Archives For Pumpkins

It’s Marybeth.

My mom and I were out in my garden to see how it was going. We were talking and I glanced over at my tomatoes and I immediately GASPED and almost fainted. (:  To my surprise there was little, green, cute, tomatoes. I was very happy. Then I decided to check on my pumpkins and even though you can not see them there are little pumpkin blooms.

I planted on May 12. The pumpkins came up on May 20. I noticed the pumpkins vining on June 4.

My older brother and I also are making mint brownies with my mint. The batter tastes AMAZING but… I do not know about the brownies. It called for wawl-nuts but, we decided not to use them. We also used chocolate mint instead of pepper or spear mint. Here is the link.





Vining off!!!!

Marybeth —  June 4, 2013

Marybeth's pumpkins are vining offHi, it’s Marybeth.

My pumpkins are starting to vine of and take over our yard with their vines. I find it interesting how pumpkins sprout and then, start to grow (vining leaves.)

You can see in this picture that the vining leaf on two sides but, the reason I am showing this  picture to you is because I liked how the leaf was sooo much bigger than the actual plant.


Hi, my name is Marybeth. You may remember that last year I blogged on my garden and I am 10 years old. I am also pastor Chris Brauns’s daughter ( if you read his posts you may have heard of me.)

Today I came home from school and went out to look at my garden. I jogged over to my pumpkin mounds and saw little pumpkin sprouts had come up. I was flooded with excitement and quick as a flash sprinted into the house. I flung open the door and smiled a very, very, wide smile. At this moment my mom looked at me strangely. I knew she was wondering what happened. I of course decided to be calm. So, I ran to the middle of the house and screamed ” the pumpkins the- the- they’re up!!!!!!!!!!!!” The whole house shook and I interrupted my dad (on the Phone)to come look.

You may be  able to tell that I had an exciting afternoon. I believe that excitement came from seeing God’s beautiful creation grow. I have decided to take good care of my garden and there for, be a good steward of the earth.

Our family often talks about these verses:

26 Then God said, “Let us make man[h] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27 So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.





Where does a year go?

Last year, Marybeth decided to farm. Which led to a whole series of posts on our garden:

Marybeth and I are Farming

Planting Day for Marybeth’s Farm

Marybeth Update

This year’s Lowe’s pictures below!

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. Deut 6:6-8

I meet individually with our children each year before the start of school. I buy them a gift. (This year a new CD player for listening to Adventures in Odyssey), take them out for a treat (DQ this year), and we talk about our goals for the coming year (that part is private). It’s not too serious. We look forward to our meetings every year. And pressure is on me to come up with a gift.

Each year after my meeting, we get a picture together.

This year is different, because for the first time, Marybeth’s older sister’s meeting has to do with college and not high school. The years are really flying by. So I’m nostalgic.

My meeting with Allison for second grade was eleven years ago. Our central point of discussion that year was that God sees all things perfectly. . . . “be careful little mouth what you say, for the father up above is looking down in love.” God doesn’t need a microscope.

As for the garden, Marybeth continues to reap. We have bountiful cherry tomatoes, green beans, and the pumpkins keep growing.

Pumpkin Journaling #5

Marybeth —  August 1, 2012

Hi this is Marybeth I am happy to say that our pumpkins are doing amazing maybe. Even better than normal! There is a little girl named Amelia that goes to our church. She loves to look at my garden. I find it funny that she and her family are planting a garden now, mainly because she liked out garden (: God has blessed me.

Do you have a project you have been working on? Has God blessed you?

Marybeth’s pumpkins continue to delight her with their growth. It is hard to believe that planting day was only two months ago.

The drought has required a lot of irrigation. But Marybeth has been very diligent.





We don’t think that the pumpkins are quite the size of a volleyball yet. But they are getting close.

Jamie and I keep thinking about the fact that yesterday Marybeth was smaller than a pumpkin . . .


Image of pumpkin that Marybeth took.The pumpkins are actually turning into pumpkins like orange things but…green and a little bit bigger than golf ball size. They are looking great!!!

I can not wait for orange big punkins!! (for carving) I guess I really do know how to work in a garden. I can not believe that from the seed they are turning into big pumpkins.

I took this picture myself. You can even see that I have my own watermark on my pictures.


Produce in Mary Beth’s Garden

Chris —  July 16, 2012

There are some moments as a father of little girls that I wish I could bottle. Tonight was one of them.

We at a Brick in the Valley are pleased to announce that Mary Beth harvested her first round of produce this evening. She was thrilled to pick two cherry tomatoes.

Our followers at a Brick in the Valley will recall that Marybeth purchased her tomato plants on May 22. May 25 was planting day.  So just under two months later, we are already enjoying the fruit of our labor.

Mary Beth, for her part, was so excited. She was out watering her garden when she spied a ripe tomato. It was hidden away and she was not aware that one was even close to being ripe. She ran into the house to share the good news and we grabbed a camera.Image of Mary Beth buying tomato plants.

Mary Beth has already eaten one of her tomatoes and she believes that it tastes far, far better than anything available in the store. Even as I write she is on the phone sharing the news of her harvest with her grandfather who is a retired farmer.

You can see all our pumpkin posts here.

Never has it been more important to teach our children to work. Parents who allow their children to be lazy undermine the child’s sense of dignity and compromise their future. For parent seeking to teach a work ethic, Proverbs is an incredible gift from God. And Dan Phillips’s book on Proverbs is a great resource for studying Proverbs.

Much is at stake where diligence is concerned. As Proverbs warns, just a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come on you suddenly (Proverbs 6:6-9).

I was privileged to grow up on a farm in Iowa. A farm is the ideal place to learn a work ethic. Children work alongside parents as they bale, pick, plant, raise, and harvest. (Though as I have otherwise confessed, boys and bulls on farms can make for a dangerous combination). I didn’t always work hard, but I did learn to work hard. And I never doubted that my family counted on me, even when I was eight years old. On our farm I saw wagon loads of the result of hard work. I waded in bins of corn, loaded pigs to go to market, and baled sweet smelling hay.

In our post-agrarian culture, it is more difficult to teach a work ethic. But it is still possible if we  meditate on biblical wisdom. Consider 6 lessons from Proverbs 6:6-9.

6       Go to the ant, O sluggard;
consider her ways, and be wise.
7       Without having any chief,
officer, or ruler,
8       she prepares her bread in summer
and gathers her food in harvest.
9       How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
10       A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
11       and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.

6 Principles For Instilling a Work Ethic from Proverbs 6:6-9

  1. Read Proverbs together as a family. Proverbs is God’s gift for sharpening our wisdom saw. Read and meditate on these verses together as a family. Where mining the precious jewels of Proverbs is concerned, I highly recommend (see my endorsement) Dan Phillips’s, God’s Wisdom in Proverbs.
  2. Set an ant-like example. Both my parents modeled a work ethic. Forty years later, I can picture either my mom or dad working incredibly hard. The first ten things about teaching our children a work ethic are example, example, example, example, example, example, example, example, example, example. After that, be sure you are a good example.
  3. Acquire a taste for work. I didn’t like coffee as a child, and I didn’t enjoy work either. But I have learned to like them both. The reason Proverbs has so much to say about work is because a work ethic does not come easily in a fallen world. Tell your children not to be discouraged if they don’t like working. Assure them that if they are disciplined, over time, they will acquire a taste for work and enjoy seeing the results. Grant hope.
  4. No need to move a mountain; just carry a crumb. Ants don’t lug cinder blocks. They just relocate a cracker one crumb at time. Yet, over time, the results of their industry are amazing. In the beginning, we need to give our children very, very manageable tasks which allow them to see progress. Do not ask your child to rid Western civilization of every dandelion the first time you send them out to weed the yard. Ask them to bring you back five, very dead, dandelions.
  5. Fear Laziness. Preach this with passion. You don’t have to be lazy a long time. Just a teaspoon of laziness can lead to poverty. Children do not need to fear the bogeyman, but they ought to tremble at the prospect of being lazy in life.
  6. Work Together. A single ant would never get it done. Ants cooperate. Likewise, we need to teach our children the joy of working together. It is not a fair assignment to banish a six year old to his room to organize until the rapture. Instead, say to him or her, “Let’s have fun doing this together. And then let’s show Mommie how much we got done.” There is a reason my daughter Marybeth and I are raising pumpkins together!

For balance, which I so desperately need, see John Starke’s, A Word for the Ambitious.