Help! White mildew??


Our zucchini and pumpkins are doing great, except they’re growing this white mildew on the leaves. I sprayed diluted milk on them, but it doesn’t seem to be helping. Has anyone had success with a homemade fungicide?

Holy smokes!!

Our garden is growing food!! This is our fifth attempt (one for every year of Brother’s life!) and after so many mistakes, it just fills my heart with satisfaction to see our garden working.


Yesterday, Brother and I did some major weeding and then harvested some red potatoes, carrots and zucchini. Today, we put them in a chicken pot pie for dinner and it was SO fun! It was incredible to be in my yard thinking, “I’d like to make a chicken pot pie, but I don’t have any potatoes… Hey! I’ve got some in my garden!” And then a few minutes later realize, “Oh, man, I’m out of carrots, too… Wait! I’ve got those growing, too!”


And this adorable zucchini is trying to look like our pumpkins!


After we were done, we needed to use the wheelbarrow to gather up all the weeds and feed them to the chickens. Brother asked for a turn on it and I’ll be dipped if he didn’t zip around the yard like a man. I thought he was so cute in his boots and John Deere shirt on our little farm in the suburbs.








Brother: 5 years old

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He loves all things rocket ships, volcanoes and dinosaurs.

When he grows up, he’s going to marry Mommy and invent a single machine with a multitude of booms to do every kind of construction from bucket wheel excavating to bull-dozing.

He is determined to dig up a dinosaur bone in the backyard and insists he will dig until he finds one. He also insists there is a pile of dinosaur fossils at the soccer park down the road and adds them his rock collection.

When he helped Mommy dig holes in the garden to plant potatoes and carrots he gloriously declared, “I LOVE working in the garden with you, Mommy! I want to work in the garden with you EVERY DAY!”

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He has a wonderful heart and his prayers have reached new heights as he truly talks to his Heavenly Father and sincerely requests that “tomorrow will be the BEST day of my life” in every nightly prayer.

The day one of the chickens died, Brother stayed with her all afternoon, talking with her and comforting her. After Buddy passed, he was immensely sad and the next morning was comforted by drawing his favorite memories of Buddy.

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Every night, Daddy or Mommy ask him what his saddest and happiest parts of the day were. Frequently, he doesn’t have a saddest part and, without fail, his happiest part is when Daddy comes home.

He treasures his “alone time” with Daddy and Mommy every night where he requests a melodramatic “Drake and Char-LOTTE” story from Daddy (who stole the characters from Mommy’s LDS romance novel) and a “true chicken story” from Mommy.

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He is a fabulous older brother and would rather roll up in a blanket and pillow in the hallway to play “camp-out” with Boots than watch TV. Mommy’s heart melts through the floor when Brother looks over at his brother next to him on the hardwood (rolled up in his own blanket and pillow) and happily says, “I love you very much, Boots.”

He is very patient and kind with both of his younger brothers and a great help to Mommy and Daddy. He is especially mindful of his chicken chores and takes them their coop lantern every night.


He has a special love for drawing and often sits with his magna-doodles to draw intricate pictures from memory of rocket ships, machines, family portraits, dinosaurs and chickens. He’s not allowed to erase them or sweet notes he writes to Mommy and Daddy until a picture is taken of it.

He also loves seeing his friends at a weekly music class to prepare for learning the piano. It’s even more exciting now that Boots is three and allowed to attend as well. Brother dutifully protects his little brother and reports to Mommy that no one has tried to attack him.

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He enjoys his group lessons with Boots and Mommy and will aptly listen to any book read to him. For his individual lessons, he reads outloud to Mommy and spells simple words. Then he goes to his desk to independently compute addition and subtraction problems in his head or on his abacus, practice handwriting and any other worksheet Mommy has assigned him.

His favorite books are The Magic School Bus, The Magic Treehouse and anything about his favorite subjects (dinosaurs, volcanoes, rocket ships, etc.). His favorite videos are LeapFrog, Berenstain Bears, train documentaries, The Emperor’s New Groove, Robin Hood and Monsters, Inc.

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He is wonderful. An absolute joy and a blessing and we love him dearly.

Vegetable garden starts


We’ve got some cute little starts going for our vegetable garden this year. Once again, I’m learning more of what works and what doesn’t.

I planted an entire set of seeds (zucchini, pumpkin and cucumber) that did not grow. So then I planted an entire second set of seeds and a few of those grew.


The pumpkins have been doing the best. Yay!


Only one of the 12 zucchini seeds I planted grew. And then it died.

So I finally did some zucchini-specific research and tried again.

I “primed” the seeds with 8 hours of soaking before planting and I will let the soil completely dry out between waterings. (No wonder they haven’t done well for me in the past– they don’t like to be wet all the time! Who knew??)

One of them is finally starting to grow– yay!


Only one of the eight cucumber seeds I planted grew (and it’s still going strong– yay!).

So I did some cucumber-specific research and tried again.

I “primed” the seeds with 5 hours of soaking before folding them in a wet piece of paper and sealing it inside a ziploc bag. After a few days, when I saw their little tales growing, I planted them and look! One is popping up!

Wish us luck! We’re going to experiment with container gardening one of each vegetable and trellising all our peas along the fence line in containers. We’ll see how it goes!