Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Teach Your Children To Work

Yes, I know they only have one childhood… So don’t waste it.  Work will always be a part of their life, so teach your children to enjoy it!

Our Little Farmhands love to work!  (Well, they love some kinds of work!)  FarmBoy loves anything involving the tractor.  So last night when Papa the Farmer came home and decided to finish mowing one part of the yard, FarmBoy went too!  He was already in his pajamas, but I let him go anyway.
After a little while it was bedtime.  I went down there and called him up.  But the two of them talked me into “just please let him finish up” so I did.  FarmBoy was so excited to be helping to mow the grass (on Papa’s lap, of course)!  As I was walking back up to the house I looked over my shoulder and there was FarmBoy looking back at me with a big, silly, excited grin on his face.

Well, 5 minutes later, they were back at the house… and this is what I saw:

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This morning he said, “I was so tired from cutting the whole place that I just…. fell asleep!”
Yeah, we work them hard.  =)

Friday, April 22, 2011

How to do an Internal Cleanse

[Farm Lady here:  Today, I want to introduce you to my friend Michelle Foster of  Michelle and I have known each other since I was 9 years old… Let’s just say, that’s a lot of years!  We went to church together as children and she is the sweetest lady you’d ever want to meet!  Who knew back then that I would grow up to be a farm lady and she would grow up to be a Medical Herbalist and Lifestyle Educator?  I remember the day she told me she was going to university to become a naturopath and I got a confused look on my face and asked her, “What’s that?”  Michelle was the first person to nudge me in the direction of natural medicine and healthy living!  I asked her if she would be a guest blogger on the Good Old Days Farm blog and she wrote this article about cleansing!  Perfect timing, because although she didn’t know it, I am in the middle of my first cleanse!  (And let me tell you… It really is making a difference!)  If you enjoy this post, be sure to check out her website, because she has so much good information posted there!  Enjoy!]

Now that the longer days and warmer temperatures of spring are finally on their way, you may be turning your thoughts towards spring cleaning.

I'm sure you agree with me that it's necessary to cleanse and get rid of old stuff from time to time. Most of us think only about our homes and general surroundings when we think about spring cleaning, but cleansing is also important when it comes to our bodies.

We're all exposed to multiple sources of pollution, toxins, or chemicals on a daily basis. While our bodies are designed to naturally cleanse on their own, our systems can only handle so much.

Too much stress, chronic dehydration, lack of fiber, and poor eating can cause our systems to become overburdened and backed up. This can lead to all kinds of sickness and disease. That's why regular cleansing is so important.

Spring is the perfect time to rid your body of the wastes and toxins you've accumulated over the winter months. So while you're making up your to do lists and cleaning schedules, don't forget to pencil in some time to clean out your insides too.

There are many different kinds of cleansing programs out there, some more drastic than others. It's always a good idea to start with something gentle, especially if you’ve never done a cleanse before. If need be, you can always progress to something more potent.

One gentle cleanse that works very well is the seven day "Elimination Diet" (a.k.a. Fruit and Vegetable Cleanse). This cleanse was first recommended by Jethro Kloss, author of Back to Eden.


In this cleanse, you eat nothing but fresh fruits and vegetables for a period of 7 days. What I like best about it is that it's gentle but effective. It does wonders to flush and cleanse your system. On this cleanse you'll release excess acid, mucus, and other unwanted toxins.

The Fruit and Vegetable cleanse is not impossibly hard to do because you're not going on a complete fast or limiting the amount of food you're going to eat. Fortunately, fresh produce is full of fiber, vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients, so it keeps you feeling satisfied.

Although Jethro Kloss recommended this cleanse for 7 days, you can still get good results going for just 3 days.

Before I get to how it all works, here are some important things to know about cleansing:

1. It's always a great idea to consult with your doctor or qualified health care practitioner before making any changes in your diet, especially if you're on medication or if you've got health issues.

2. It's pretty common to start feeling worse before you start to feel better while on a cleanse, especially if your normal diet consists of a lot of processed, fried, and junk foods. You may start to experience headaches, bad breath, irritability, pimples, fatigue, and other yucky symptoms. I know it doesn't sound very appealing, but it's perfectly normal. It's called a "healing crisis" or "detoxification reaction" and is just a sign that your body is releasing wastes into your bloodstream.

3. You can minimize your chances of experiencing a healing crisis by preparing your body for a cleanse. You can get prepared by cutting out junk foods, fast foods, processed foods, and fried foods and replacing them with more raw fruits and veggies. Begin your day with a mug of hot water with the juice of a lemon squeezed into it and drink enough water throughout the day. All of these things will help to (gently) promote the removal of wastes from your system.

4. Once you're ready to do a cleanse, try to schedule a time when your schedule is not so hectic (e.g., over the weekend). That way you won't be so overwhelmed if you do start to experience any symptoms of detoxification.


Now that that's out of the way, here's how to do Fruit and Vegetable Cleanse:

Step One: Take a gentle herbal laxative the day before you start the cleanse. This will help you to begin the process of releasing toxins and wastes from your system. Be sure to drink enough water throughout the day.

Step Two: Start the cleanse by eating only meals of either fresh raw fruits or fresh raw vegetables. Avoid mixing fruits and vegetables together in the same meal.

For example, you could have a large fruit salad for breakfast, a large mixed salad for lunch (use dried herbs and freshly squeezed lemon juice as a dressing), and more fresh fruit for dinner. If you prefer vegetables, have more vegetables, and if you prefer fruit, eat more of them. The choice is yours.

Try to stick with only fresh, raw fruits and veggies. Choose whichever ones are in season. Frozen fruits are okay to eat, but don't use canned fruits or vegetables.

Continue drinking enough water throughout the day. This will help your body to flush out the toxins that will get released from your cells.

Step Four: Once you've eaten nothing but fruit and vegetables for 3 - 7 days, end the cleanse by eating simple meals for another day or two before you go back to your regular diet. Simple meals would include an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables along with foods that are easy for you to digest (e.g., baked potatoes, vegetable soup, squash, etc.)

You can repeat this cleanse once a year or as often as you'd like. For best results choose the fruits and vegetables you already love.
Michelle Foster is a Medical Herbalist and Lifestyle Educator. She loves learning about natural health and teaching others how to improve and take care of the health they’ve got. Michelle is the creator and author of

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Farm Life Easter Bonnet Tutorial

Last week I showed you a pretty spring hat we made from dollar-store materials that would make a perfect Easter bonnet for the little girl in your life! 

Today, I want to show you another hat we made… This one is perhaps less appropriate for church, but definitely more adorable!

Avery Akeman is our official farm friend!  She is the same age as our Little Farmhands, but she has various medical issues.  Serious medical issues.  Her heart stops when she eats and her immune system is so compromised that she can’t be around other children…  but she can receive letters and the Little Farmhands love writing to her! 

Well last Monday was her birthday.  We wanted to make her something (inexpensively!) that would remind her of her farm friends…  Well, we came up with a hat that was very much one-of-a-kind!

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(Here’s a picture of our Farm Girl modeling it for the camera!)

Here’s how we did it: 

First we gathered up our supplies (a hat from the dollar store, artificial flowers and greenery from the dollar store, ribbon, and a “Farm Toob” from Hobby Lobby (yay for Hobby Lobby’s 40% off coupon!)  We also used two elastic bands and about 1/2 skein of brown “I Love This Yarn” from Hobby Lobby.  It is so soft!

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The Farm Boy really wanted Avery to have “Rainbow Ribbon” on her hat.  I was skeptical about how it would look, but it turned out pretty well!  We pulled off the ribbon that came with the hat and replaced it with a band of “Rainbow Ribbon.”  (We just hot glued the bottom down.)

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The “Rainbow Ribbon” didn’t quite fit the shape of the hat so I tacked it down with hot glue:

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Next we made a big bow with long streamers hanging down in the back and glued that on:

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The next step was lots of fun!  We took all the little creatures out of the “Farm Toob” and arranged them around the brim of the hat.  Then we glued them on to the ribbon:

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We added some greenery to the brim of the hat:

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And tucked some flowers into the ribbon (hot glued in place, of course)!

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I can’t remember whose idea the “final touch” was, but what is a Farm Girl without braids?  So we added Farm Girl Braids!  We made the braids by wrapping yarn around a huge book 65 times:

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Then I very carefully slid the yarn off the book and sewed the top together several times.  (Sorry for the sloppy stitching, but this part was really tricky!)

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It occurred to me that Avery’s parents might not want to be seen in public with a little girl in a farm hat complete with farm braids, so I added some velcro to the braid to make them removable:

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I was careful to put the soft side of the velcro inside the hat so that it will feel soft against Avery’s head when she is wearing the hat braid-less:

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I cut the bottom loops of the yarn, braided it and secured it with an elastic band.  Then I made it look pretty with more “Rainbow Ribbon!”

Here are some final shots of the hat!  I suspect it was one of Avery’s more unique birthday presents this year!

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Becoming a Holistic Health Practitioner!

I have some super-duper, extra-exciting, life-changing news to share today!  My vision for our family’s farm is to use the farm somehow to help people learn about eating more healthfully and using natural remedies.  So the question over the past year has been how to make that happen.  Papa the Farmer and I talked it over and we came up with the idea to teach vegetarian cooking classes.  Now, that is a great idea, but it also presents a problem.  I’ve been a vegetarian my entire life and I’m a great cook, but that doesn’t mean I was born knowing how to combine proteins or even able to explain the difference between a calorie and a carbohydrate for that matter.  Vegetarianism is a lifestyle for me.  I prepare meals intuitively and I believe wholeheartedly that I am eating in a way that honors God as the creator of my body and helps me to stay healthy, but I really can’t explain the science behind why I eat the way I eat…

We prayed about it and I did some research.  I discovered that the Global College of Natural Medicine offers some great distance-learning courses that are exactly what I need!  I was initially drawn to their Nutritional Consultant Program, but wow!  Their Master Herbalist Program looks great, too!  So, I have decided to take the Holistic Health Practitioner Program, which is a combination of the Nutritional Consultant and Master Herbalist programs. 

Yesterday my box of course materials arrived:

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I am so excited!  This is all material that I would want to study anyway, even if I wasn’t taking a course!  I have a teaching degree, but I never felt as passionate about teaching reading and math as I feel about being able to help people care for their own bodies!  I expect that the workload of this course will be a pleasure!

I have always said that I would not do anything this time consuming while my children were young, so this has been a big decision that I really prayed about.  But the Lord has given me a conviction that this is information that will help me to be a better mother and I plan to study after the children are in bed.  (Ok, I might move their bedtime up a little bit to give me more time to study… but I promise to never put them to bed before suppertime!) 

The best part of all is that God opened up a way for me to take this program on a scholarship!  The condition of the scholarship is that I need to use the information I am learning to help others… SO…..  After I graduate we will be offering vegan cooking classes, nutrition classes and classes in herbs and natural remedies, free to the public! 

Now that’s great news if you happen to live nearby, but I know that many of you don’t live nearby!  So, I’m going to occasionally be sharing what I’m reading and learning here on the blog.  In addition to the farm life-type posts I usually write, I’ll also be doing book reviews, health-related articles and giveaways.  I hope we all enjoy this journey together!  And at the end of this course, I plan to have a big graduation party!  Right here on the blog!

You might notice that I have added a button to my sidebar for the Global College of Natural Medicine.  It is not my goal to sell you a course, but if you get all inspired by what I’m sharing on the blog and decide to sign up for one of these correspondence courses, please consider supporting the Good Old Days Farm by using our link! 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Starting An Herb Garden! (This was not really the plan…)

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time you probably know (or have figured out!) that farming is not my dream…  but the idea of an herb garden does appeal to me!  So I picked out the perfect spot and asked Papa the Farmer to till it up for me…

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I have big dreams of turning this spot into herbally-medicinal wonderfullness that will grow back year after year.  Yesterday was the last day of The Heard Museum's Native Plant Sale so off I went to find some native goodies!  (Ok, and I also stopped at two local garden stores on my way home).  I won’t show you everything, but let me share a few of my favorite finds:


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Last November a friend showed me her stevia plant that she bought at last year’s Heard Museum Native Plant sale.  The leaves taste so sweet!  I have been waiting ever since to get my own plant!  Stevia is a natural sweetener from Paraguay.  It is reported to be 100 times sweeter than sugar, but it is virtually calorie-free!  I am so excited to try this in my tea!


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The Greek Oregano was smelling wonderful!  Had to get some of that!


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These pictures are both different varieties of basil.  Isn’t it amazing how God creates plants that are so different and yet so the same, all at the same time?  On the left is Boxwood Basil and on the right is Sweet Basil.  Last year I was on a green smoothie kick and I experimented using the Basil to make green smoothies (like the recipe in the book said!).  That was definitely a mistake, so this year we’ll be making pesto!  Mmmm! 


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I found this Citriodorium Geranium in the herb section at the plant sale, but I’m thinking it’s probably not edible.  It smells wonderful though and I immediately fell in love with it!  (Which is saying quite a bit, because I’m really not a plant person… This whole farming idea was not my idea, remember?)  It has a very strong lemon scent and so I am going to try steeping the leaves in water and using it to scent my home-made soap!


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This is Pineapple Sage… and let me tell you, it smells exactly like a pineapple pizza!  Mmmm!  I said that to Papa the Farmer and he just got a weird look on his face and said, “It’s obviously been a long time since you ate pizza.”  Ok, whatever.  It still smells pretty good and I’m not the only one who thinks so:

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My final super-duper find of the day was cilantro:

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I must have had cilantro on my mind, because I only intended to buy 2 plants… and I did… I bought 2 plants everywhere I stopped!  Oops!  Well, you can never have too much cilantro, right?  (Oh, and if you are reading this and you happen to be my neighbor… You’ll know where to come for cilantro this summer!)


So anyway, those were all my exciting finds from yesterday’s plant excursion!  I figured I would come home and just pop all the plants into the beautifully prepared, weed-free garden that Papa the Farmer would have waiting for me. 

 Picture 274  

Well, it didn’t exactly work out that way.  Papa the Farmer tilled up an herb bed for me, but there’s still a lot of weeds in it.  I need to lay black plastic down and leave it there for a couple of weeks until the weeds die off:

   Picture 280 

See?  It doesn’t look so good right now.  But it will!  Now if I can just keep those plants alive for the next couple of weeks I will have a beautiful place of herbally-medicinal wonderfulness!  I’m so excited!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Frugal Girls’ Easter Bonnet! (Tutorial)

Am I the only one who thinks paying $15+ for a little girls’ dress hat that they are only going to wear to church a few times is obscene?  Well, for those of you needing Little Girl Easter hats, here’s a tutorial for a sweet little Easter Hat… just barely in the nick of time!

I found some very simple (pretty flimsy) little hats at “Dollar Tree” for $1.  We bought two.  One for the farm girl and one for a friend.

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We also found these really pretty artificial flowers for $2:

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With a little hot glue, this is what we ended up with:

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In case you’re thinking to yourself, “Is that grass on the top of her head…” please don’t judge me!  She really wanted a butterfly up there.  Here’s a bird’s eye view:

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We also made a second hat for a friend.  We started with the same $1 hat, but this one was green.  The Little Farmboy wanted “rainbow ribbon” on this one so we pulled off the little ribbon the hat came with and added some “rainbow ribbon”:

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Then we tied a bow and glued that onto the back, leaving long beautiful ends! 
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As you can see, the ribbon fits at the base, but it needs some adjusting to get the top of the ribbon to lay flat.  I was going to sew it little tucks into the ribbon, but I found that hot glue did the trick pretty well:

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I think our friend will be very pleased when she gets her hat!  We had such fun making these today!  Now, we will not be wearing ours to church, but with the right ribbon and/or flowers, this could make an adorable hat for Easter!

How to Chose a Husband When You’re Only 6 Years Old

Now don’t worry… With that title I am not promoting child-marriages!  Often I find myself wondering what goes through a child’s mind and once in a while the child will say something so profound that it’s funny.  I have a little friend, Sweet Girl, who is 6 years old.  I secretly wouldn’t mind if she or her younger sister grew up to marry one my Little Farmboy.  (I think Little Farmboy might have his eye on the little sister!)  Yesterday I got this email from my little friend’s mom:

Just yesterday Sweet Girl tells me TOTALLY out of the blue "When I grow up I need to have a good Dada (for her children, a husband for her!)." Then she asks "How am I gonna know if he's a good one or a bad one?" 

So I said "Well, you need to find that out before you marry him! You have to make sure he loves Jesus. You have to make sure he is a hard worker and not lazy, and that he does what is right. "
She thought about that a minute and said "Yeah, I've been thinking...I'm going to ask him to build a shed. Then I'll watch how he does it, and if he is real slow about it, then I'll know he's lazy." LOLOL!!!! Go figure!

Then she says "And, he can't be silly. Like, my harp teacher gave me some stickers that were just silly....that's not gonna work with a husband. And he can't be, like, eating junk either. Because if I eat good food, and he eats all the junk food, then he'll come home and ask 'Why did you throw out all my food?'" 

(Which, let me throw right here that me and my husband are totally on the same page as far as food goes, so I don’t know where she gets this from! Hahaha!  He doesn't buy junk food that I throw away...Lol!)
"And he can't sit around and watch t.v. or sit on the computer all day. He needs to know how to do practical stuff!"
Guess more is "caught" than taught???
Smart little girl!  So I’m going to make sure the Little Farmboy learns to work hard so that he passes her “not lazy, not silly test”! 


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Well Versed Family Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to all who participated in our Giveaway of “The Well-Versed Family” by Caroline Boykin!
Our winner was selected randomly, via

winner (2)
Congratulations to “Frugal Female”! 
If you did not win, but still would like to read “The Well Versed Family,” don’t forget that it is available at!  It is an excellent book and I highly recommend it for families interested in Scripture Memory!

Happy Memorizing!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Getting Started With Scripture Memory

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One of the toughest challenges in getting started with memorizing scripture, for me, is choosing which verses to memorize first.  The perfectionist in me could get so caught up deciding which verses are the “right” or the “best” verses to memorize that we would never memorize anything at all!  Today I am going to share some verse lists that have helped me get started with scripture memory!

The Navigators puts out a very popular list of Bible verses to memorize called the “Topical Memory System.”  When I first began being interested in scripture memory, I read so many testimonials of people saying they had memorized these verses decades ago and that these particular verses had been a great help to them over the years.  This is a list of 60 verses covering the following topics:  Live the New Life, Proclaim Christ, Rely on God’s Resources, Be Christ’s Disciple, and Grow in Christlikeness. provides a list of suggested verses for getting started in memorizing.  Topics in this list include:  The Student Motto (“I am, I can, I ought, I will”), Christian Living, Classic Passages, Creation, Old Testament, Proverbs, Psalms and Salvation. offers a list of the 100 most-read verses on their Bible Look-Up site.

If you peek at the table of contents for the book "100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know By Heart" by Robert J. Morgan you will find 100 more great verses for Bible Memorization.  Some are the obvious, familiar verses and others are not-so-obvious.  I’ve read most of this book (not all!) and I enjoyed it.  The first half of the book offers inspiration for Bible Memorization and the second half gives the list of verses and offers a little devotional-style story relating to each verse.

One great method for finding verses to memorize is to jot them down either in the back of your Bible or on index cards as you come across them in your personal reading.  I use 3” x 5” index cards and then file them in the back of my Scripture Memory Review Box where I won’t lose them:

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Another great book is “The Well Versed Family” by Caroline Boykin.  This book encourages families to memorize the Bible together… a concept I hadn’t thought of before!  The Little Farmhands and I are loving this!  This book has memory verse cards with suggested verses on perforated pages in the back.  We are having a giveaway for this book right now, so be sure to click here to enter, if you haven’t already!


Happy Memorizing!

Friday, April 8, 2011

How to Memorize Scripture

There are so many wonderful resources and methods available these days for memorizing scripture that it can be overwhelming!  So, I thought I would take a few minutes today to share with you how we memorize scripture as a family here at the Good Old Days Farm.

Our system is a combination of a couple of other systems that I found online. 

I write down our memory verses on 3” x 5” index cards.  Now, a lot of people like to use business-card size cards, but I don’t.  For starters, they’re small and I can’t see the print very well.  The other reasons I like to keep my memory verses out of my pockets is that too many verse cards have gone through the washing machine that way!  So we stick to 3” x 5”’s. 

The Little Farmhands can’t read yet, but they illustrate the verse on their index card as a visual cue and we post it up on the refrigerator with a magnet:

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(See the illustration for Psalms 119:11?  The brown boxes on the left are Bibles.  The purple “x” means “no sin.”  And on the right are the two Little Farmhands “not sinning”!)

I have a tin 4” x 6” index box that sits on my kitchen window sill.  I took a ribbon and sewed some lace to it and then glued that to a magnet.  (Must have a pretty magnet!)  Now I can magnet my index card to my metal box.  As I am washing dishes I can look up and easily practice my verse.
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The key to successful scripture memory, I have discovered, is not just learning to memorize.  I can memorize a verse in a couple minutes.  The key is being able to recall the verse later.  I need to somehow get the verse to go from being written on that index card to being deeply ingrained in my mind.

FAST Missions has some free scripture memory resources including a free mini-course called the “Crash Course” that you sign up to take.  I love the review system that they teach!  If you are interested in Scripture Memory I would encourage you to take their free mini-course.  Here’s my review system in a nutshell:

-After learning a new verse, date it.  Then, we review it every single day for 60 days.
-After 60 days of daily review, we know the verse very, very well.  Then we practice it weekly for a while, then monthly. recommends a cardfile box system similar to ours with printable dividers.  Her review system is slightly more complicated than the one I use, but it is also very effective.  Here is a picture of my cardfile box set up that was inspired by that site:

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(You can't see the weekly dividers, but they're in there behind the "Daily" divider!)

You see?  First I have a new verse ready to go at the front of the box.  Then, the verses I practice daily for 60 days go right behind that.  Next there is a set of dividers for each day of the week (You can’t see them in this picture, but they’re there!).  At the back is a set of dividers numbered 1-30 for the verses I would review monthly.  So, for example, today is Friday, April 8.  I am learning my new verse, reviewing all the daily verses, reviewing all the weekly verses for Friday and also reviewing all the monthly verses for the 8th.  I added a section to the back of my box for “Future Verses To Memorize.”  When I come across a verse I would like to memorize, I just write it down on an index card and put it back there.  Then I always have plenty of verses to memorize!

If you want pretty, printable dividers, offers a free printable PDF file.  Just Click Here and scroll down to the bottom of the page.  (If you want your dividers to stick up over your cards you will need to add 1/4” to the bottom of the divider when you cut it out.  I forgot to do that with the Days of the Week cards and that’s why you can’t see them in the picture!)

Inspired to start memorizing scripture?  Don’t forget to sign up for our Giveaway of "The Well-Versed Family" by Caroline Boykin!  The Giveaway ends April 12, 2011 at midnight.  Later during this giveaway I will be sharing some of our family’s favorite Scripture Memory resources that you may not have heard of before, so stay tuned!