Friday, July 22, 2016

Passport to Purity

My little girl is growing up.  She is about to turn 10 and is a preteen heading into her teens.  I had heard about a great adventure for a mom or dad to do with a young preteen. 

 Passport to Purity is a program designed to introduce your daughter (or son) to traps that they will be facing in their teenage years.  They talk about what the traps are: lying to parents, peer pressure, loosing your purity, sex and dating.  Then they challenge your child to make a decision about how they are going to respond when faced with the trap.  There is time to talk to your child about what they will do and to help them make good choices.  I loved the cd's we listened to together and the journal for the child to fill out that helps them to understand and record what they are learning.  

There were 5 projects to do with your child.  They were simple projects that help your child understand the point that they were making.  

I took Bekah to Menchies and we had a big fro yo sundae!  Her daddy and I wrote her a note in her journal talking about the milestones that were coming and how we are there for her.  It was a "sweet" moment.  

On the way to the beach, we stopped to work on the journal and talk about what we had listened to.

I really loved spending time with my sweet girl and to have one on one time with her.  This brought us much closer together and opened up so much dialogue between us.

Bekah loves the beach, so I booked a campsite at Doran Beach Campground.  It was beautiful (but freezing cold).  This is the view from our campsite.

We took time to play in the ocean and look for shells.  Bekah wanted more play time but the two days we had were very packed full of listening to the CD's, doing the projects and working through the questions.

Nothing like listening to the CD's while lying in the sun in the dunes.

Our project involved some creative playtime. 

It was cold out, so we listened to many of the CDs in our tent all snuggled up in our sleeping bags.

Some one likes to light fires and is getting good at it too!

Another project: Purity is lost drop by drop until it becomes a stream and it is all gone.  Then you can't get it back.  Girls are challenged to protect their purity and save it for their husband.

Part of the Passport to Purity program asks that you take your child and do something special and memorable with them.  I choose to take Bekah to the Sonoma Canopy Tours in Occidental. We spent 2 1/2 hours zip lining.  My time with Bekah flying through the air 200 feet above the earth was very special.

After the last CD was finished and the questions answered we stopped for ice cream.  (This is definitely my weakness)  I gave Bekah a special necklace that would be a momento of our trip.

This is one of the best things that I have done with my girl.  We talked about a lot of hard stuff and uncomfortable things but it was good.  She was free to ask questions and to have open discussion.  I love that they encourage each child to decide what to do before they are placed in a difficult situation.  They have the opportunity to talk to their guide (mom or dad) and figure out what will be the best response to a trap that is in front of them.  It is a time to discuss their purity and how to protect that.  We had a very sweet time together and I can not express how glad I am that I took the time to talk to my girl about all that we did.  Bekah asked me tonight after we came home if we can have more time to talk. She still has questions and is asking me to set aside one on one time to answer her questions.  
This made my heart glad.  I always want her to be open with me and come to me for advice.  

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Raised Bed Garden

My doggy runs around my back yard and has ruined all my grass.   And he jumps at the fence and hangs on it to see my neighbors.  They probably don't appreciate that too much.  So I decided to build a raised bed garden to protect my fence and cover up the dead grass.  I found a good plan on pinterest at  Blueberry Hill Blog.  I built it in about 3-4 hours with my husband helping a bit when I ran out of time.  It was a simple build and I love how it turned out.  It cost me $150 in materials and I used pressure treated wood.  And another $150 for the soil.

I planted strawberries, peas, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, a squash, watermelons, flowers and two pumpkins.  I think it was a bit too much in there, but I had no where else to plant them.  After just a few weeks my garden has grown a ton.  I've never had a garden before and it is fun to see it grow.



Marigolds-I always planted these as a child and the smell brings back memories of my childhood.

My first little, baby pumpkin!


And I have two lemon trees that have baby lemons on them.  It is so fun to see my food grow!!

A Living Garden Fort

Years ago I bought a little grape vine from the fair.  Each year it grows and flourishes and gets bigger.  This year the vines were all over the place and starting to hang down in front. The girls kept trying to make a fort under them, but there was very little room.  My friend, Dan Laffan, gave me the idea of using hog wire to make a tunnel to support the vines.  So I decided to try it!!

Here is our crazy grape vine mess.  Hannah was trying to cut the wire to make a section to use for the fort.  It was hard work!  I cut off a long section of the hog wire and wrapped one end around an old 2x4 board.  After making sure that all the poky ends of the wire were twisted and safe from poking the kids, I was ready to start.

We used a staple gun to staple it to the fence.  I tried going under but the vines were too heavy and big.  My sweet husband thought about putting it over the vines and stapling it to the fence.  I curved the hog wire around the vines and tucked the board in next to the board separating the grass and garden bed. 

Then I carefully pushed up every grape vine I could find up through the wire.  I secured a few of them with twisty ties to keep them in place.

I ended up using three sets of hog wire to get all the vines up off the fence. 

Since the wire is pretty weak, it didn't support the heavy vines well.  I ended up using a fence board on each side to support the weight of the vines.

This turned out to be a very pretty and nice little living fort.  The new grapes are hanging down inside the fort and it is beautiful!  This is a shady spot and will soon be covered in vines and make a hiding spot for my kids.  There is lots of room inside and places to sit on some extra flagstone I had laying around.  

My puppy came over to check out our progress.   Isn't he the cutest!

Bekah and I had a fun time sitting in the fort and talking.  I was able to capture beautiful photos of my dear, sweet girl.

She caught one of me too!

Toby likes this spot too!

Hannah came in for a bit but wasn't in a good photo taking mood.  They aren't always you know.

This took about 3-4 hours to make and was pretty easy to do.  I'm really glad that I created this and my kids can have a living fort to play in.  I had fort in my back yard  that was similar to this.  The many hours playing in it brings me many good memories.