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Welcome!  I know I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog here lately.  I’ve started teaching violin lessons again, and I’m relearning how to budget my time!  I hope you have a great week planned!  Thank you for starting it out with us!


 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsjbrldhcx.jpg

WELCOME to the June 2018 You’re the Star” Blog Hop!
Before we continue onto the Linky party I wanted to share from my blog:

Do you remember when you were young?  There was a big list of things your parents said to you.  They got under your skin so much that you promised yourself you’d never say them to your own children!  But, eventually, when you got older and you had children of your own, you found you may or may not have been able to follow through with those promises.

When you were trying to understand some great mystery of life, you heard, “You’ll understand when you’re older.”

When you were playing the funnest game you had ever devised, it was always, “Don’t jump on the bed!”  Or, “Clean up that mess!”

Then, you were presented with an awful-looking mish-mash of turnips, parsnips, and brussell sprouts, and you heard the dreaded words, “You have to try it.”

Then, there was always the infamous, “Because I said so!”  Which, of course, was good for any occasion!

This is just a partial list of things that I promised my future children I would never say.  I can say with all honesty today, that every single one of those phrases has escaped from my mommy lips.  But, far more disturbing is a different list of phrases that I started collecting through my parenting experiences on a farm.  I say a lot of things in response to situations I never thought would come up…I can’t make this stuff up!  Some are funny, some are sad.  Some will leave you scratching your head.  How on earth did that situation arise???  Well, I’m not sure!  But, here it is…my list of things I never thought to say I’d never say.

Read More…

 

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WELCOME to GARDEN feature week of the June 2018 You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your GARDEN week Hosts 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarGarden_zpsb5jj8whe.jpg

This week is GARDEN feature week
Swing by the GARDEN Hosts blogs:

Angie @ God’s Growing Garden

Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!

There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#1 GARDEN – gardening, homesteading, recycling, outdoor activities &/or preserving (this can include any type of green living,  repurposed ideas, outdoor concerns, posts relating to farm animals etc all while remaining family friendly)



by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg


(All features were chosen from the May 2018 “You’re the Star” blog hop)

Growing Your Own Tickle Me Plants by Our Unschooling Journey

*******************************************************

 photo STARhosting_zpsqbwlkopx.jpg

*******************************************************
All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn’t be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post – rest assured – we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES – other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )

 

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Welcome to the first May edition of the You’re the Star Blog Hop!  The end of our school year is almost here, and I’m busy with preparations for Bear’s finals this year.  Our weather down here is also starting to heat up.  Our garden is starting to grow well, we have our first squash flower…so we’re hoping to have a fresh summer squash by the end of the week!  We could sure use some rain, though! 


 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsjbrldhcx.jpg

WELCOME to the May 2018 You’re the Star” Blog Hop!
Before we continue onto the Linky party I wanted to share from my blog:



It’s summer here in central Texas…and it’s HOT!  But, with four mobile kids, being stuck inside all day, despite the heat, just isn’t an option.  So, today, I thought I’d write about some of my kids’ favorite outdoor summer activities.  Some are childhood classics, some are definitely ‘farm kid’ pastimes, and others will just downright make you cringe!  Keep reading, if you dare! 

1. Playing in the Pool

What kid can resist playing in the pool?  We make occasional trips to the “big pool”…you know, the kind where the water is higher than your ankles.  But here at home, we don’t have anything fancy like that.  We buy a wading pool at the beginning of each summer.  We still haven’t found a way to keep them usable from summer to summer, so we have to get a new one every year.

I spend many an afternoon watching the kids splashing around.  Their splashes keep me just cool enough to stand being outside!  They play all sorts of imaginary games.  Dolphins, whales, “fast fish” (whatever those are), crocodiles, sea turtles, and even the occasional mermaid…my front yard is full of aquatic wildlife when the pool is out.  My husband and I are constantly amazed by the amount of communication skills that go into a single game of make-believe!

Plus, we (and by we, I mean my husband) can give the garden a good watering when it’s time to empty the pool.  Nearly everything – even playtime – has to pull double duty around here!

2. Rope Swing

Sometimes, though, playtime is actually an object’s second duty.  Several months ago, my husband slaughtered a pair of hogs.  I know many who read this may find that horrifying, but that’s just how life out here works.  Meat doesn’t come from your grocer’s freezer…not originally, anyway.  But, I digress…

My husband put a rope up in one of the trees to aid in processing the hogs after they were slaughtered.  The next day, our kids came out and found the rope still hanging from the tree branch.  They didn’t see a hog rope, they saw a fun time!  My kids are weird, remember?  They stand on the side of my old truck, hold onto the rope and jump off, swinging across the yard.

Occasionally, only under proper supervision (they know they’re not allowed unless one of their parents is right next to them), they get to “foot swing”.  They put a foot into the loop in the rope and (usually) their Daddy swings them up, high and fast.  Their ol’ Momma has even tried it a time or two.  It feels like flying…at least until you can’t hold on any longer!

3. Giant Building Logs

The. Best. Christmas. Gift. Ever!

These logs were a collaboration between my dad and my husband.  My husband came up with the idea, and my dad brought them to life.  These are landscaping timbers cut into varying lengths.  Then, Dad drilled holes at even increments along the flat sides of the timbers.  Pipes can then be inserted by the builder through all the layers to make sturdy structures…much like Lincoln logs, but on a much bigger scale.

These logs have built castles, houses, boats, backyard fences, corrals…you name it!  If Bear is missing, you can almost bet that she’ll be outside building something.  The rest of the kids really get into it as well, giving her ideas of new structures to build.

4. Bubbles

What list of outdoor activities would be complete without bubbles?  I usually make our own bubbles at home with a little Dawn, water and sugar…otherwise, we’d go broke buying bubbles all the time!  The kids really enjoy blowing bubbles.  They especially like to chase each other’s bubbles across the yard in hopes of popping them before they fall in the grass or float over the pond.  Occasionally, a bubble will float past a dog who will try to catch it.  Sadly, the dogs never have anything to show in victory, other than a bad taste in their mouth!

5. Catch

I know what you’re thinking when you read that title.  But, you’re probably wrong.  Our Border Collie, Patch likes playing with the kids.  She also likes playing catch.  A lot.  She’s usually the dog that ends up catching bubbles.  But, Patch will try to catch pretty much anything thrown in the air…tennis balls, sticks, dirt, fertilizer (much to my husband’s consternation), and of course, balls of mud.

One of the kids’ favorite variations on this game is throwing small twigs or pebbles into the pond.  Patch will then take a flying leap into the water (what’s not funny about that?) to try to retrieve whatever was thrown in.  If was a stick, she’s usually successful.  However, if it was a pebble. she’ll swim around desperately trying to find it.  Of course, the children think this is quite hilarious.  I wind up with four sets of muddy feet and a dog covered in pond scum.  What joy is mine!

6. Pond Hunts

Our pond starts to dry up in the late spring.  If we’re lucky, we get enough rain during the early summer that our pond doesn’t completely dry out (our first year living here was 2011, and by the end of the summer the pond was bone dry, not even a muddy spot left!).  But, either way, it gets much smaller.  Our children often form a little roaming band and tramp around the pond bed finding interesting critters, or playing some imaginary game.  The game often degenerates into playing mud-ball catch with Patch.

Bear will often bring her nature journal and nature identification guide with her.  She takes great pleasure in finding, drawing, and identifying little creatures and plants that have made their home in the dried-up pond goo!  I’m glad they have fun, and I suppose it’s even a little educational.  But, again, it tends to end in mud-covered shoes, clothes, and dogs!

7. Mud Fight!

Ah, I’ve saved the best for last!  I know this one is likely to make many of you shudder.  But, this is, hands-down, my kids’ favorite game!  They run outside as soon as it stops raining (usually before if there’s no lightening) so they can get to the puddles before they dry up.  As you can tell from the pictures, they get gross!  But, it’s nothing a water hose can’t fix.  I suppose all that fun is ultimately worth the mess!  If you would like some tips on how to deal with kids and mud without losing your sanity, check out this post.

 


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WELCOME to GARDEN feature week of the May 2018 You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your GARDEN week Hosts 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarGarden_zpsb5jj8whe.jpg

This week is GARDEN feature week
Swing by the GARDEN Hosts blogs:

Angie @ God’s Growing Garden

Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!

There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#1 GARDEN – gardening, homesteading, recycling, outdoor activities &/or preserving (this can include any type of green living,  repurposed ideas, outdoor concerns, posts relating to farm animals etc all while remaining family friendly)



by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg


(All features were chosen from the April 2018 “You’re the Star” blog hop)

French Country Lavender Pots by Follow the Yellow Brick Home
Beautiful French Country Lavender Pots DIY 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YourAstarFEATURED_zpspebobflc.jpg

*******************************************************

 photo STARhosting_zpsqbwlkopx.jpg

*******************************************************
All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn’t be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post – rest assured – we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES – other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )

 

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Welcome to the first edition of the May You’re the Star Blog Hop.  I hope you’ll hang around, read some great posts, and make a few friends!  We’re finishing up our last few weeks of school around here.  I’m busy writing Bear’s finals.  The weather is heating up, and we’ll be taking a break to enjoy it for a few weeks before getting back to school in July.  By then, it will be too hot to enjoy anything outside!  But for now, it’s green grass, growing gardens, and some late springtime (and early summertime) fun.


 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsjbrldhcx.jpg

WELCOME to the May 2018 You’re the Star” Blog Hop!
Before we continue onto the Linky party I wanted to share from my blog:


It’s summer time in Texas.  It’s still early, and God hasn’t turned off the rain faucet or turned the oven to “broil” yet.  The neighborhood children are out of school.  It’s not so hot yet that they cannot play outside all day.  The grass is growing, the corn is tall.  The tomatoes are flowering, and there are little green tomatoes starting to ripen in the sun.  It’s the time of year when everything has sprung to life…

…and all that life has determined to kill something else.

Along with the grass come the grasshoppers, and if it’s green, you can bet they’ll be chomping holes in it.  They eat the silk off the ears of corn.  Weird caterpillars show up inside the ears of the sweet corn.  If we don’t harvest the corn soon, the whole crop will be gone.  There are strange looking bugs crawling all over the squash plants, eating holes in the leaves.  Stink bugs poke holes in everything.  They’ll leave bad spots in all those tomatoes that are still green on the vines.  The squirrel who lives in the tree next to the driveway will soon be up to his usual tricks.  He likes to come into the tomato patch and take one bite out of each tomato he finds.  He throws the rest on the ground to move on to the next.  The birds peck holes in the peaches.  Then there’s the chiggers…I’m pretty sure they’re trying to eat us.  They may actually succeed in eating a couple of the smaller children!  It’s summer, and it’s time for war.

If we move up the food chain a little, we’ll come to the lizards.  Fortunately, they crawl along the sides of the house every night, eating the moths that lay all those eggs that turn into the caterpillars that destroy all the plants all summer long.  Clearly, they ought to move from the house to the gardens.

Then come the snakes.  Oh, the snakes!  It rained last weekend, so they’re on the move.  It’s humid and warm…perfect snake weather.  The rat snakes are in the chicken coops, eating eggs instead of the rats that are eating the chickens’ food.  They’re long and look fairly intimidating.  These snakes are kind of cranky and do like to bite if their caught stealing eggs.  They’re not venomous…but the copperheads are.  Copperheads usually short and fat, but the ones we’ve run into this year they’ve been huge, and more the size of a really fat rat snake!  I’m convinced that there are snakes lurking in every patch of grass that’s any taller than the tops of my shoes.  There are water moccasins waiting to jump out should I decide to step off my front porch (some genius put a pond in the front yard!).  There’s a pit of vipers in that hole the dogs made under the porch…and please don’t trouble me with your version of reality that says, “If the dogs lay in that hole every day, there can’t be snakes in it.”

Sometimes, if you shoot a snake, babies will explode out of it.  Did you know that?  They don’t all lay eggs, some of them have live born babies.  If it meets my husband’s shotgun out by the barn in the dark, however, it’s all over for that snake…exploding babies and all!  That’s just how it goes during summertime warfare.

I sure wish we had a Rikki Tikki Tavi.  We do have 2 guineas.  Well, they’re not actually ours…they belong to our neighbors.  But they spend a lot of their time at our house!  Andrew keeps saying he’s going to try to talk our neighbors into getting some more guineas so they’ll eat more snakes, but I don’t think he’s done it yet.  I’ve been trying to talk Andrew into guineas for a couple of years now, but I suppose my arguments for guineas are just as effective as my arguments against chickens!  At least the neighbors got some that like to hang out here!  They just aren’t hungry enough, I guess.

That’s just how life is during the early summer here in Texas.  I never really thought about how strange this all would seem to someone who wasn’t “from around these parts”.  That's just how life is during the early summer here in Texas. A Guide to Surviving Texas http://familyfarmschool.com/surviving-the-early-summer-in-texas-a-foreigners-guide Click To Tweet

Several years ago, I worked with a girl who was a student from Germany.  One weekend, she had planned a trip with a friend to a rural property, where they would have a nice, relaxing weekend, and maybe float down the river a time or two.  The following Monday, back at work, I made the mistake of asking her how her weekend was, since I knew how much she’d been looking forward to it.  What followed was a rant of epic proportions!

“Texas is the craziest place I’ve ever seen!  All the wildlife here, if it’s not trying to kill you, it’s just trying to sting you and make your life horribly uncomfortable!”

She may or may not have used more colorful language than I just did.

“There’s snakes everywhere.  In the grass, in the water…everywhere!  There’s mosquitoes, and they’re not normal.  Some of them are like an inch long!  Don’t get me started on fire ants,” she was getting agitated now, and she pulled up the legs of her jeans to reveal hundreds of fire ant stings all over her legs.  “I found out about fire ants this weekend, I didn’t know about them before!  What horrible little creatures!  You have bees and wasps, too…”

“…and scorpions” I couldn’t help myself, I had to interrupt.  I was a little amused.  “We have scorpions too.  Always check your shoes before you put them on every morning.”  She looked at me like I’d grown a third head.

“See!  Everything here is trying to kill me.  And you’re all so proud of it!  Why do people live here?  It’s awful!  You have hurricanes and tornadoes…even the weather tries to kill you.”

“Well,” I was laughing now, “I’d never really thought about all that before, but you’re kinda right.  Texas is a pretty harsh place to live.  But, it is home.  I guess we are pretty proud of it, Texans are rather infamous for that.  It’s just home, and it’s just how home is.  I suppose if you make it through childhood here, you have something to be proud of!”


There’s lots of life out here right now, and the circle of life dictates that all of us have to eat.  So, if you come visit, catch a few grasshoppers, caterpillars, and weird bugs to help us save our plants.  Put them on the end of a fishing hook and catch us some dinner with them.

We’ll roast a few marshmallows over a fire in the front yard.  After all, the smoke helps to keep mosquitoes at bay.  Take a flashlight and a shovel if you go off by yourself (you can’t take the shotgun until you prove you know how to use it) so you won’t step on a snake in the dark.  Use the shovel to smash its head before it can bite you…or take more eggs from the chicken coop.

Be sure to keep your flashlight with you when you go to bed.  If you need to use the restroom during the night, you’ll need it to check for scorpions on your way…yes, even if you’re inside the house.  

It’s early summer in Texas, a time full of life in our home.  It’s a time of harvest…all the fresh produce we and the insects can eat.  In another month, the oven will be on, the rain gauge will be empty, and all that life will wither and blow away.  The dog days of summer will be oppressive.  So, we’ll say a little prayer of thanks for this time of the year.  Then, we’ll remind you to check your shoes before you put them on.  Scorpions.

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WELCOME to GARDEN feature week of the May 2018 You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your GARDEN week Hosts 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarGarden_zpsb5jj8whe.jpg

This week is GARDEN feature week
Swing by the GARDEN Hosts blogs:

Angie @ God’s Growing Garden

Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!

There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#1 GARDEN – gardening, homesteading, recycling, outdoor activities &/or preserving (this can include any type of green living,  repurposed ideas, outdoor concerns, posts relating to farm animals etc all while remaining family friendly)



by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg


(All features were chosen from the April 2018 “You’re the Star” blog hop)

French Country Lavender Pots by Follow the Yellow Brick Home
Beautiful French Country Lavender Pots DIY 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YourAstarFEATURED_zpspebobflc.jpg

*******************************************************

 photo STARhosting_zpsqbwlkopx.jpg

*******************************************************
All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn’t be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post – rest assured – we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES – other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )

 

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Happy Monday!  I hope everyone out there is doing well, and avoiding this “lovely” little flu epidemic.  It has been running rampant around here.  So far, so good, here on the farm (knock on wood!), but I feel like I should be bathing everyone in sanitizer every time we leave the house!  So, pull up a chair, and have a nice read…away from all those flu bugs!


by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsjbrldhcx.jpg

WELCOME to the February 2018 You’re the Star” Blog Hop!

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WELCOME to GARDEN feature week of the February 2018 You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your GARDEN week Hosts 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarGarden_zpsb5jj8whe.jpg

This week is GARDEN feature week
Swing by the GARDEN Hosts blogs:

Angie @ God’s Growing Garden

Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!

There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#1 GARDEN – gardening, homesteading, recycling, outdoor activities &/or preserving (this can include any type of green living,  repurposed ideas, outdoor concerns, posts relating to farm animals etc all while remaining family friendly)



by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg


(All features were chosen from the January 2018 “You’re the Star” blog hop)

Bay-Friendly Garden by Adventures in Weseland

Garden Goals for 2018 by Gwin Gal’s Inside & Out Adventures



  There’s No Place Like Home Sign by MY DIY OL

Kids Cooking Crispy Kale Chips by From Play Dates to Parties


If you’ve been featured then please grab a STAR button below:

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YourAstarFEATURED_zpspebobflc.jpg

*******************************************************

We are in need of more Cohosts (click

HERE

to view a list of our current hosts/cohosts).

If you are interested in joining us as a Cohost then please click

HERE

& fill out the form.

*******************************************************
All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn’t be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post – rest assured – we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES – other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )

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What a busy week!  Sorry I’m a little late posting this morning.  We’ve been out of town visiting family all week, and I haven’t done a thing on the blog!  I’ll be back at it this week, though.  I have plans for some exciting things to share.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Advent begins on Sunday, I hope you’re ready!


 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsncuylahd.jpg

WELCOME to the December You’re the Star” Blog Hop!

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WELCOME to GARDEN feature week of the December You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your GARDEN week Hosts 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarGarden_zpsmtrqgy7g.jpg

This week is GARDEN feature week
Swing by the GARDEN Hosts blogs:

Angie @ God’s Growing Garden

Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!

There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#1 GARDEN – gardening, homesteading, recycling, outdoor activities &/or preserving (this can include any type of green living,  repurposed ideas, outdoor concerns, posts relating to farm animals etc all while remaining family friendly)



by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg


(All features were chosen from the November 2017 “You’re the Star” blog hop)

How To Can Carrots by Summers Acres
How to Pressure Can Carrots
An Orchid Blooms by Comfort Spring

 Rustic Wooden Advent Calendar by Hazel & Gold Designs
Customizable Wooden Advent Calendar- final shot of 25 days of christ on customizable wooden advent calendar
Collecting & Using Pine Cones by Fair Meadow Place

Collecting & Using Pinecones
If you’ve been featured then please grab a STAR button below:

You're a STAR

 

*******************************************************

We are in need of more Cohosts (click

HERE

to view a list of our current hosts/cohosts).

If you are interested in joining us as a Cohost then please click

HERE

& fill out the form.

*******************************************************
All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn’t be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post – rest assured – we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES – other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )



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Happy Thanksgiving!  By the time you read this post, the kids and I will be headed to visit my family a few hours north, up in the Dallas area.  I hope you have a wonderful week to slow down, and spend some time with your family and friends this week!


 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsncuylahd.jpg

WELCOME to the November You’re the Star” Blog Hop!
Before we continue onto the Linky party I wanted to share from my blog:


I took the week off this week to concentrate on spending some time with my family, and re-evaluating our homeschool at mid-year.  So, in honor of the appearance of our first few indoor guests that started showing up this week, I’m dusting off an old post.  Enjoy!


The entomologist interviewed on the local news station assured us that they aren’t ladybugs, but Asian Ladybird Beetles. But they certain look like ladybugs to me. I also seem to remember that someone’s library books about ladybugs said that “ladybird beetle” is one of many alternative names for ladybugs. But that professor on the news really seemed sure of himself. Maybe he just meant that they aren’t the local, native variety of ladybugs. He said they were imported years ago to take care of some sort of crop pest…hmm, aphids, anyone? Anyway, I saw it on the news so it must be true, right?

Whatever the entomologists want to call them, we sure do have a lot of them! They seem to have chosen our house as their hibernation location of choice. Since it got a spot on the news, I assume we must not be all that special.

They’ve shown up every year in mid to late November, depending on when we get our first real cold snap. That’s when ladybug season starts in our house. The children wake up one morning to find hundreds of ladybugs, or perhaps Asian Ladybird Beetles, crawling on the ceilings of their rooms. They start to form clumps in the corners of the rooms, right where the ceiling meets the walls in each of the four corners of the room.

It’s really quite an impressive sight to see. I’ve never seen so many ladybugs in one place! The problem always comes a few days later. You see, Texas winter weather is rather notorious for its roller-coaster type behavior. One day, it will get down to 20F. A couple of days later, we’ll be hitting 80 again. A week later, and we’re back down into the 40s. It’s all very confusing for us humans who have a weather forecast to watch. No one gives the poor ladybugs a weather report. It gets warm, and they think it’s time to wake up. I’m sure many of them get back outside, but many of them don’t. This results in a ladybug graveyard that covers the floors of my children’s rooms. But then, it gets cold again. The cycle repeats itself all winter long.

I feel bad for the the ladybugs.  It must be confusing for them, living in Texas.  I do wish they would stay out of the house.  But, it does amuse the children.  They spend all winter playing with ladybugs inside.  They come and proudly show me all the ladybugs they managed to get to crawl on them at once.  But, in a few days time, they will be vacuumed up, off the floor…more sad victims of a Texan “winter”.  Hopefully, enough of them will last until spring time, which starts in late February or early March.  Goodness knows we’ll need them around by then.  There will be pests-a-plenty outside on all of our garden vegetables.  A feast ready and waiting for the Asian Ladybird Beetle.


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WELCOME to HOME feature week of the November You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your HOME week Hosts

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHome_zpsvjqg4aib.jpg

This week is HOME feature week
Swing by the Home Hosts’ Blogs:

Bev @ Eclectic Red Barn

Heidi @ Heidi’s Wanderings

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!

There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#4 HOME – recipes, home décor, antique/DIY &/or travel (this can include anything about your home – even history posts – all while remaining family friendly)


by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg

(All features were chosen from the October “You’re the Star” blog hop)

Easy Vintage Cutting Board Signs by Musings of a Vintage Junkie

Autumn Delights My Soul by A Day of Small Things…

Apple Slab Pie by Marilyns Treats
Aple Slab Pie

Fall Porch Ideas by Fair Meadow Place


 

 


If you’ve been featured then please grab a STAR button below:
You're a STAR

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We are in need of more Cohosts (click HERE to view a list of our current hosts/cohosts).  For HOME feature week we  need 2 more Cohosts.
If you are interested in joining us as a Cohost then please click HERE & fill out the form.

*******************************************************

All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn’t be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post – rest assured – we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES – other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )



___________________________________________________________________

Well, we start this week off sick here on the farm.  We sure have a knack for getting sick just before holidays!  We spent a lot of time on our Halloween costumes, but it is looking like we aren’t going to get to wear them.  Bear woke me up last night, and she was in the process of spiking a fever (and let me tell you, she knows how to do fevers!).  Just before bed tonight, I picked Baby up to dress for bed, and she was hot.  My suspicions confirmed a few minutes later, and Andrew has had to make a trip to town for fever reducers…there was enough for one kid to make it all day tomorrow, but not 2 (and I suspect up to 5 by day’s end).  So, pray for us here at the farm, that healing will come quickly!


 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsncuylahd.jpg

WELCOME to the November You’re the Star” Blog Hop!
Before we continue onto the Linky party I wanted to share from my blog:


 

Dear Monkey,

It’s official.  Five years goes by so fast.  You’ve gotten so big this year.  Somehow, you’ve transformed into a little boy.  Not so very long ago, you used to be a baby.  Sometimes, it’s hard for Mommy to let go. 

Five years ago, I was exhausted…Daddy was tired too.  After a 4 hour induction, you were finally with us on the outside.  Your doctor was so happy to come deliver you…he got to leave a meeting.  It turns out, though, that your momma didn’t need him very long.  So, a few minutes later, you were here, and an irritated doctor had to go back to his meeting.  It’s a story that I’m sure you know well…you think it’s funny, and ask to hear about it at least every other day!  But that’s alright…we think it’s a funny story too.

You are a very thoughtful child, and you wear your emotions on your sleeve.  One minute, your little brother is tormenting you, and your world is falling apart.  The next, the two of you are conspiring and giggling in your room together.  I must always be on my guard…sometimes, when you ask me for something, you’re really requesting supplies for your plot.  Whenever the two of you are working together, I must be extra vigilant.  Otherwise I may need a shop vac to clean the bathroom.

Silly faces are your specialty.  Your pirate face is infamous.  To be honest, when Mommy had Bell’s Palsy last year, that face was one of the few things that managed to keep her in good spirits.  Then, there’s “the eyebrows”.  One of these days, when you get bigger, the little girls won’t stand a chance!  But of all the faces you make, I still like you’re happy smile the best.

Your laugh is infectious.  You like to laugh, and you always want to make sure everyone else is laughing, too.  Knock-knock jokes are your favorites…they don’t need to make any sense.  In fact, I think you like the ones that don’t make sense the best.

One of your most recent favorite activities is grasshopper hunting.  You’ve figured out that you can usually talk your daddy into fishing in the pond if you catch a grasshopper.  If Daddy isn’t home, you enjoy throwing them to the chickens then laughing at the game of keep-away that ensues.

You think you can conquer the world right now.  You can run faster, jump higher, and hit harder than any of those stinky old superheroes!  Just in case there was any doubt of your skill, you try to make sure someone is watching you every time you attempt any daring feat…like running up and down the driveway, or riding your bike through the grass.

But, your favorite thing to do is still sitting in my lap.  You’re starting to get kind of heavy, and I don’t let you just sit with me nearly as often as I should.  Sometimes, I need to remind myself that the dishes can wait a few more minutes (after all, they’ve been waiting several hours already).  Because right now, my little boy needs my lap.  You won’t always.

Happy birthday, little Monkey!  I love you more than words can express!

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WELCOME to GARDEN feature week of the November You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your GARDEN week Hosts 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarGarden_zpsmtrqgy7g.jpg

This week is GARDEN feature week
Swing by the GARDEN Hosts blogs:

Angie @ God’s Growing Garden

Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!

There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#1 GARDEN – gardening, homesteading, recycling, outdoor activities &/or preserving (this can include any type of green living,  repurposed ideas, outdoor concerns, posts relating to farm animals etc all while remaining family friendly)



by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg


(All features were chosen from the October 2017 “You’re the Star” blog hop)

6 Steps to Living Self-Sufficient by Our Simple Homestead
6 Steps to Living a Self-Sufficient Lifestyle

5 Things to Do Outside in November by The Usual Mayhem
5 things to do outside in November



  Freezing Chopped Veggies by Making a House a Home

Rifle Falls State Park by Mille Fiori Favoriti

If you’ve been featured then please grab a STAR button below:

You're a STAR

*******************************************************
We are in need of more Cohosts (click

HERE

to view a list of our current hosts/cohosts).

If you are interested in joining us as a Cohost then please click

HERE

& fill out the form.

*******************************************************
All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn’t be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post – rest assured – we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES – other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )

___________________________________________________________________

Today is Rhino’s birthday.  My littlest guy is 3 years old.  Oh, my…how time flies!  Be prepared for a few birthday pictures next week!  I hope this week finds you well.


 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsncuylahd.jpg

WELCOME to the October You’re the Star” Blog Hop!
Before we continue onto the Linky party I wanted to share from my blog:


It’s already fall…where does the time go?  Even though it doesn’t quite feel like it yet (it was 94 degrees here yesterday), that means Halloween is right around the corner.  We don’t make a huge deal out of Halloween around here, but we do like to celebrate it a little bit.  It has always kind of felt like a gateway holiday to me…it really kicks off the holiday season.  My kids really enjoy dressing up as their favorite princess or superhero for an evening of fun.

I know many parents these days worry about the safety of taking their kids door to door, requesting little bits of sugary, sticky goodness from complete strangers.  Indeed, the world has changed quite a bit since my freewheeling days as a young child in the 80s.  I was wontonly set free into my grandmother’s neighborhood every year for this grand tradition (where she knew each and every one of her neighbors…and they all sat around and chatted after all the candy was gone).

You can argue with me later about whether or not we should even celebrate Halloween…that’s a different subject for a different post.  I’m going to assume that if you hang in there and keep reading, you’ve already made that decision for your family.

We live in the middle of nowhere.  We do have a few people who live within a reasonable proximity, however, walking all around a rural “neighborhood” after dark in costumes is just not the smartest move ever.  So, we have to be a little more creative in order to engage in this time-honored holiday tradition.

Take a Treat to Someone Else

Find out if there are any nursing homes, hospitals, or children’s homes in your area.  Often, these types of places will plan events for Halloween.  See if you and your family can volunteer.  Giving back to people who are in a difficult spot in life can be a really rewarding experience for your family.  Plus, it takes the focus off the candy, and puts it on to people who currently need a little extra help.  You never know, you might actually make some new friends, too!

The Mall

Many shopping malls host events for kids to come and trick-or-treat around the different participating stores.  Often, there are also costume contests for different age groups, as well.  So, do a little research, and find out if any of the malls in your area host an event.

Neighborhood or City Sponsored Festivals

In the town just down the road from us, the Chamber of Commerce hosts an event every Halloween on the county courthouse square.  Kids of all ages are encouraged to come out and walk around the square and trick-or-treat from the local businesses.  We’ve gone every year since we moved to the area, and the kids have lots of fun with it.  Check with your local Chamber of Commerce.  Maybe one near you does something similar.

Church Festivals

Many churches hold Fall Festivals each year, usually within a week of Halloween.  These festival vary in size and complexity from a basic “trunk-or-treat” set up to a full-fledged fall themed carnival, complete with games, treats, and hayrides.  Our kids have had tons of fun playing games at these types of events in the past.  Though, I do have to mention that these festivals often bring out big crowds.  My kids aren’t really used to being around huge crowds of people.  If yours aren’t either, be aware that they may need a few minutes to sit and take in the scene before they’re ready to play!

Police or Fire Departments

Often, the police department or fire department in your town may have a special activity for kids on or close to Halloween.  They will often have safety demonstrations at these events as well.  They can be both fun and educational activities…and who doesn’t like that?

University Events

The university where my husband works always has a couple of student groups who put on Halloween events for kids in the area.  We went to one with our kids one year, but due to the distance, the past couple of years, we’ve opted for something a little closer.  Much like the church festivals, crowds can be an issue for these activities as well.  If you have a university or college near you, find out if there is anything fun going on for neighborhood kids.

Doctor’s Office or Pharmacy.

A few years ago, Monkey was spinning in circles (trying to make me laugh) in the living room two days before Halloween.  He crashed and managed to hit his eye on the side of the coffee table.  The next day (the day before Halloween), he woke up with a huge red spot in his eye.  So, off to the doctor we went.  It turned out that he was just fine, but it sure looked awful. 

All of the kids had a bit of a cold, too.  Bear had been telling me all day that she didn’t feel good.  But, I was so worried about Monkey’s eye, that I kind of brushed it off.  I kept telling her I knew she didn’t feel well, no one felt well…everyone was coughing.  After we got home, she fell asleep on the couch, coughing on and off all afternoon.  Everyone else was starting to get over it, I figured she would be feeling better by the next day too.  But, by that evening, she was struggling to breathe.  Andrew took her to the emergency room while I stayed with the rest of the children.  After a breathing treatment and a course of antibiotics for severe bronchitis, they came home. 

The following day was Halloween.  All of the kids were so disappointed that there wouldn’t be any fun activities because of the sickness.  So, I told them that they could go ahead and wear their costumes out to the pharmacy.  That helped a little.  So, I took Silvermist, Tinkerbell, and a construction worker to the pharmacy to pick up all of Bear’s medications prescribed by the emergency room doctor.  The folks at the pharmacy felt so bad for the kids that they gave them two whole bags of candy for them to save for after they were well (after all, lots of candy isn’t good for a recovering little one!).  I was so grateful to the ladies at the pharmacy for being so sweet to the kids on what has gone down in history as the worst Halloween ever.

So, if you ever find yourself in a bad situation on Halloween, keep in mind that even mundane places (like a pharmacy) can occasionally be a fun place to go…if you have a great costume, anyway!


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WELCOME to GARDEN feature week of the October You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your GARDEN week Hosts 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarGarden_zpsmtrqgy7g.jpg

This week is GARDEN feature week
Swing by the GARDEN Hosts blogs:

Angie @ God’s Growing Garden

Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!

There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#1 GARDEN – gardening, homesteading, recycling, outdoor activities &/or preserving (this can include any type of green living,  repurposed ideas, outdoor concerns, posts relating to farm animals etc all while remaining family friendly)



by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg


(All features were chosen from the September 2017 “You’re the Star” blog hop)

Adding Farmhouse Beauty With Plants by Comfort Spring

DIY Fairy Lantern Night Light by la LILY ARDOR



  Fairy Lantern
Who’s That Hanging Out in My Garden? by Gwin Gal Adventures
Rosemary, Insects, Mushrooms, Fungi
Homemade Blackberry Pie Filling by Our Simple Homestead
blackberry pie filling recipe

If you’ve been featured then please grab a STAR button below:

You're a STAR

*******************************************************

We are in need of more Cohosts (click

HERE

to view a list of our current hosts/cohosts).

If you are interested in joining us as a Cohost then please click

HERE

& fill out the form.

*******************************************************
All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn’t be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post – rest assured – we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES – other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )



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diy printable canning labels

Ah, fall is almost here!  Our first cool front of the season rolled through last night.  Outside, the birds are singing, the children are playing, and there’s a lovely breeze blowing.  We’re topping off at about 85 degrees today, which to much of the country, I understand, is still considered quite warm.  However, here in Texas, it’s about 20 degrees cooler than it has been!  With that in mind, I’m going to keep this post short and sweet so I can go outside and get to play a little with the kids.

Now, here in our little corner of the world, we harvest most of our food in June, before it gets so hot that everything dries up and withers away.  So, we’ve had our vegetables picked and put away for a couple of months, now.  However, in much of the country, folks are just now starting to bring in that delicious garden bounty.  

I know I like to have all of our cans in the pantry look nice and pretty.  So, this year, I decided to make some labels to put on the jars to give them a more organized, uniform look in the pantry.  Also, if we decide to give some of our produce as gifts to our friends and family, pretty labels really make those jars look nice!  Just tie a pretty little bow around the lid, and there you have it!  No other gift wrap necessary!

No other giftwrap necessary! Free DIY printable canning labels. Click To Tweet

So, if you have been busy canning all your produce to keep for the year ahead, why not pretty those jars up a little with some nice labels?  At the bottom of this post, you can find the labels I used.  I’m offering them for you to use.  Please feel free to download them, and use them for your pantry.  I only ask that you direct people to this post if they wish to use them, too!  There are several different styles to choose from.  You can print them out on label paper, or on cardstock to tie on with a pretty ribbon.  Get creative!

Download your free DIY Printable Canning Labels Here


diy printable canning labels

 


 

grab button for Our Three Peas
Link It Up Wednesday

 

Coffee and Conversation button

 

Think Tank Thursday

 

 

 

 

 Pieced Pastimes

 

 

Welcome to the popular Inspiration Monday Party! Come visit and be inspired with fabulous home decor, crafts, recipes and more!

 
apinchofjoy.com 

 

 

 


This is my first week as a cohost for the fantastic “You’re the Star” Blog Hop.  I am so excited to be involved with this group!  I am really looking forward to reading your posts, and hopefully making some new friends along the way.
So, without any further ado…here it is!
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Please join us in welcoming our newest FAMILY cohost:
(click to visit her wonderful blog)

Elizabeth @ Family Farm School

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsncuylahd.jpg

WELCOME to the August You’re the Star” Blog Hop!
Before we continue onto the Linky party I wanted to share from my blog:

__________________________________________________________________________

WELCOME to GARDEN feature week of the August You’re the STAR” blog hop!
Meet your GARDEN week Hosts 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo YoureTheStarGarden_zpsmtrqgy7g.jpg

This week is GARDEN feature week
Swing by the GARDEN Hosts blogs:

Angie @ God’s Growing Garden

Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

This is a month long Linky party featuring YOU!

There will be 4 different features each week and 4 different feature categories.  Just to be clear – this is NOT a themed party – you may link up ANY family-friendly blog posts any day of each month. 
The “theme” occurs in our weekly features:
WEEK#1 GARDEN – gardening, homesteading, recycling, outdoor activities &/or preserving (this can include any type of green living,  repurposed ideas, outdoor concerns, posts relating to farm animals etc all while remaining family friendly)



by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ShopHoppingFeatured_zpsf9fab123.jpg


(All features were chosen from the July 2017 “You’re the Star” blog hop)

5 Best Ways To Add Privacy To Your Garden by Comfort Spring
Add privacy to your garden with fences, hedges, screens and plantings
Floral Design Using a Hay Bale for the Container by Penny’s Vintage Home

Gardening, Birdhouses, Backyard Birding

If you’ve been featured then please grab a STAR button below:

You're a STAR

*******************************************************

We are in need of more Cohosts (click

HERE

to view a list of our current hosts/cohosts).

If you are interested in joining us as a Cohost then please click

HERE

& fill out the form.

*******************************************************
All Hosts/CoHosts will post this blog hop on every Monday of each week.
Please link up your family friendly blog posts below!
It wouldn’t be a linky party with YOU!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: by linking up you understand that you might be featured next month and if so, we will use some of your photos from your post – rest assured – we will always link back to your lovely blog.  We might also share your fantastic posts on social media.  Also, you may link up as many family-friendly posts as you like & YES – other blog hops &/or giveaways are welcome {giveaways and blog hops will NOT be featured though}  Thank You & ENJOY! )

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