Day to Day Adventure: 7/10/11 - 7/17/11

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Organizing Time with Teens

Last week I posted about spending time with teens.  The question was Can Teens be . . . .



Have love for all ages—are you kidding?

I wanted to address this because I had a friend on Facebook who was horrified amazed that Steve & I would willingly spend time with a group of 25 teens for a couple of hours! What do you think of when you imagine spending a couple of hours with teenagers?

Steve & I have been privileged & blessed to help guide an ever changing group of pre teens & teens in an activity called Bible Quizzing.  I have said this many times but I will repeat.  These kids are the best kids in the world.  There are few thins I am more thankful for and I wouldn’t trade my time with them for anything. 

However they are teens & it is a huge help to approach this activity & any activity with teens with a plan.  If you let them they will get off track & follow whatever bunny trails they can find!

HOW to organize time with teens

1.  Purpose/goal—This applies to adult activities too!  If there is not a focus then the time will be fun but not necessarily productive. 

Since chaos is not our idea of fun, we’ve discovered that it is absolutely necessary helpful to have a purpose.  Here are some questions to ask.

What are we trying to do?

How long will this keep their attention?

What can we do to break up the time?

2.  Time break down—2 parts are essential

Fellowship—build this in to your time because if you don’t then the teens will do it any way & you will be frustrated. 

It seems best to give them some time at the beginning of the meeting to greet friends & chat for a bit.  That way they can reconnect before we get to work.  Often we will be setting up & greeting people also during this time!  Let it be fun but be ready to guide them to the next part.

Goals & Projects—there needs to be a purpose for your meeting.  Know what you want to do & how long it will take.  Explaining the plan to the teens is a great idea because it lets them know what is expected.  Rewards are good too.  Time to be social again at the end if they work hard is always a good reward.

NECESSARY elements in time with teens

1. Leadership—This is SO important. It is work to organize time for teens to be together. Often by utilizing several families skills and talents the work of running an organization can be delegated. By working together the leadership can set long term & short term goals. Rules can be established & it creates a place of safety for kids to be involved.

2.  Parental involvement & support—One of the reasons that Bible Quizzing is successful is that parents are directly involved.  There are more parents that help than ones who drop off their kids.  Everyone knows the purpose & goal.  There is a lot of work that goes on at home prior to our meeting times so the parents often want to see the end results at the meetings.

3.  Routine—We meet on certain days of the month.  It is consistent and there is little change.  Also each meeting has a routine.  Fellowship time(5-10 minutes), Quiz 1, 2(1 hour), Team meetings or devotion(20 minutes), Quiz 3(15-20 minutes), Clean up time(10 minutes.

4.  Communication—Reminders, updates, calendar changes are all vital for keeping everyone on track.  An initial calendar and information sheet that is available on paper & then can be emailed. 

After that most communication is done via email.  It works to have each person reply & if a family doesn’t reply then a quick phone call can be done to verify they have the necessary in formation.

These ideas are geared toward any teen activity.  However if you are interested here are 10 Reasons Bible Quizzing is WORTH it!  Hope this helps you as you navigate the teen years & I encourage you to get involved in your teens lives and the activities they are enjoying.

My prayer for my children—Fear not. Stand firm and see the deliverance of the LORD.  Exodus 14:13


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Monday, July 11, 2011

10 Things that need doin’


This is an attempt to not procrastinate.  These are my marching orders for this week or maybe next week.

10.  Clean the fish tank-it is bad, really bad.  No the picture isn’t “dark” that is algae—blech!

9.  Defrost the freezer in the garage.

8.  Decide on a color of paint for my dining room.  Brown or green?

7.  Order school books for next year—why have I not done this?

6.  Divide up 50 pounds of oatmeal in to 5 gallon buckets.  Sounds like a kid job to me.  Hmm maybe more than one kid.

5.  Decide what we are doing this weekend.  Camping or projects around the house again.

4.  Mop the kitchen floor.  Again a kid job. HA I love delegating!

3.  Hem the curtains for my bedroom.  It has been half done for a couple of weeks.  ARG!


                   Before               After(not ironed or hemmed)

2.  Mow the grass.  WHY does this need to be done when the heat index is 115?

1.  Last but not least—sew on a project that I can’t share because it is a gift!  This one I want to do before all the others but it is my reward at the end of the day.  It is very cute, soft & cuddly.

Cook Turkey once, Eat twice!

I still have no idea what’s in the freezer..   I find good deals, buy them & they go in the freezer. 

One of my goals this week is to defrost the freezer so I have been emptying it & using some of those good deals.  Tonight I cooked the last Turkey Breast that I had bought when it was on sale(probably around Easter).

My family does love to eat a Turkey in a Pot.  It is a wonderful smell to tempt their tummies all day. 

We paired it with potatoes and salad with our first cherry tomatoes from the garden!

My goal right now is to not heat up my house.  Every single recipe this week for supper on my meal plan is a crockpot one.

Turkey in a Pot

Mexican Chicken

Pirates Stew

Scalloped Potatoes & Ham

Spaghetti Casserole

It was double kitchen duty by cooking the turkey.   Usually I use the leftover turkey to make Turkey Noodle Soup but it is too warm for soup right now.

We have sandwiches on the menu a couple of days this week.  So we will have turkey sandwiches with real turkey instead of deli meat.  MMMM a little mayo & a garden fresh tomato & lettuce. 

Okay now I am getting hungry.  Even better is the knowledge that we had two meals for 6 people for under $9. Yes!

How are you keeping your kitchen cool or saving money on meals this week?




Sunday, July 10, 2011

Garden in a Trashcan?

Sounds crazy doesn’t it? 

Well my whole garden isn’t in the trashcan.  Just my potatoes & sweet potatoes.  Here is the June update on my crowded garden!

My garden is small so I am always up for creative ideas to save space.  After looking at several different bloggers garden ideas, I decided to try planting potatoes in a trashcan.  When I saw potato plants at the green house when I bought the rest of my plants I was overjoyed!

The beginning of June was a bit late I knew to plant potatoes.  I believe that they like the cooler weather to get started(reason I believe this later on in the post).

Planting Process

  1. Take an old trashcan and drilled holes in the sides & bottom.  This allows extra rain water to exit the trashcan!  You don’t want to drown the plants!
  2. Line the bottom of the can with some gravel so that the dirt wouldn’t clog the holes.  I do this in my smaller pots too!
  3. Add soil about 1/3 of the way up trashcan & plant your plants.

Up to this point I had great success! Unfortunately I had other responsibilities call me away.  It rained non stop for several days and then was VERY hot right after.  My potato plants were not happy with their move.  I lost all but one!

I had didn’t have time to plant kept my sweet potato plants inside.  So instead of putting them in their own trashcan I decided to put them with the lone potato plant.  We will see how that works. 

I planted them in a smaller pot & hardened them off by putting them out in the shade and then gradually in more sun for several days.  This seemed to help acclimate them & they are thriving!

As the plants grow I will be adding more soil to cover the stems and leaves.  You should leave 4-6 inches above the soil.  Once the plants reach the top of the trashcan you can just let the plant grow.  I am hoping for a bunch of sweet potatoes & a few regular potatoes too!  I will update at harvest time in the fall!

***Update & confession time.  I haven’t actually looked in in the trashcan for a week or more while.  The sweet potatoes have reached the top & are climbing the fence.  The potato plant looks dead so we will see what happens.  Good thing I love sweet potatoes more than potatoes!


Storing Plastic Bags

Make It Work 2

I keep my eye out for new(or old) ways of doing things that improve my home!  So next week my plan is to start a new blog hop on Monday called Make It Work.  This a new thing for me so stay with me here.  Do you have some great ideas that fix a problem? 

This is the place to share it!  Come back next week & share your handy dandy solutions so we can all benefit! 

Plastic bags are so useful but so plentiful!

You come home from shopping with dozens of plastic bags from the store.  (Unless you have invested in enough reusable bags)

We do recycle most of them but some of them are used in our smaller trashcans.  So what do you do with the ones that are hanging around the house waiting to be used?

In the past, we used a homemade cloth tube that hung on a hook in a closet but the tube came apart so I kept looking for an easy solution.

Paper towel tubes!  We’d be recycling these anyway & they are free!  I like that they are slim & somewhat crushable.  An empty Pringles can works well also—love that it has a lid!


It makes this little nook in my garage a bit neater! 

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