Friday, May 23, 2014

Why Gardening is Fun!

I love my little garden.  It gives us fresh veggies for the tale end of Spring and a good part of the Summer.  We have recently moved and there was a raised garden bed at the new house.  Quite a bit bigger than our old one, but not REALLY big.  Haven't taken a tape measure to it, but my guess is 8'x12'.  Here are some reasons why gardening is fun:

1.  Planting herbs and having fresh pesto...mmmmm.  Above is our purple basil, but it apparently doesn't want to be purple anymore, the leaves are turning green.

 2.  From the Garden to the Table.  A great concept for the kids to learn.  We went and harvested yellow squash, zucchini and green beans earlier this month.  I let the kids chop them (with very close supervision) and we set them on the stove to cook.  We plated up the beautiful bounty and sadly, they didn't gobble it up.  But they DID try it, which says something because squash and zucchini are not their favorites.  Greg and I did enjoy eating what they didn't eat :)
 3.  It's a jungle out there!  It happens every year.  I convince myself that the garden is just not growing fast enough, and it's pitiful.  Then, a few good days of Spring rain, and everything grows like crazy.  Tip for next year:  mark your rows!  I accidentally planted my squash on top of my potatoes and it's a hot mess in there.  I'm a little worried that digging up the potatoes might uproot my squash as well.  Live and learn.
4.  From seed to plant.  This was the  first year that I planted some things from seed.  We planted bush green beans as well as potatoes.  It's amazing to see those little plants pop out of the ground.  I almost wanted to cheer for them, they were working so hard.

5.  Mystery Plants!  We started composting as well and I guess we go some seeds in the compost.  Now we have random roma tomato plants all over the garden as well as some jalapeno.  Greg pulled some up thinking they were weeds. After I pointed the other ones out to him, they have safely stayed in the ground.  Also, we have asparagus!!  These were planted by the previous owner, and magically appeared in our garden this year.  I had to Google it to see what it was.  We had ONE asparagus stalk, and Greg was going to wrap that ONE with bacon and it was going to be delicious.  A squirrel beat us to it, and ate it.

I try not to be too critical of my gardening skills.  I feel like I learn something new each time I plant.  Of course, I am guilty of comparing my garden with others.  We planted onions and they just didn't get big.  But a church group planted onions around the same time, and theirs are huge and beautiful.  I'll be asking for some tips next year.

Happy Gardening!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Jesus' Phone Number

Oh, the conversations I have with my kids while confined to a car.  Here's a little gem that happened yesterday between me, Mallory (age 4), and Nolan (age 6).

Mallory:  "Mom, what is Jesus' phone number?"
Me:  "Why do you need Jesus' phone number?
Mallory: "To call him and see what kind of party he wants."
Me:  "Are you throwing Jesus a party?"
Mallory: "Yes, and we are inviting all of his friends."
Me:  "Like who?"
Nolan: "You could invite Noah, Adam, Eve...who else mom?"
Me:  "Jonah, Joseph, Matthew, Mark, Paul..."
Nolan:  " can also invite Acts, Romans, and Corinthians!"
Me:  "No baby, those were letters Paul wrote."
Nolan:  "Ok, let's invite Paul."

Me: "Mallory, you really don't need Jesus' number, you can talk to him whenever you want."
Mallory:  "Oh, okay."

I don't know about you, but this party sounds pretty legit and I want to be invited!

Gotta love car conversations!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Mama is FIERCE!

While I was watering our garden for the past few days (we are already 6" below) I kept on hearing this squawking .I look up and a bird is dive-bombing my head.  I veer to the left, and it makes a circle to come back around and try again.  I kept on imagining Alfred Hitchcock's famous movie, "The Birds".  I look around to make sure I'm not dealing with a flock, but only one.  I turn on my hose real fast and give her a few squirts.

Why was she flipping out?  I start walking the perimeter of the garden watering, and I find two baby birds, still not able to fly hanging out on the wires of our tomato cage.  I absolutely understand why that bird tried to attack me, her little babies are vulnerable and her fierce "mama" attitude came out.  I quickly turned off the hose and ran inside as to avoid any pecking.

I sympathized with the bird because I had my Mama Bear moment a few weeks ago...

We signed Nolan up for soccer and excitedly went to his first practice.  I kept on looking for his team thinking all the boys seemed so much bigger than Nolan.  Come to find out, he's in the 1st through 3rd grade league.  Nolan's in 1st grade, and a young 1st grader at that.  I felt like they towered over him.  A week later, we arrived to practice again, and they asked the boys to run a lap to warm up.  They started running, and I heard one boy yell at Nolan, "You run like a girl. hahahaha."   I held my breath to see Nolan's reaction.  I guess this isn't a big insult in 1st grade, because Nolan didn't really respond to it.  Then, they line up to do corner kicks.  They were asked to stop the ball with their foot and keep it there.  The boy in front of Nolan kicked it out from Nolan's foot and sarcastically says, "Go get it."  Nolan was annoyed, I started fidgeting.  He hustles for his ball, gets back in line where he was, and the same boy kicks it down the field again and says, "You can't cut, go to the end of the line."  I felt the claws coming out.  Especially when Nolan hustled to get his ball AGAIN, and was visibly upset.  The coach thought he was goofing off, and told him to hustle up and control the ball.

I seriously had to hold myself back.  I wanted to go over to the kid, kick HIS ball as hard as possible and yell in his face, "GO GET IT!"  How horrible of me would that have been??  I didn't say a word though, just gave him evil eyes from the sidelines trying to send telepathic messages to cut it out.

The term "Mama Bear" is a pretty new phrase to me.  My oldest is only 6.  My definition is: "a mom who is protective of her children."  Sometimes I think there is a fine line between being protective and being a hindrance.  I was protective of Nolan, and made sure I kept my eyes on the situation.  I was not a hindrance by interfering in the situation (i.e. tackling the other kid).

 I need to push down the urge to solve every little situation that might arise.  There is so much to learn from kids working things out by themselves, I just have to step back and actually let that happen.

I will continue to still be fierce Mama Bear, but only from a distance.