Category Archives: Children


John Denver’s The Garden Song

The kids and I enjoyed this video from The Muppet Show, featuring John Denver singing The Garden Song.

My baby is due this week. As I’m waiting for his arrival I’ve been planting peas and lettuces as well as working on trays of flowers and keeping an eye on my started seedlings indoors. I’ve also been enjoying the beautiful weather!

Time for the Fair!

It’s time for the State Fair here in Wisconsin.  I love movies that feature scenes of a County or State Fair.  (Like Rodgers & Hammersteins State Fair… love it!)

So Dear to My Heart is an utterly charming movie that came out of Walt Disney Studios in the 1940’s, when you could still make a mainstream movie with family values that acknowledged God as our Creator.  It’s a special movie that I’ve shared with my children since they were infants.  It’s simply the best.

Enjoy this clip about the County Fair.  In the movie a young boy raises a black sheep and takes him to the County Fair to try to win a blue ribbon.

Edited to add:  I should mention that this is a live-action film, but the scene I’ve selected is one of several animated scrapbook musical montages throughout the movie which feature a wise old owl who shares many nuggets of wisdom.  So sweet!

Take a ride on Casey Jr.!

I’ve been to Disneyland once, on a gorgeous fall day in October.  We took my then 1-year-old son on the Casey Jr. Circus Train ride in Fantasyland.  What struck me most about it were the charming gardens and miniature villages and storybook castles.  It was very “old school” Disney and was noticeably void of today’s overly pink princesses that seem to permeate all things Disney.

Take a ride on Casey Jr. and see for yourself what a pleasant trip through nostalgia awaits you!

The Ugly Bug Ball

Sung by Burl Ives in the movie Summer Magic starring Hayley Mills, this cute song about bugs is a kid-pleaser.  My kids love bugs!

April Showers

You know what they say, “April showers bring May flowers.”  Remembering that this week while we sit indoors watching the rain come down.

Easter: New life for nature, new life for me.

One of the unexpected benefits of gardening has been the conversations it has opened up with my children.  As plants, insects, birds, butterflies and frogs have died in our garden I am able to share this experience with my kids.  “Everything dies.  Even people die.  But people can go to heaven because Jesus is our Savior!” 

It’s a simple way of telling them the good news, the MOST IMPORTANT news I could ever tell them.  They have a Savior Jesus who loves them, died for them, and will one day welcome them into heaven as one of His own. 

This past week, when a small child from our church died suddenly and unexpectedly, I was reminded of how very important it is to constantly be in conversations of this nature with our children.  They simply must know Jesus.  We do not know the day or the hour in which we will die.  We just know that we will.  Our children need to know their God and Savior just as we need that as well. 

Around here, we are pretty excited for Easter, this coming Sunday.  Because of Easter, because Jesus rose from the dead and conquered death once and for all, we can all have life.

When I look around my garden I see signs of new life in every crevice.  There are tiny insects, little buds on trees.  Birds have returned and are preparing to bring the next generation into the world, building nests in which to lay eggs and raise their young.  From dormant bulbs beneath the surface of the soil come beautiful flowers–tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocuses.  As these beauties shoot heavenward they are practically singing God’s praises:  “New life!  Beauty!  Praise God!”

Crocuses, part of Gods glorious creation.

We don’t need to look any further than the natural environment God created for us to see Him.  The earth is shouting out the good news for us!  A God who would create such a wonder would surely care enough to see things through.  And has he!  Yes, we have sin and death now, but what we really have is a Savior from these things… God’s own son.  He’s already carried out the plan to take sin to the grave and leave it there, then rising again with New Life for all who believe in Him.  We rise with him!  Alleluia!

When I work the earth this week–planting and amending–I’m going to dwell on these thoughts.  And share them with my children.  It’s so very important.

My, What a Happy Day!

Enjoy this fun and joy-filled clip from Walt Disney’s Fun and Fancy Free:

Picture Books in Winter

Picture Books In Winter

Summer fading, winter comes–
Frosty mornings, tingling thumbs,
Window robins, winter rooks,
And the picture story-books.

Water now is turned to stone
Nurse and I can walk upon;
Still we find the flowing brooks
In the picture story-books.

All the pretty things put by,
Wait upon the children’s eye,
Sheep and shepherds, trees and crooks,
In the picture story-books.

We may see how all things are
Seas and cities, near and far,
And the flying fairies’ looks,
In the picture story-books.

How am I to sing your praise,
Happy chimney-corner days,
Sitting safe in nursery nooks,
Reading picture story-books?

Robert Louis Stevenson

More time indoors means more time spent in books, online and watching movies.  I do all of these things with my son and daughter.  We love to read books together–the more pictures the better!  Pictures and words can transport us from the cold, grey existence of a Wisconsin February to a myriad of places, times and circumstances.

This time of year I’m spending a lot of time looking at seed catalogs, gardening books, websites and magazines.  The colorful photos are inspiring and thinking about all those different fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers makes me happy.  I do feel a bit like a wide-eyed child enjoying a picture book and all the wonder of imagination it sparks.

Since I’ve begun gardening, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) cannot affect me.  I have found a way to cope with this season.  I have found peace in the fact that my garden needs the rest that winter provides.  I appreciate the time that I have to plan for the next season.  And I also find that having a winter makes spring, summer and fall that much more a thing to savor.  By the time the ice starts melting I’m more than ready to delve into another gardening season.  It’s the time off that makes the time on so much fun.

You know, life has seasons too.  Of course I’m not the first person to make this comparison.  But there are days that seem very cold, unproductive–sad even.  Other days may be warm and abundant, joyful!  And every kind of day in between.  I’ve experienced them all.  I’m guessing most people have.

So, how to cope with a wintry time of life?

Thanks be to God that all we have to do to remember the spring, summer and fall of our life is open up that old familiar book and dig in.  The Bible shines with all the SONshine we could ever need, giving us hope for our future and a reason to keep on going throughout our winters.

This reminds me.  Besides spending time in picture books with my kids this year, I’m going to spend more time in the Bible with them.  We have some really nicely illustrated children’s Bibles here at home.  Often, in the excitement to hear Mommy stumble through Fox in Socks (again…) the Bible books get passed over.  What an opportunity we are missing to let some SONshine in! 

Here’s to Winter!  The season that makes the other seasons–and God’s love–seem even more bright.  Thank you Winter for your quietness, your grayness and your coldness.  They are blessings too.

A February Kind of Project

Inspired by the salad mixes I’ve seen in the grocery store lately, I thought I might try to grow some herbs indoors to add to salad greens.  I especially like some cilantro thrown in to a salad, and since I use parsley and basil weekly anyway, they seemed like nice additions too.

My initial idea was to plant them in the cans I had leftover from my recent mega batch of chili.  Then, over the weekend while perusing a magazine, I saw this:

Herb-in-a-Can project on the pages of this month's Birds and Blooms.

Well, I guess someone else had the same idea.  At least I know it works!

And so I’ve recruited my kids to help.  Here is our herb project in photos:

Empty cans are a nice size for growing some herbs.

Not pictured is my husband using some sort of power tool to make drainage holes in the cans.  It’s important to provide a place for water to drain out of, and into.  Once these cans are planted, they will be put on a tray with pebbles or marbles underneath them to allow for proper drainage.

Next, let your child play with the cans. (This step is optional!)


We filled the cans with a soiless seeding mix.

Prepared for the mess, I covered our workspace in newspaper.

Cans are filled with mix, water is added and then some more mix to fill. Sure glad I put the newspaper down!


Seeds selected for this project: parsley, cilantro and bush basil.

We labeled the cans before we put the seeds in, just to be safe!

My son sprinkles the seeds on, we then cover lightly with the soiless mix.

Finally, the seeds are given a spritz of water.

Ready to germinate.

My next step will be to add the pebbles to this tray, then stash it in the bathroom until the seeds germinate.  Wait–did I just say the bathroom?  Indeed!  It’s the warmest room in our house and we always take advantage of the heat in there to germinate our seeds.  I do not have to use heat mats or grow lights to start seeds.  Bonus: the emerging seedlings LOVE the steam from the shower.

I’ll be sure to keep readers posted on this project!

Peter Rabbit

A page from our family's copy of this beloved storybook.

Garden enjoyment can take place any day of the year and in so many varied ways.  Sometimes, when I can’t get out in my garden, a book can be just the thing.  Young and old alike have cherished Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit, both the stories and the unforgettable artwork.  It happens to be a favorite around here.

My children love to color.  I found some nice Peter Rabbit coloring pages for them work on:  Kids-n-Fun Coloring Pages.

Here is a very sweet narration of the beloved story, by a two-year old!  I especially love that it features music by Yo Yo Ma.  (This has to be viewed on the YouTube site, click my link to be directed.)

Here is another adaption, which combines live action and animation. 

And the second half of it:

Winter days needn’t be dreary.  There are so many wonderful stories and books with beautiful illustrations–Peter Rabbit is just one of them.  It’s fun to lose myself in Mr. McGregor’s garden with Peter.  And I love sharing this garden, and the many others in books, with my children.