The Dube Pumpkin Patch

We are not gardening pros at all. But for the last few years we’ve been swimming in eggplant. We started a small garden 3 years ago and our tiny eggplant turned into a tree. For real. I had to give so many away we couldn’t eat anymore. And this “tree” lived for all THREE years. 

Well this summer I teared it all out to make room for The Dube Pumpkin Patch! Now I’m not entirely sure it’s gonna actually work but so far so good.

Easiest Garden Ever:

  • 12 cinder blocks 
  • Large cardboard box
  • Dirt

All you do is lay flat the cardboard box wherever you want your garden to grow. There’s no need to dig up the grass or anything. Just lay it out. Place the cinder blocks on top of the cardboard to make a rectangle. Soak the cardboard with your hose. Pour in dirt. That’s it folks! 

Mine is old so grass has grown thru the block holes but if you’re really awesome you would plant marigolds and herbs in those boxes to encourage pollinators. 

Use more or less blocks to make your perfect size garden. This size fits about 4-6 plants. 

Two weeks later from that above photo…

That’s only 5 Pumpkin plants. Underneath all those vines is romaine too but I don’t know that it will survive this Pumpkin invasion.

The most exciting thing was this morning when I went out to pick off all the caterpillars that snack on my garden I couldn’t find any. I knew they were there because their poop was all over the leaves. I was so surprised to find 6 cocoons!!! Turns out we are also growing butterflies 🦋 I’m just glad that these vines grew faster than the caterpillars could chew. And now these little green monsters that I thought were destroying my garden, now might actually be the ones to pollinate these Pumpkin flowers. 

Just another amazing way that God has shown me that what he has designed is perfect. I have only watered this garden twice in 4 weeks, there’s no pesticides being sprayed to keep the bugs away and there’s no magic fertilizer in the soil. God doesn’t need our help, we only need His.

Matthew 6:25-34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Sweet Memories

Playing peek-a-boo in the mirror with Lydia. She cannot believe that there’s two of me. She keeps looking around and touching my face.

Gracie brushing and braiding my hair.

Timmy asking me what’s over there just so he can surprise kiss my cheek.

Grace and Lydia crawling around the house together like friends.

Hearing Lydia say Da-da everytime he walks in the room. Hearing her say Gracieeee, basically hearing her say anything in that sweet voice.

Being snuggled up in bed with all the kids and Daddy just reading.

Grace says she’s marrying Max.

Timmy is saving all his dollars to build a new house with stairs.​​​ 

My Saturday night plans..

Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day sweetheart. Nothing makes you look more handsome than than three littles dangling from your arms. We love you so much!

We had brunch with our families and it turned into dinner too. It was a beautiful day.

A Star is Born

Grace is shy and quiet, but put her in a tutu and on a stage & a star is born. This child had an entire audience clapping and laughing so hard some were crying including Daddy. 

She walked out on that stage confident & twirling. & she spun & spun & spun the whole time. The song ended and she kept on twirling. They had to come escort her off stage. 

Apparently she told Aunt Erica that she wanted a solo and she totally got that solo.

She’s just the cutest duck ever!

Memaw came to see the big show ❤️

Me & my girl 

Daddy & his princess

Proud mama 

Me and my dad & Grace & her Dad ❤️

Nursing Little Ones

Nursing my babies has been such a joy for me. It is a time set aside, several times a day, that is just for me and baby. The more children you have the less of those individual moments you have. 

Nursing forces you to slow down. Its the interruption of your day that is the gift. That reminder to snuggle your baby even if the laundry is piled high or the dog hair is floating around like hay stacks in the wind.

It has not always been easy. This is my third round and I feel like a breastfeeding guru now. But when I think back to nursing my first born it seemed like a hopeless feat. He was 4 weeks early by emergency c-section, I was very sick with pre-eclampsia and pneumonia and he was very sick in the NICU. They had me pumping every 20 minutes and nothing was coming out. In the meantime he was getting formula. Thank God for formula. When we left the hospital a week later I was determined to nurse. My mother nursed all six of her kids so for me there was no other way. At first we alternated formula bottles and nursing and I would pump when he drank formula. It. Was. Insanity. It was not at all glamorous. My nipples were so sore I slept with frozen peas in my bra. There were sores and scabs and bleeding. I was a battle of sorts. I just kept going. And by 3 months old Timmy was exclusively breastfed and all the way until his first birthday.

My second experience wasn’t nearly as traumatic. Grace was born a pro. She was nursing 30 minutes after my c-section. They brought her in recovery and she just knew what to do. My nipples were not spared tho. Same thing all over again with frozen peas as my savior and lanolin. That stuff is a life saver. Grace nursed until 19 months. She preferred nursing to eating real food. The girl never took a bottle. That means I never could leave her with a sitter. She would starve herself before she would put her mouth on a bottle nipple. That was beneath her. I should have know then she was a born diva! 

Lydia has been my easiest. I am a different mom now though and I think that makes all the difference. I’m not consulting a book or webmd at every cry. I feel confident in my “momming” and I think that calmness makes for happier babies. I don’t have a breastfeeding journal like I did with Timmy, I don’t worry about how much time she feeds and what side I used last like I did with Grace. We go with the flow. A very smart nurse once told me that the first breast is the entree and second side is dessert. So don’t count minutes. A happy full baby will either fall asleep or pull away when they’re done. You can’t over nurse a baby. So Lydia nurses for as long as she wants & I try to soak it all in because in a very short time this season of my life will come to an end.

Lydia is 10 months

She’s just so happy, her eyes smile. & she has the craziest laugh. Like sometimes it sounds a little devilish. ​

​She big into immitating everything we do. Shakes her head no, blows raspberries, clicks her tongue. She says the word hi at least we think. She’s stands by herself for like half a second. I just bought 18 month pjs and size 4 diapers. She’s all over the place and everything goes in her mouth. She hums herself to sleep. Still loves her swing. Just learned how to throw things. Does not like avacado but love broccoli. Sorta figuring out drinking water. Still wears her bows like a champ. Can’t keep shoes on for a minute. Loves Minnie Mouse. Took her first bath without the bath seat. 

She is so loved.

My Dad is 7-0

Yesterday we celebrated my Dad’s 70th birthday. Seems crazy. 

We’ve gone all out on his last few big birthdays & boy has life changed from birthday to birthday.

At his 50th birthday my mom threw him a huge surprise party with a golf theme at a country club. He was in the prime of his life & living large. Family from all over flew in to surprise him.

On his 60th we planned a surprise cruise. He knew him & my mom were going on a cruise but when he turned the corner past the passport check in we were all standing there plus his mom & sister. He was so surprised and ALOT concerned about who paid for all of us 😂 At that point me, Jessica and Erica brought our boyfriends on this trip.

This picture is from Tina & Tonys fake wedding. He just looks so happy here. This was 7 years ago.

For his 65th birthday we went to Discovery Cove. We got a cabana with a butler, full bar. Everyone came plus grandma Leslie. Me and Tim were married plus little Timmy. Jessica and Matt were married and a little surprise, John was proposing to Erica. It was so cute. He had a dolphin swim over to her with a buoy that said Will you Marry me?

The years between his 65th and 70th birthday have been hard. There have been many ups and downs with his health and he now lives with me permanently. My parents have divorced and we’ve added 3 more grandkids and one on the way. Victoria has met an awesome guy who is also a chef (!!!) and my mom is engaged to a wonderful man who really loves our kids. He is the grandpa my kids might never have had. Both me & Tims dads are elderly and can’t play with the kids or spoil them the way my moms fiancé does. Nothing has shown me more that God has a plan, than this realization of the gift that Tom has been to this family. 

Now my Dad lives for the days when all his kids are in the same room. Nothing brings him more joy than to sit and listen to the laughter. So that’s just what we did for his 70th birthday. We had a feast for a king! It was a great day with my favorite company and the best chefs I know!

The grand babies!

The chefs!

The poor yummy lobsters! RIP

The birthday boy!

His mini me!


He was excited!

Carols first lobster! & she spit it out 😱

Homeschool Convention Notes 2017

I was like a kid in a candy store when I walked into that exhibit hall 🙌🏻 & the night before was my Christmas Eve. So I guess you could say I was a tad bit excited about my very first convention for homeschool.

The main speaker was one of my favorite people, Sarah Mackenzie. She’s like the Beyoncé of homeschooling. Her book changed my whole way of thinking.

It started at 8:30 and me and Lydia arrived at 7am because I’m crazy. But Sarah was the first speaker and I didn’t want to miss a minute.

One of the first questions she asked us was to think of how we want our kids to describe being homeschooled 20 years from now. Like imagine your kids are 25 years old and out to dinner with friends, what will they say?

We all shouted out things like loving, fun you know all the sweet adjectives we could think of.

She starts laughing and says oh you mean you don’t want them to say that they knew all their letters by 2.5 years old or that they completed their entire geometry curriculum on time?

That really got me to thinking. Even as a public school student, how I describe my school years has zero to do with what information I learned when and do I even remember half the things they tried to shove down our throats so that we could finish our workbooks by June… 

When I think back to school I remember my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Phillips, who was so wacky & fun. I remember Show & Tell and the sand & water tables. I remember Mrs. Rhinehardt who read Corduroy to me for the first time and sent me home with the ragged old bear to take care of for the weekend. I remember Miss Dunn who lived with her parents on my street. She was so sweet and probably not older than 25. She had us do a project where we designed a restaurant making blueprints and then we had to create a menu. I loved that and at the time thought I for sure wanted to open my own restaurant. I remember mean Mrs. Maine. Nobody liked her but I don’t know why. She read to us Little House on the Praire. My family moved mid way through the year and we hadn’t yet finished the book. She knew I loved it and bought me my own copy. Its on my bookshelf to this day. Its still my favorite book. 

In the later years I remember Mr. Navetta. The absolute best. He taught me Algebra and he worked so hard to make sure I understood. If you made lower than a C on a test he would have you come in a relearn what you missed. He was available before school and after school for free tutoring. He always made time for me. He was obsessed with the book “How to Kill a Mockingbird” and he was a math teacher, go figure. He had the quotes from the book all over his classroom. I visited him every year after I left middle school until I graduated high school. 

I only have 1 memorable teacher past middle school and I can’t remember his name but I can see his face and his balding red hair. He taught AP English at my high school. It was the morning of 9/11. We were all very confused by everything that was happening. We had the news on the tv and when people started jumping from the buildings he turned off the tv and said y’all bow your heads. Now I don’t remember his exact words but he said a beautiful prayer. This was public school and he was a Jewish man. But that day it did not matter. He did what he knew to be right on that scary day and I’ll never forget it.

So when I think about what I want my own children to say about their homeschool experience, I want them to remember all the books, the feeling of being snuggled up to mom, the laughter from playing with their siblings. I want them to know that if I saw they were interested in something that I tried to give them all the opportunity I could to learn all about it. I want them to know how much I cherished the short time I was given to fill them with Gods truth and His love. 

Another important comment that Sarah made was about an airplane and a hammer. Sounded weird to me at first too. But here’s the deal. We buy curriculum because well it’s pretty and organized and we are all excited about teaching the lessons. Come January we are hardly half way through and we are not sure if it’s really going to get finished. And the curriculum stares at us with its not so real eyes and judges us from the shelf. Well Sarah says curriculum is a tool, much like a hammer. Its useful only when you need it and want to use it. You don’t buy a hammer and say well I better use this hammer everyday or I’m a failure. You don’t just go along hammering holes in the wall just to say you used it. Use your curriculum to your benefit, when it suits you and your children. Don’t feel like you have to check it off a to do list. You are the ruler of your school day, the curriculum is only a tool to help. 

And so the airplane… the pilot has a flight path all mapped out. He has a plan. You don’t just board a plane and say ok let’s wing this, where we headed? Bermuda? So you see, the curriculum is your flight path. The plan for the year, so nice and orderly. But just like most flights, there’s bad weather and we have to adjust the path. There are going to be events and sick babies that slow down your pace. Don’t panic, just adjust your path. Don’t rush through your lessons just to get caught up. Be aware of when Jesus is purposely trying to slow you down. And when all else fails, get a blanket and a book and read to those sweet children. 

& don’t forget to date all your paperwork, work book pages & projects – lol

I am so excited for our very first Kindergarten year with Timmy and a little sad about my last year of Grace being a preschooler. Luckily for me I get to start all over with Lydia and maybe by then I’ll have it all figured out.

Summer Vacation 2017

Oh how we needed this vacation!

Tim has been working insane hours and honestly I wasn’t sure this was actually going to happen. But it did and it was so awesome.

First we drove to Orlando. We left at 11:00. In the a.m. That’s right!  😳 I swear this man just can not be anywhere early. It was so hard for me to sit patiently and wait on him. But NOTHING was going to ruin this vacation even if I had to wait 4 extra hours for Mr. Dube to get himself together.

He’s worth the wait ❤️ 

But real talk his laxadaisy ways kill me 😂

We took the kids to Aquatica Waterpark and you know what’s awesome is that you have to put your phone in a locker so it doesn’t get wet. Undivided family time! There’s no pictures but that time alone with just us was priceless. Watching my kids run around with their Dad was so special for me. I snuggled with Lydia on a lounge chair and listened to all the giggles.

Then we checked into our hotel.

Harbour Lake Marriot.

Stay. There.

I feel like I should work for there marketing department. It is the best resort we’ve ever stayed at. I even wrote a review and I never do that. There was something for the kids all day and their pools were so awesome.

When we got there they had s’mores and a guitar player who let the kids sing songs. Timmy sang the ABCs. I’ll never forget the sound of his sweet voice. I wish I had recorded it.

The next day Tim had Timmy and Grace to himself while me and Lydia attended the homeschool convention. They had so much fun at this pirate ship pool.

Then gator land cane to the resort and this happened!

On the last day I took the kids to the splash pad while Daddy packed up the room. Lydia had the best time!

You really never have to leave this place. They eve have a water park type slide that Timmy loved.​

My Grace is the ultimate diva. I swear she was born to be a princess.   

Then we were on our way to Alabama to see friends. These girls have been my friends since the 5th grade. 

Reunited and it feels so good 🎤

We had the best time! I think seeing our kids play together gave us the sweetest joy. Even the rain couldn’t get us down.

The first day we ended up having our beach picnic in a parking garage. No one cared. We were just happy to be together.

The next day the weather was great.

It doesn’t get much better than that! Beer in hand with this view of cute kids running around making memories.

& matching jammies ❤️

This precious photo. My boy was in love.
It was so nice to embrace the crazy and sip wine with my girlfriends and the men were like old friends too. Makes a world of difference when the guys like each other too.

Lydia’s first vacay in the books!

Sweet Memories

Mom are ladybugs only ladies? 


Oh so are they called menbugs?

😂🐞 Love this boy

That’s a 9 month costume. Can’t tell this girl it doesn’t fit 😂

This morning snuggling with all three kids because it is raining for the thousandth day.

Just look at those eyes.. they’re telling me how uncool I am because I said don’t go out in the rain. “We don’t care about the rain Mommy!”

A cowboy hat, Elsa costume & pink sparkly shoes. She’s had her own style since babyhood.

Licking the insides of a Nutella sandwich in a baby swing. Girl has the life. And clearly I’m the ultimate mom feeding my kids the most nutritious lunches.

I want to be a baby so I never have to clean again! – Grace

Lydia’s first time in her baby pool. Safety first! That’s why there’s about a centimeter of water… I have issues. 😂 Look at that smile though! She’s the best.

She was a little thirsty lol.

The best view❤️