Friday, March 13, 2009

Our Garden and Yard Plans

We live on Leif's parent's property. They built a large "Barn" that is actually a garage with a 800 sq/ft apartment above the garage. We have gradually made the apartment into our home. When it comes to the yard space around the garage it would be considered partly finished, and that depends on who you're talking to:) We have all used the majority of the space as a garden through the last few years. This year, we're getting down to business.

Leif's dad built a huge green house many years ago. Right now, the green house is being used as a storage space. Soon, we are going to organize it and put it to proper use. We are going to grow our garden in grow boxes in the green house. This type of gardening is supposed to help save on water. Living in the hot climate during the Summer, our gardens require A LOT of water to maintain growth. Hopefully this will be a fun way to help us save some money. We're planning on growing a lot of different plants this year. Even the root veggies like onions, garlic, and potatoes. It will be quite the project! My goal is to actually grow a decent crop of herbs that I can actually use. And my next goal is to grow the right foods to bottle a few different kinds of yummy salsas and some Pesto for pastas. Wish us luck!

Going along with new ideas, we've got a doosy! We're pondering the idea of getting a few chickens and MAYBE a goat. WHY you ask? Well... We can eat their eggs, and they eat our bugs:) Not that we have a ton of bugs, but we won't have any with chickens. They also go along with our family goal of preparing to be self reliant if needs be. We have the room, so why not. Now the GOAT, well, that's just my crazy idea of a lawn mower. :) Bless that little goats heart! We're still pondering that idea!

When it comes to landscaping the yard I'm excited about our plans. We're going to put grass in half of the space that we have been using as a garden. On the grass we will bring out the trampoline for Jakob and Leif to play on. For me, we will plant a row of roses to line the yard. We will also build or buy some type of shade maker (like that description:) Something like an arbor or something to sit under to give us shade. Somewhere in the yard we will dig a fire pit and put benches around it too. I'm really looking forward to it!

Working In The Garden

The kid's don't have school on Fridays. So Leif didn't have to work today. Well, he worked his part time job until 2:00 and then we had the rest of the day to ourselves. We decided to be productive. Spring has sprung here in our little piece of the world. So we decided to play outside. We cleaned up our yard. Now that our home is all fixed up(last year's project.) We are planning on fixing up our side of the yard this year. We're hoping to lay sod down and set things up so we can enjoy ourselves outside, or be able to send Jakob out to play and be able to see him when we peek out. Up to this point we have used Leif's parents yard (which is wonderful.) The problem is there is a large wall of pine trees that block the view of their yard from our side of the property. So I hope all works out so we can set up a little yard on our side. We're planning on setting up a fire pit too. That will be fun! ANYWAY... Here are some photos of our Spring Cleaning. We even burned our weeds (Something I hadn't done before.)

Sick Little Caleb

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Our Book Is Finished! Check It Out

We Finished Our Book! Click below to check it out! It's Called: Dinosaurs Among The Nephites, Tales From the Warriors of Long Ago.

Tales From the Warr...
By Leif, Lena, and J...

This is a funny little story meant to give a chuckle to the young, and the young at heart. This tale is all about a group of Nephite warriors out on a hunting trip that end up finding much more then they had bargained for.

This book is set up so you will not only be able to follow this fun-filled story about Nephites and Dinosaurs, you will find scientific facts about each of the dinosaurs depicted in the story, as well as a few of the action-packed and faith-filled stories from the Book of Mormon.

A perfect storybook find for the Latter Day Saint family with little boys!

Hospital Workers Agree To Go Without To Save Jobs - The Boston Globe

This true story really brightened my day today!

It was the kind of meeting that is taking place in restaurant kitchens, small offices, retail storerooms, and large auditoriums all over this city, all over this state, all over this country.
Paul Levy, the guy who runs Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, was standing in Sherman Auditorium the other day, before some of the very people to whom he might soon be sending pink slips.
In the days before the meeting, Levy had been walking around the hospital, noticing little things.
He stood at the nurses' stations, watching the transporters, the people who push the patients around in wheelchairs. He saw them talk to the patients, put them at ease, make them laugh. He saw that the people who push the wheelchairs were practicing medicine.
He noticed the same when he poked his head into the rooms and watched as the people who deliver the food chatted up the patients and their families.
He watched the people who polish the corridors, who strip the sheets, who empty the trash cans, and he realized that a lot of them are immigrants, many of them had second jobs, most of them were just scraping by.
And so Paul Levy had all this bouncing around his brain the other day when he stood in Sherman Auditorium.
He looked out into a sea of people and recognized faces: technicians, secretaries, administrators, therapists, nurses, the people who are the heart and soul of any hospital. People who knew that Beth Israel had hired about a quarter of its 8,000 staff over the last six years and that the chances that they could all keep their jobs and benefits in an economy in freefall ranged between slim and none.
"I want to run an idea by you that I think is important, and I'd like to get your reaction to it," Levy began. "I'd like to do what we can to protect the lower-wage earners - the transporters, the housekeepers, the food service people. A lot of these people work really hard, and I don't want to put an additional burden on them.
"Now, if we protect these workers, it means the rest of us will have to make a bigger sacrifice," he continued. "It means that others will have to give up more of their salary or benefits."
He had barely gotten the words out of his mouth when Sherman Auditorium erupted in applause. Thunderous, heartfelt, sustained applause.
Paul Levy stood there and felt the sheer power of it all rush over him, like a wave. His eyes welled and his throat tightened so much that he didn't think he could go on.
When the applause subsided, he did go on, telling the workers at Beth Israel, the people who make a hospital go, that he wanted their ideas.
The lump had barely left his throat when Paul Levy started getting e-mails.
The consensus was that the workers don't want anyone to get laid off and are willing to give up pay and benefits to make sure no one does. A nurse said her floor voted unanimously to forgo a 3 percent raise. A guy in finance who got laid off from his last job at a hospital in Rhode Island suggested working one less day a week. Another nurse said she was willing to give up some vacation and sick time. A respiratory therapist suggested eliminating bonuses.
"I'm getting about a hundred messages per hour," Levy said yesterday, shaking his head.
Paul Levy is onto something. People are worried about the next paycheck, because they're only a few paychecks away from not being able to pay the mortgage or the rent.
But a lot of them realize that everybody's in the same boat and that their boat doesn't rise because someone else's sinks.
Paul Levy is trying something revolutionary, radical, maybe even impossible: He is trying to convince the people who work for him that the E in CEO can sometimes stand for empathy.

Kevin Cullen is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at
© Copyright 2009 Globe Newspaper Company.Beth Israel workers agree to go without to save jobs - The Boston Globe

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bright Eyes

I needed brighten things up a bit by putting a cute photo at the top of my blog rather then my tired Yoga photo. Here's our Precious Bright Eyes!!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Healthy Menu and Grocery List Results

This last week has been busy. I have been juggling a lot of things throughout each day. I am moving through my schooling in a timely manner and learning a lot. It has been a life changing event. Because of all that I am learning in school we have committed to following as many of the health guidelines as we can. This is where the photo of Jakob and I doing Yoga fits comes from. This also includes eating as much organic or whole foods as possible. So I took the time this week to create a good menu and shopping list. I got all of my ideas off of This is a line of whole grains, beans, and natural baking supplies that you can find in any of your grocery stores (if I can find them here, I promise you have them!;) Anyway, they have a huge data base of recipes. So I found all of the recipes, made a menu, and a shopping list and yesterday Leif and I went into SG and did a huge shopping trip.

We were concerned that we wouldn't be able to stay within our budget. But we did and we even have money left over for the rest of the month. I am Thrilled!!! When we got home, I wanted to organize the cupboards and get rid of a few things that aren't part of our eating plans these days. This is what ended up happening:

It was NO fun putting it back together. But it's nice to have it organized. Tonight we ate dinner up at our house with Leif's parents. Tuna sandwiches and very yummy whole wheat & oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. It was a good night! I'm going to try harder to put all of my recipes on my Healthy Mama's Kitchen blog. So feel free to browse and get a few ideas.
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