spring is coming!

Here in northern Illinois, we can't put a garden in until about the middle of May. Most plants need to wait until after the danger of frost is past. We just started some seeds indoors to give them a head start.

I love gardening. I love the smell of the warm moist soil, the feel of the sun on my head and shoulders, the giving of such close attention to a very basic need of mankind that God has provided so well for. Just look at the amazing variety of plants that He created for us. There are so many colors and textures and really, there is a plant to serve every need and some are purely for pleasure.

I will admit, I don't love the weeds in the garden (which are just plants out of place). Aren't dandelions pretty? I LOVE to see my yard full of them. A field of bright yellow. They aren't weeds! They are the prettiest, hardiest flower with amazing health benefits.

Okay, so I've got spring fever and am just meandering through the garden of my mind. Go outside (with no other purpose) and smell the air and look around. Spring is coming! Oh, God is SO good!
  • kattath
    it was all lovely and spring-like here the last week and a half, but it got chilly and rainy today... :(
    by kattath at 03/25/09 12:31PM
  • tanja
    I love Spring. All the plants coming out fresh and new. Trees get new leaves. And spring means summer is close! It looks like we are not going to get to have a garden this year. I really hate that. I am hoping for at least some tomato plants.
    by tanja at 03/26/09 3:38PM
  • punnygrandpa
    You spring freak!!! No site is safe from me!?!?!
    by punnygrandpa at 03/29/09 12:10AM
  • worker_at_home
    Yes, He is the epitomy(sp?) of GOOD!
    by worker_at_home at 03/30/09 7:21PM
  • dragon_blade
    Ms. Becky!! I found your blog from a comment that you made on Kate's blog! :D Didn't know that you were on here... How are you doing?
    by dragon_blade at 04/16/09 3:42PM
  • dragon_blade
    This is Hannah Perz, BTW. :D
    by dragon_blade at 04/16/09 3:43PM
  • _fire_of_fantasy_
    Hey, Ms. Becky, my sister said you were on here! This is Sarah Perz. :)
    by _fire_of_fantasy_ at 04/16/09 3:44PM
  • mrsjak
    Well, I hope that I'm not too early, because I put my plants in Saturday. I am sooo excited about my garden. JAK and I made a new place for more plants. I am soooo EXCITED! I can't wait for you to see. I hope they grow ok.
    by mrsjak at 04/16/09 9:38PM
  • leahabigail
    Hello!! This is Leah Perz!! How are you?
    by leahabigail at 04/27/09 9:44PM
  • broadside
    Hey Aunt Becky, it's me Joel. I finally got on Pleo.
    by broadside at 05/15/09 12:52PM
  • luvnwebkinz
    Hi Ms. Becky. I`m Elaine Green. I go to Chicagoland and Shakamak Homeschool Camp.
    by luvnwebkinz at 11/17/09 2:07PM

Peachy Green Smoothie

Wednesday, 3-11 smoothie

10 oz frozen peach slices
1 med apple
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup water
5 lg green chard leaves

Ooooh! This was SO good. I had four kids try it and three of them liked it and ROBERT still didn't like it. Don't think I'm giving up though!!!

Rebecca said that she was willing to try more than a taste if I made the following:

10 oz frozen peach slices
6 oz strawberry yogurt
1/2 cup water
1 med apple
1 med red pear
1 sm banana
3 lg handfuls (about 1/2 lb) baby spinich

I made this this morning. This is sweeter than usual. (Hopefully Rebecca will like it. She hasn't tried it yet.) I think it is pretty smooth and tasty. Try it!!!

  • bg
    do you buy all your fruit in bulk or what do you do for that?
    by bg at 03/12/09 12:00PM
  • becspeer
    I buy as much in bulk as possible. It's cheaper that way. I do buy organic as much as possible. I don't buy in bulk when I'm trying something and don't know yet if I'm going to like it. Hope this helps.
    by becspeer at 03/12/09 12:05PM
  • bg
    I thought of more ?s does the buttermilk help make it smooth or is it for nutrients or taste? And what are green chard leaves?
    by bg at 03/12/09 9:21PM
  • becspeer
    Buttermilk is for nutrition. It has live active cultures (probiotics), which is good for building your immune system. I use it because I buy raw milk from a local farmer and it is much easier to make than yogurt.
    by becspeer at 03/13/09 9:01AM
  • becspeer
    Green Chard is a green leafy vegetable. It is very mild tasting, I've read somewhere that someone said it was more mild than spinach. I still like spinach the best, but chard is good, too. It is a dark leafy (which is important in everyones diet). The leaf and stem are mild and eatable. I just learned recently that chard is very easy to grow. I will be trying it in our garden this year.
    by becspeer at 03/13/09 9:06AM
  • mrsjak
    Where is the green smoothie recipe? That one tasted great and it seemed very easy...if you have grass on hand! :)
    by mrsjak at 03/16/09 5:04PM
  • mr_and_mrs_berry
    Becky, I just read all these and had a great idea. At hscamp have a smoothie offering (though she and I will dream about coffee...
    by mr_and_mrs_berry at 03/17/09 9:54AM

Tuesday's Green Smoothie

1 cup ice
fill in the cup of ice with pomegranate blueberry juice
1 cup buttermilk
1 red pear
1 sm banana
1 in chunk ginger
1 cup frozen mixed berries
2 lg handfuls spinich
2 md kale leaves
1 lg handful red leaf lettuce

Yesterday's Smoothie

1 cup ice
fill in the cup of ice with orange juice
1 6 oz strawberry yougurt
1 sm apple
1 sm banana
1 in chunk ginger
1 cup frozen mixed berries
3 lg handfuls red leaf lettuce
2 md kale leaves

My smoothies are pretty similar, but I make little changes so that I can get the nutritional benefits of a variety of foods. Fruits have similar qualities but every one has their strenghts. Same with dairy, veggies, greens, etc.

Try a variety of greens. The darker the better. Kale is the "king" of the greens but it is very strong tasting and can lend toward bitterness. I choose to use a little every day and change up the major green leafy each day. I switch between spinich (my favorite, it's quite mild and dark), green chard, red leaf, collard greens, etc. I recently tried arugala. I did not like it. I may try it again sometime, but just a little at a time. It had the strongest "dirt" flavor I have ever tasted. (Oh! Don't act like you've never eaten dirt sometime in your life!) There are many different green leafy vegetables out there. Next time you are in a produce department that has a lot of variety, take a look at the leafy choices. I am amazed at how many are out there!

We ALL need more raw fruits and veggies in our diets. I believe you can't eat too many. The USDA used to promote "5 A Day" in regard to fruits and veggies. Now it's "More Matters". I don't really think the USDA has high enough guidelines but the idea of "More Matters" (when it comes to raw f & v) is good.

It's hard to get as much green's in our daily diets as we should so a green smoothie is a much easier way (to me) than salads.

Just a bunch of "food for thought"! Ha-ha!!! Praying for your good health, happiness, and most of all - Godliness.

  • juliamiriam
    You updated!!! YAY!!! How are you? I'm great!!
    by juliamiriam at 03/10/09 12:23PM
  • karate7
    It is good to see you on here too! We live in the Pensacola, FL area right now--but probably for only a couple more months. After this it will most likely be San Diego for six months and then NC, or just straight out to NC. My husband is in the Marines and still training, so we move a lot, but it is kind of fun, and keeps us from letting our lives get too cluttered. Where are you guys now? I have seen the kids a few times here and there at church in WI, but it has been a while. It is so odd to see them because I remember them as little kids and they are so big now! I can't believe how the time flies by! I hope you are all doing well.
    by karate7 at 03/10/09 2:51PM
  • juliamiriam
    It was wonderful to hear from you also!!! I hoped that I would hear back from you!!! So, you know how at HS camp last year me and Paige Smith helped you and Mr. Rob set up everything for the lattes (sp?)? Well, if possible I would LOVE to help you again every night!!! I would adore to help you and Mr. Rob! It was tons of fun!! Of course I would have to make sure that you guys are bringing it this year!!! So, you can tell me if I can help when you figure out if you guys are bringing it or you could tell me no or yes before and then we can see if you guys will bring it closer to camp!!! Well, I have to go now!!! Love, Julia Miriam Perz
    by juliamiriam at 03/11/09 12:21PM
  • tanja
    I really don't like ginger. Is there anything to replace the ginger that does the same job as ginger does?

    Thanks for the smoothie recipes.
    by tanja at 03/11/09 1:56PM

Green Smoothies

For about a month now I've been experimenting with drinking green smoothies. There is much to say about the benefits of them. Instead of me talking about it go look it up on YouTube. Just type in "green smoothie" and watch the first 3 or 4 of them that come up (If you have interest in this, of course.)

I know a few people that are very interested in this and are drinking them every day, too. I have been sharing my "adventures" with them and thought maybe more people would be interested.

My reason for doing this is to have more energy (I have fatigue problems) and better health.

Today's smoothie 3-7-09

1 cup ice
fill in the cup of ice with orange juice
1 cup buttermilk (opt)
2 scoops protein powder (opt)
1 red pear
1 sm banana
1 in chunk ginger
1 cup frozen mixed berries
4 lg collard green leaves
3 md kale leaves

This make 3 - 16 oz servings (give or take) That's A LOT! I choose to drink that much each day, but if you're considering trying this you may want to cut the amount way down for starters.

Ginger: I knew that ginger is good for stomach aches, but I recently found an article that told me a little more. BTW, ginger, fresh ginger, and gingerroot are all the same thing. Powdered ginger is NOT.

Gingerroot is good for settling stomach aches, nausea, etc (tea recipe to follow). It boosts digestion by stimulating saliva production. (Saliva is necessary for good digestion.) It also has two anit-inflammitories known to clean out destructive bacteria in your body. I found this info in the March 2009 Natural Health magazine.

Gingerroot Tea (for settling a bad stomache ache)

2 T peeled, thinly sliced ginger
1 T honey
juice of half a lemon (organic is better tasting)
8 oz hot water

Steep to taste. Drink as much as you like.

Benefits of honey on another day!
  • sallyanne
    Interesting. Will you be serving these at camp ;)
    by sallyanne at 03/07/09 4:41PM
  • kattath
    thank you Aunt Becky! I love you!!!
    by kattath at 03/09/09 8:57PM
  • tanja
    You inspire me so much!

    Thank you!
    by tanja at 03/09/09 9:35PM
  • karate7
    My husband is a pilot and all the guys use ginger root for settling their stomachs. My husband just cuts a piece off and puts it in has mouth when he needs it. We also used to use it in choir, to help with laringitis(sp.?). We keep the pills around too, for stomach aches, but they don't work near as well as the ginger root. I wonder if that is cause they are made out of powder, like you mentioned?
    Hi--this is Kara "Smith" now Seiders by the way.
    by karate7 at 03/09/09 10:54PM

Daily Prayer/Song

Father God, just for today help to walk your narrow way, help me stand when I might fall, give me the strength to hear your call.
May my steps be worship, may my thoughts be praise, may my words bring honor to your name.
May my steps be worship, may my thoughts be praise, may my words bring honor to your name.

Teach me Lord your holy word, give me the strength to show the world that in your love your grace abounds and for our hope your Son came down.
May my steps be worship, may my thoughts be praise, may my words bring honor to your name.
May my steps be worship, may my thoughts be praise, may my words bring honor to your name.

Here I am just for today, live in me, have your way, for my desire when this race is run is only to hear you say, "Well done!".
May my steps be worship, may my thoughts be praise, may my words bring honor to your name.
May my steps be worship, may my thoughts be praise, may my words bring honor to your name.

  • wheelman
    erm, daily? :) just kidding!
    by wheelman at 02/03/09 9:13PM
  • wheelman
    Sometimes I think about how I'm not where I want to be spiritually, and forget to think about here and now. That's a great song.
    by wheelman at 02/03/09 9:15PM
  • wheelman
    thanks. Noble took those.
    by wheelman at 02/03/09 9:40PM
  • bestill
    Thanks! I've been wanting to find the words to the rest of the verses! I like that song so much-a great song to start a day with.
    by bestill at 02/03/09 10:24PM
  • heidiw
    Becky! thanks for posting this! I miss you!
    by heidiw at 02/03/09 10:42PM
  • hmjmom
    I really like that song. I hope all is well in your corner of the world.
    by hmjmom at 02/04/09 4:24AM
  • tanja
    I don't think I know that song - at least the tune is not coming to me.

    Good words.
    by tanja at 02/04/09 9:16AM
  • bg
    I haven't heard the second verse that you have one here. I have been taught a different 2nd vs. But I do love that song!
    by bg at 02/04/09 1:40PM
  • emh1990
    When the FC friends taught this song to us a few years ago, It became one of my favorite parts of camp! When I got to Faulkner University, I was delighted to know that we sing it here at devotinals too!!! It is such a great way to start and end your day! Thanks for sharing it again with us!
    by emh1990 at 02/04/09 5:05PM
  • ethantweedie14
    Thank you for posting this! I had not heard the 2nd verse!
    by ethantweedie14 at 02/06/09 7:30AM