The Weekly Ramble

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. We participate in other affiliate programs as well. For more details, please see our disclosure policy.

The weekly ramble: where I blog like it’s 2004.

garden box

Spring is here. For us here in San Diego it means that we could probably go swimming. April and May are prime times to take the kids to the pool before the crowds set in. I haven’t done it yet, but it’s on my list.

Speaking of lists, after months of hearing FishBoy12 talk about a square foot garden, he and FishPapa are at work making it happen. My husband really wanted it counter height. I’m not sure why. We debated about if it will make the plants dry out too much not to be on the ground, particularly with our dry weather. He promised me he’d chop off the legs if that was the case.

But, I haven’t had a green thumb in 12 years so who am I to talk?

FishBoy12 got an initiation into power tools to help build this. He was a little apprehensive, but I’m so glad my husband insisted. Since FishPapa is no longer self-employed and we don’t own a home, it’s hard to find opportunities for the kids to learn handy stuff. We have to be really deliberate and make sure to include one or more of the kids. He had FishBoy14 help him rotate tires last weekend. We’re getting a start.

vanilla extract

Other things are starting as well. After months of “meaning to”, I ordered vanilla beans from Amazon to make homemade vanilla extract. Here’s the method that I use. I got these beans. I’m not sure how’ll they’ll be, but we’ll see. I bought the booze on sale at Ralphs, one of my besties when it comes to groceries.

Also in our week? The kids have been sick. Took one to the doctor today — possible walking pneumonia. Good times. Everyone else appears  to be on the mend.

The weekend promises to be a busy one. My parents were supposed to come, but had to cancel. So, it will be just us, but one child is taking a placement test for college (oh my goodness) and another is getting baptized at the beach on Sunday. Lots of places to be throughout the weekend. Lots of good things in store for us.

As for college, a reader asked for an update. I’m thinking of pulling together a post on our college search/transition thus far. If you’ve got questions or tips you’d like to submit for that post, be sure to do it in the comments section below and I’ll answer or include as best I can.

freezercookingdays (2)

Freezer Cooking Days is back next week. As I explained last week, it’s going to look a little different. I’ll send out a cooking plan in tomorrow’s newsletter. (If you’re not subscribed, you can do so here.)

Consider this the beta plan since I haven’t tested it yet. I’ll be doing that next week and posting it to instagram throughout my cooking day. You can test it along with me or wait until Friday when I post the finalized version here on the blog.

As an added little fun thing, I’ll be hosting a freezer cooking chat on Facebook on Monday at 6 pm PST. Come with questions or good stories and ideas. There will be a giveaway. Yay! And freezer cooking chats are usually lots of fun anyway. Be there or be square. 😉

Meanwhile, here’s what’s been happening on Life as MOM:

Here’s what’s been happening on Good Cheap Eats:

New to Life as MOM? Check out this good stuff from the archives.

Coming next week:

  • Managing Food Allergies While Traveling
  • Homeschool Planning for Next Year
  • A Spring Cleaning Checklist
  • Freezer Cooking Days

Be sure to let me know what stories and articles are helpful to you and what you’d like to see more of in the coming weeks. I want to make your “life as MOM” as fun and as easy as possible.

Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. Theresa says:

    My kids really want a garden, too. We shall see … On colleges, a walk through your family’s decision making process, did having 5 more kids to go affect it, any impact of homeschooling.

  2. We planted most of our seedlings in raised beds this week. We still have a few to go, but so far, broccoli, green beans, various tomatoes, okra, and zucchini are in the ground. Hope all of them GROW!! 🙂

  3. Jen Beaman says:

    I would like to extend my most sincere best wishes to the child being baptised. May God bless you richly with His Presence <3

  4. Rebecca S says:

    I was wondering if you could elaborate on how you did a transcript/diploma for your son. Also, how that impacted his ability to get into college? I’m a homeschooling mom as well, and this will be my first time issuing a diploma so to speak and not quite sure on how it all comes together.


  5. Michele says:

    In regards to college…….there are colleges out there that don’t want students to graduate with debt. College of the Ozarks is one example. Students work for their education.

    • I rarely hear anyone talk about College of the Ozarks! My ex in-laws both worked & retired from there! Back when it was still called School of the Ozarks.

  6. I’m sending #4 off to college in the fall with #5 (my baby) the following year! Random tips off the top of my head, in no particular order…..Start early; we try to start visiting colleges in 11th grade. Go to general open houses then & plan personalized campus visit after that to campuses that make the cut. On personal visits, go with a list of written questions so you don’t forget! Ask lots of questions; I have a list now, lol! Try to talk to a professor or dept. head of areas of study that interest you. Be mindful of deadlines for scholarships. Most colleges will admit you up until the day before a new semester, but youll have missed out on scholarships. Ask about departmental scholarships & the application process for those; it varies from school to school & even from dept. to dept. within the same school. Don’t forget about housing deadlines if living on campus, which most require freshmen to do (with some exceptions like parents living in the area, etc.) Don’t wait until the senior year to take the ACT; mine took it the fall of their junior year. That allowed them plenty of time to try to improve their scores if needed.

    I’m sure there are things I’m forgetting that I’ve learned from experience over the years. I’d be happy to try to answer questions if something I’ve said doesn’t make sense!

  7. My oldest is only 11, but I’ve recently started wondering what we can do to prepare him for college. I’m especially interested in creative ways to pay for college, because I don’t want any of mine to have the debt noose around their necks for any length of time.

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

This is a place where moms can be themselves. Remember that each mother's path looks a little different. Please keep your comments respectful and kind. Reasonable minds will disagree in a nice way.

So let's talk about it, using "our big girl words."

Share Your Thoughts