Author Archives: barefoottams

How does your garden grow?

Are you a gardener?   I definitely am not a GREEN thumb, and actually have never kept a plant alive in my house for more than a month, but I do plant a vegetable garden every year.  I love just going out to go gather our dinner from the backyard (add a protein).  There’s nothing better!  We got a late start this year.  I did start my tomatoes and peppers in my greenhouse a month or two ago…. but we were waiting for about a month for my garden soil to be delivered (needed to top up all my raised beds, and add a few new beds this year).   It FINALLY arrived on Thursday night and we made quick work of distributing the soil around the yard (lots of hard work).


Here is a picture of my early seedlings:Image

Today we finished most of the planting.  Below is the newest dug garden bed in our yard.  This bed contains my beans (will add something for them to climb in the next week), as well as my onions.   I was diligent about my companion planting in my other beds, but it was a last minute decision to plant my onions with my beans, and only read that they are not compatible after planting.   So hoping for the best!


This year we are growing our potatoes in towers instead of one of the raised beds, in order to save space.  You can see the towers on the left in front of the composter.  In the bed along the fence are my strawberries (which have spread like crazy!) and my rhubarb.  In the raised bed in the front there, we’ve got 3 varieties of carrots, parsnips, beets, radishes, 2 varieties of lettuce.  Excited to see what my new lettuce will be like.   It’s called Jericho Romaine, and is supposed to be bolt resistant, which will be good in our hot summers here!Image

Finally, you can see my raspberries (just planted 2 this year, hope to fill that bed) along the fence in the raised bed.  Next to that I dug another new bed, for my peas.  In the raised bed below the deck are my tomatoes and my peppers (still more peppers to plant).   In the middle raised bed we planted our dill, pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, watermelon (we do not expect these to grow…  but my 5 year old brought the seeds home from Disney World).Image

This is only our 3rd year growing a vegetable garden.   We have had great success with little effort in the past, and are hoping this year to have enough this year to preserve and keep into the winter months.    I can’t wait for it all to start growing.


Do you grow a garden?   I’d love to hear about what you grow!  Please leave comments to let me know what you are growing this year, and if you have a link to pictures, I’d love to check them out!  Our backyard is not very big, and we need enough space for the girls to play, but I love sharing the gardening experience with them as they get older.   They love harvesting, and are always snacking on treats from the garden while they play (they’re dill munchers!).

Categories: Gardening | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Lego Table Project


My older two girls LOVE Lego.   I’ve been finding they play with it for hours daily, but I’m constantly having to pick up all the pieces from the carpet (as they work on the coffee table).   With a baby very near to crawling around, I had to find a solution.   I started watching for sale ads, and freecycle listings for an appropriate table for this project.   It was when we were visiting my in-laws, that I spotted a coffee table that was ours, that we had been storing at their house, and thought it would be perfect.   I inquired if they were using it, and started thinking through my project.  There a few requirements:

1. Needed to be low enough for the girls to work at without chairs, but high enough to keep the baby away from a majority of it when she started pulling up on furniture.

2. Needed to accommodate at least 2 work areas, for those days when the girls are not playing nicely together.

3. Needed to also have enough surface area to sink a bucket for storage into (to keep all the little pieces off the floor).

I brought my Lego base plates to my in-laws to start planning my project.   The coffee table was a smidge too narrow.  My mother in-law ended up suggesting the kids table that my father-in-law had made my husband when he was a child.   We pulled it out and it was the perfect size for what I needed.  So we hauled it home and got to work.

I’ve included our step by step, in case you want to take on this project yourself.   It was a very easy DIY project, and I figure we’ve got at least another 10 years of Lego in this house.


-table to repurpose

-tape measure


-straight edge


-acrylic paint (I chose based on the selection of mis-tint (CHEAP!) paints at my local paint store)

-plaster of paris

-Lego base plates

-storage bin (with wider lip to keep it from falling through the table)

-E6000 glue, or liquid nails


First we measured out the centre point of the table, and measured the cut-out we would need in order to drop our bin in the table.   I debated whether we do 2 smaller bins, or 1 larger bin, and decided the single bin would be better for us, having the little one around.  It would be harder for her to reach it.  After marking our cutting point (and erring on too small… just in case, easier to make the hole bigger than to cut it too big to begin with), we clamped our straight edge to the table to keep the router in a straight line.  We did this with each side, to get a nice, neat cut-out.


We then double checked by placing the bin in the hole.  Perfect!



I then mixed my chalk paint up (thought it would be the best option for this project, as it minimizes the amount of prep, as it sticks to nearly everything, and the top of this particular table was arborite).   I used DIY Mommy‘s recipe for chalk paint (if you’ve never visited her blog, she is amazing!  I love every project she does!).   A good 2 coats (3 on the top) with the paint, and I was ready to glue the plates on.   I chose to use E6000, and made sure to mark and centre the plates prior to gluing.   After letting it dry, it was ready to go! 

We did lay down a few ground rules with the girls (if a piece falls off the table, it needed to be picked up immediately, and that if they walk away from the table, all loose pieces needed to be put in the bin, but any Work in Progress could be secured to the plates for working on later.  The girls played with Lego for the rest of the day after we brought it in (and my husband and I may have too).


I think this table is the perfect addition to our playroom.  It’s lightweight, and easy to move out to the living room, and baby will not be able to reach into the bin for quite a while after learning to walk.   The table is high enough she could stand by it as she starts pulling up, but not be able to reach into the bin.   The bin is also big enough to add more Lego to, so room for their growing collection.


Maybe one day they’ll become Master Builders and create larger scale projects like these we saw at the Lego store in Downtown Disney in Florida.   Ok, I never expect them to be building on that scale, but the girls thought these creations were absolutely amazing, and I truly love to see all their own creations with the Lego.  Nothing like basic building blocks to foster creativity!


Categories: Tutorial | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Rejoice always…

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

One of my favourite verses!  It’s a great reminder in the day to day routine.  I find myself especially clinging to this verse on days that nothing is going according to my plan, or my children are acting up.

“Rejoice always” as there is always something to celebrate, whether it’s something like your child demonstrating what she has learned from all your teachings, or even just that you got a few minutes of quiet time before the kids were up for the day.   There is always something to be joyful for!  (Philippians 4:4: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!)

“Pray continually” is a great reminder to keep in conversation with God.   He wants us to build that relationship with Him.  Sometimes I fill my time with other entertainment, but my day is so much brighter if I can pray and talk to God throughout my day, both good days and bad.   Pray for your children, pray for your spouse, pray about your frustrations and your celebrations!   Pray while you wash dishes, or pray while you pull weeds.  Teach your children to pray and help them to build that relationship as well.  (Psalms 55:17: Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice).

“Give thanks in all circumstances” is sometimes hard, but we need to be thankful for everything we are blessed with.  Be thankful for the people in your life, for financial blessings, for your warm home, for sunshine or rain, or even your new running shoes.  We can even be thankful in time where we struggle (James 1:2-3: Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow).


These three acts work together.  As we are thankful in all circumstances, we will find ourselves praying continually.   As we pray continually, we will find ourselves joyful always!  All three work together, and all three are part of God’s will for us!


I have created a printable that you are free to download and print for your personal use.   I always post my memory verses on the fridge when I’m working on them.   Somewhere where I see it all the time.    Click HERE to download.

1Thessalonians 5:16-18

Categories: Bible Verses | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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