I've been busy lately folding newspaper.
This is the time of year when we need to get our tomato seeds planted and out in the cold frames. Instead of purchasing the supplies from a garden center we (ehhem.... *I*) fold our pots from older newspapers.
I have some photos that I could add and i had planned on typing out the directions but I think that I will take the easy way out and post a couple of video links instead. The video links are below.
First a few notes:
* I do not use the colored pages, although if there is an ad that takes up 1/4 or less of a page I might still use it.
* If you HATE ORIGAMI (like I do) these pots are super easy because they are totally forgiving. Some in the videos will tell you to crease the edges tight and to make sure everything is aligned. Honestly, if you get it in the ballpark it will be just fine. The dirt helps these boxes retain their shape. They are VERY FORGIVING!!
* Some people who really get picky about organics will not do this due to the chemicals and inks used in the newspapers. Honestly, the inks used by our local newspapers are soy based. We are sure to use quality soil and manure. I guess I just trust that the little seedlings will use these nutrients and that any chemicals in the paper will not poison my plants. Since they spend most of their purpose in the GROUND where we do not use chemicals, I trust that we are still better off than the jars of sauce you would purchase in the store where tomato is the 3rd ingredient in the list. :) Perhaps I am wrong, but honestly starting my seeds in newspapers just does not bother me.
* The shape and size of your finished seedling box is determined upon the size of the paper you start with. I think every year we have folded pots our end product has been a different size and shape. One year we had to tape them because there were no flaps a the top. It was just a weird shaped paper. Lately our local paper has chosen to go more narrow and now the top flaps are actually longer than the box itself. I might have to trim the flaps this year....we shall see.
* We have used these pots to start seedlings inside under lights and also outside in a cold box.
* The bottoms do give out with time and watering but if you are willing to have a bit of a mess and get your hands dirty (umm....you ARE transplanting flowers from dirt into the ground) then it's really not a big deal. Last year, we scooped up a box and plopped it and many of it's friends onto a piece of plywood that we carried up the hill to the garden accepting tomatoes. It worked swell. :) The year before we had them inside and we just carried the entire plastic seedling starter tray full of our paper boxes outside.
Here are those links and if you would like some pictures of my own stash let me know in the comments below.
I do not own these videos. I do not know the people in these videos but I have watched them and they use methods of folding that are similar to mine.
Link 1 - This is the video that I learned from several years ago.
Link 3 - Is a precision queen. She adds some extra folds to make her pots come out perfectly placed. If you want precision check this link out.
Anyone else out folding your own seedling pots?
Friday, April 20, 2012
Here is this week's Friday's Fave Five
hosted by Living to Tell the Story.
Here are 5 things about this week:
1) The Frog & Toad Game I wrote about in this post WAS SO FUN!!
I want to encourage EVERYONE with an elementary school kiddo to check Frog & Toad Are Friends out from the library and then print off this fun board game to play afterwards. :)
2) I last mentioned that I would be seeing my midwife on April 11, 2012 to figure out why my hormones are so out of whack. My thyroid tests came back fine, my hemoglobin and iron are fine, my vitamin D is low (MWHAHAAAHAAA, I live in Wisconsin, DUH!!) and my diagnosis is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). I hope to write my experience up some day soon.
My current treatment is a low dose of estrogen/progesterone. The intent is to streamline my hormones for 6 weeks and then hopefully I will be better. The first 6 days WERE BLISSFUL. Now I am entering the part of my cycle where things typically become unbearable and I CAN CERTAINLY tell I am there but it seems the hardest edges have been knocked off. If you knew the intensity of what I am battling you would know that this knocked off edge is not very much! But I have hope and I am not done researching, yet!
If you would like to read another blogger talk about her experience with hormonal imbalance, I just discovered The Daily Weaving. Click here to go to part one of seven posts on her experience. Be warned, if you are looking for answers to help yourself, or if you have a loved one struggling, you will not find many. HOWEVER, it is sometimes nice to read thoughts from your own head on a blog belonging to someone you don't know because they TOO are dealing with the same things!
3) We have lambs all over the place here!
:) We raise Icelandic sheep and when they give birth they go off to a quiet place (far wooded corner of our acreage!) and deliver. A couple of days later the moms will bring the babes close enough for us to SEE them.
Around the week to a week and a half stage the moms start to wander back into the yard (yep, I really mean our FRONT yard) where we can watch them play. We only have about 4 families that brave so far. I CAN'T WAIT when they are all formed back into their flock again and all 15+ lambs are in the front yard playing! :)
4) Another quirky Icelandic fact we are observing lately is that Icelandic Sheep SHED! :) This was bred into the sheep to make the breed easier to manage. (What's not easier than a sheep that does not need to be shorn?) It does leave for some very INTERESTING looking sheep though!
NO! We did not take our Ram to the groomer's to receive a LION CUT!
5) Last Sunday, April 15, 2012 we said goodbye to the Mennonite Church that our family and another started up back in November of 2006.
It was a bit melancholy but very good. My husband is a start up sort of guy and this group had reached the point where he could keep the small group coasting but was out of his skill and gift set to grow it through it's next season. They have a great group, lots of dedication and a great foundation. They are currently looking for a pastor (PRAYERS WOULD BE APPRECIATED) who is geared up to meet them where they are and nurture them into their next season. We are to step out for 2 years while the congregation finds a pastor and melds with that person. This would be so much easier if there were other Mennonite churches near us. The next closest church is an 80 mile drive into the neighboring state and then there are two in our state that are a bit farther away than that. We have a plan and I am praying hard for God to help me see HIS GOOD instead of only seeing the *NON-MENNONITE'ness* of those local churches we hope to visit. I would love to fall in love with a church where our children can be nurtured and where I can actually attend ADULT Sunday School while we wait for these 2 years to pass but we will pray, explore, watch, wait and act as God leads us.
Well, those are just a few of the items on my plate this past week (*snort*)!
On Sunday our 4H group is headed to a cave to spelunking! We are SO EXCITED!! Well, maybe less excited that I will have all 3 kids, in a dark cave without my husband or a grandparent.....but.... with a tour guide I would expect it to not be so bad. (PRAYING)
What are your Fave 5 for this week?
Click here if you'd like to visit the other fine bloggers participating this week.
Monday, April 9, 2012
Today is planning/prepping day for tomorrow's homeschool co-op botany class. I teach two classes tomorrow and we will be learning about mold.
Tuesday, we begin our day with an errand, then off to the University for gym class, then lunch, then homeschool co-op classes, then a few more errands and home to collapse.
Wednesday, I drop the kiddies off at My Lois' house, run an errand or two and then start my 75 mile drive to the midwife's office where I prayerfully will be diagnosed with something (like Peri-menopause or Thyroid issues) and will come home with some super amazing solutions to settle my mood swings back down from astronomically, indescribable into the normal-mild region. Praying so hard for stability.
Thursday, is recovery day and back to HOMEschool day and the weekend finds me collecting stuff to giveaway to those in need in our county. Collection day is next Monday, the day after our last Sunday as pastor and wife at our current church which means a goodbye party. :(
So, back to today.....
I stepped away from planning my Botany Class about mold to quickly find some Frog & Toad Are Friends activities for later this week. I found an amazing game that I JUST NEED TO SHARE WITH YOU ALL!!
For the sake of brevity and my lack of time to spend here when I need to prepare tomorrow's class (it's planned but that was the easy part) I will simply leave you a link to what looks like a very fun game. :)
"A Frog and Toad are Friends" Game and Comprehension questions at First Grade a la carte. If you click on this post you will see other links to character quality comparisons, crafts and other literary inclusive activities. This teacher is great! :)
Happy Week Wishes to you.
Oh, we had another lamb today too, just in time for the temps to dip below freezing (27) tonight.
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Here is this week's Friday's Fave Five
hosted by Living to Tell the Story.
5 THINGS IN MY LIFE THIS WEEK
1) Earlier in the week, Otto woke up, grabbed many of his schoolbooks and began working BEFORE I WAS EVEN OUT OF BED. This sparked a change where he will now have a list of independent work each day. I have been dreaming of this day but had no idea that it would lead to such a stressful and busy week for me. I thought that HIM WORKING ALONE would be LESS WORK. Ha ha ha.
2) New routines: I now need to plan school (at least his independent work) the night before instead of while we are doing school. I also need to have it written out in such a way that Otto can read it and know what to do. Then I need to pull his stuff out of drawers and placed in a pile on the table (until we get another plan worked out). After he works on his stuff I now need to "grade" it or look at it to make sure he understands what is going on. I used to do this while we worked together. I also need to quiz him on his independent reading to make sure he understands what he is reading. It's easier when I HEAR the words coming out of his mouth. And I am NOW using my extra teaching time to teach my younger two which means preschool planning and prep work. OY!
3) Teaching the younger two. Abram is 5 and in Pre-K. We are working on learning to write numbers and letters and working on reading. Captain Distractable is so CHALLENGING TO TEACH. After telling him to sit about 5 times I found him with one foot on the chair, one foot in the air up above his back and his hands on the kitchen table all the while sounding out his letters. OY!! This boy! Gracie (3.5) wants to do what Abram is doing but she is not yet able to write. She can scribble and will try a letter here and there but is just not able to hold that pencil, crayon or marker and make it do what it needs to do. SO.... this week I have had her do some busy, manipulatives activity beside Abram while I did a "lesson" with Abram. So on Friday, when my act was the "most together" Abram was doing Domino math and Gracie was stacking dominoes. We shall see what this coming week holds.
4) Table time with Otto doing independent work (when he doesn't get up early to do it) and with the youngers doing their work is fun, adrenaline producing and stressful. WE ALL (by that I mean THEY ALL) need to work at waiting until mommy is done teaching, or at least talking through the current sentence, before yelling "MOM!!!!!!" repetitively in a head splitting crescendo. It will come, this is new to all of us. Learning to take turns and to not interrupt is going to take time but is SO VALUABLE. :)
5) With all the change and stress of new routines (praise Jesus my hormones have been hovering at near normal this week) we have had some cuteness added to the farm. The first two of many lambs have arrived. Two Ewe lambs. The counting fun is just about to get CRAZY. With this birth we now have 2 male sheep, a mamma with 2 lambs and 10 more pregnant with either 1, 2 or 3 babies. Most of them look like they have 6....but that might just be my hormones freaking me out again! Counting up to 13 USED to be challenging. We now have 15 and when those other babes start entering the world we just might need an erasable photo sheet of them all to mark off as we eyeball them to make sure they are accounted for. Counting sheep is NOT sleep producing. :)