nature study this morning!)

Ok, the kids made me take this one...the poor creature flew into our pool fence and didn't make it all the way through.  It is a pretty cool picture of it's eyes!

Jacob's garden has started to grow!  

He has a handful of cucumber plants coming up:

This next set was too difficult to choose from.  We were outside doing together schoolwork this morning.  We were doing our composer study, listening to Shostakovich's 6th Symphony and the girls decided to get into princess dresses and do some interpretive dance:  

(I just counted legs, did you?)

Costume change...

The boys took the four wheeler to the barn and decided to do some creating.

 Ta da!  They built a wall around their tree fort.  This is in preparation for a horde of testosterone filled boys coming over in the next week for airsoft wars.

Our chickens are doing well.  They've started laying eggs later in the day now.  So this is how I found them today at 3 pm.

 Azaleas are in bloom and if you look closely you can see a huge carpenter bee.  Tons of them around right now.  Our flowering bushes are humming with them.

This....this is my view from my rocking chair on the front porch--heavenly!

I haven't just been chilling.  We are on our last six weeks of school, actually last 4 weeks.  We'll be taking off the month of May.  I've chosen all our schoolwork for the next year and have already gotten most of it delivered.  I love selecting curriculum.  Especially since I have really come to terms with how I want my children to learn and what feast I want to put before them.  More on that in the coming weeks!

Happy spring!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Square Foot Garden

If at first you don't succeed, try and try again (and again and again...).

I am a determined woman.  So despite several (many?) failed attempts at gardening in my past, I am determined to eventually get it right!  I am determined to eat something that we have grown.   And most importantly (LOL) I'm determined to prove my husband wrong!

I recently came across Square Foot Gardening and it looks so doable!

Jacob, the girls, and I decided to start our gardens this weekend.  Jacob and I built the boxes.  They're 4' x 4' x 8".  They say you can use 6" deep boards, but I liked the weight of the heavier looking ones in our big yard.  

(Look at our two beautiful flowers blooming!)

Once the boxes were made, we placed them just outside our sunroom.  We spread newspaper down to help with weed control and then we filled it with the special mix that the author of SFG recommends--one third compost, one third peat moss, and one third vermiculite.  You mix it all on a tarp, moistening it as you go, and then fill your box.

 I misjudged the amount needed for slats and only had enough for Jacob's, I'll finish mine this week.   The reason for the slats is that it helps you to visualize the garden in terms of square feet instead of long, space-wasting rows.  You are maximizing space and it allows you to do crop rotation easily.  When one crop is done, you just pull up the plant from that square, no tilling, add a bit of compost, and plant the next crop.   Here you can plant a different item in each square.  The size of the plant determines how many of each you can plant in it.  For example, one square can be one bell pepper plant or 4 heads of romaine lettuce, or 16 carrots.  Jacob chose peppers, lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, and marigolds.  The marigolds are for color and to aid in pest control.  They give other ideas of plants that help keep garden pests at bay.  You can also think in terms of growing using trellises, etc. I'll be planting beans and tomatoes so I'll be needing some upward real estate.

You'll notice that these are RIGHT outside our sunroom.  This is quite intentional.  Think about a traditional row garden.  You plant it out on the back 40 because it's so big and not overly attractive.  Watering it is a pain, you need to put weeding on your schedule to make sure you REMEMBER to do it.  With these cute little garden boxes being close, you can't help but remember because they are right there near your house.  Weeding is easy because you're not using your soil which is already full of weeds.  Here weeds can be quickly plucked at the first sign.  Watering is done quickly and easily with out dragging out the hose.  You use a bucket and a cup and water directly at the base of the plant that NEEDS it.  No mass watering from above with a hose.  This will help prevent leaf rot and get the water where it really needs to go--the roots, not the leaves.

I can't wait to see how this works.  We should start seeing something in a week or two and be able to start harvesting the first crops within about 5-6 weeks!  Can't wait to keep you updated on our growth.

Sunday Snapshot--Jacob

Ni Hao Yall

My Jacob...

This week I decided to spotlight Jacob since we spent the day together planting our new garden. He wanted one just for himself that he could be in charge of and plant what he wanted to eat. (He ended up planting bell peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, and carrots. He also planted some marigolds for pest control and color.)

Jacob is my funny, kind-hearted, helpful, peacemaking, sensitive, handsome young man-child...(I'm not ready to admit he's growing up and just say young man!).  He is GREAT with the girls and will play with them and entertain them with his antics.  He's also our outside child.  He LOVES to be outside.  It doesn't matter if it's riding bikes, four wheeling, running through the woods, or even doing schoolwork-- outside is where he wants to be!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sunday Snapshot--Shaoey

(Yes, I realize it's now Monday morning...I just forgot to hit publish last night.)

Ni Hao Y'all

This will be my first time joining Stephanie at Ni Hao Y'all in Sunday Snapshot.  I've chosen to spotlight Shaoey this weekend.  She is such a sweet little girl, with a huge heart for others.  She amazes me with her ability to think about what others need or want.  She is such a blessing to us and to others.