Mimi’s Garden

 

These are some pictures of my mom’s flowers that have been blooming around here. While she is no longer with us, I still wanted to remember her and give her a small mother’s day tribute. I am glad that my daughter had the chance to know her for a short period of time, but my son and LO on the way will never know their Mimi this side of the earth. I am blessed to be living in her old home, surrounded by her memories to share with them. These are just a few of “Mimi’s touches” that can be found in our yard.

On the Home Front

So I have been very busy lately…and I won’t lie, I don’t know when things will slow down. So please bear with my sporadic posts. My garden is in full swing! We have harvested the carrots, but most of them ended up woody and tough. I have gotten some tips on how to make the soil more conducive to growing them. So I will give it a go one more time, but probably not until the fall. I had my first picking of sugar snap peas this weekend. Which I promptly blanched and froze. As there were so many little ones that will be ready in a few more days (plus many more blossoms) it just made sense. I also did the same with my lovely summer squash as well, and of course it wouldn’t be that time of year without me burning myself while draining the squash! My dear hubby insists that I purchase oven mitts that go up to my elbows since this seems to happen every year 🙂 Next on my agenda it to grate, steam, and freeze zucchini…..hmmm I can already taste the zucchini bread I will be enjoying this winter!! Also the cucumbers are coming in like crazy 🙂 I am excited to make relish and try out a few new pickle recipes as well.

We have been enjoying the lettuce from the garden, eating more salads than normal. It makes for a happy belly and wallet 🙂 The kale is plentiful and I find myself craving this yummy leafy green. There are so many recipes out there to make use of this wonderful veggie, but I have so much of it that I need to start freezing it as well 🙂 The tomato plants are turning out better than I hoped. I can wait until the tomatoes get big enough to ripen. I can almost taste the sauce and salsa that they will make.

On the homeschool front, we have finally found a reading program that works for Vivian. Of all things it is Hooked on Phonics. Who knew?!?! I was able to get all 5 levels on Amazon for under $70. Once I teach her to use the cassette portion on our stereo system she will be able to do everything herself and I can just oversee it 🙂

On a more personal level God has been really stretching me out of my comfort zone. I am heading up a MOPS group at our church this fall. MOPS in Mothers of Preschoolers and it is a wonderful program for mothers of infants to ages 5/6. My problem….asking for help. Not that I don’t want it, I do! It’s the asking part, mainly out of fear of rejection. But God is doing amazing things!!! We need at least 1-2 more Moppet volunteers to help with the amount of children we anticipate on having. However we can use as many as possible because the more volunteers we have means the more children, and the more mothers. It’s the 1st Thursday morning of every month from September to May for a few hours. Even if you know you can commit to every month we can fit you into the schedule or use you as a back up! It is a wonderful way to reach moms in that critical time of their life and help support them. The children’s program has become my passion, as God is really teaching me in this. But that it another blog post for when I have time….I’ll share what God has been working in my heart about that subject. It probably won’t get posted until I can do it without ranting but out of love 🙂 So if you would be willing to help out please contact me. Also we are chartering this week, so hopefully we will be able to take registration by the end of the week. If you are interested in joining let me know as well so that I can get a registration form to you 🙂

Planting season

Kneeling down the smell of rich loamy soil fills my senses. Then a sweet warm smell over takes it, as I pull a bright orange carrot from the ground. Satisfaction wells up inside me as I view the rewards of my hard work and patience. My mouth waters because it smells as sweet as I know it will taste! * sigh* Perfection, there is nothing better than eating veggies that were in the soil less than an hour ago.

There has been so much rain lately that it has been hard to get into the garden, but we have finally hit a dry patch! I am taking full advantage of it, believe me 🙂 My lettuces are coming up, I’ve planted more varieties, along with cabbage, kale, broccoli, onions, scallions, shallots, garlic, cucumber, zucchini, and squash. Our old garden has already been filled, and now we are starting to enlarge it! We still have to plant green beans, swiss chard, sugar snap peas, potatoes, radishes, parsnips, turnips, more squash, tomatoes, peppers, and I’m not sure what else.

My dear friend from Satisfied Belly has been coming over to help in the garden. It has been a huge blessing for me, and when the veggies start coming in it will be for her as well 🙂 I enjoy listening to the girls giggling and playing. They take breaks and come over to see what we are doing or to help. Andrew toddles after them enjoying their antics, however he spends most of his time next to me in the garden. I, on the other hand, spend too much time having to make sure that he isn’t eating the dirt he is digging up. Oh well he’s a typical boy and seems to enjoy every minute of it!

In addition to expanding the garden we are making other changes as well. I’ve expanded the herb garden adding new herbs to enjoy. Some of the seeds that I’ve panted are coming up and I am itching for them to be big enough to pick. We have also planted 2 pear trees (my mother’s day gift) and we will be planting a blackberry and blueberry bush this week as well!

Spring Cleaning

We are experiencing a blessing of warm weather right now, which means time in the garden! I took the kids outside to play and the garden was calling me. Come weed me! Come till me! I couldn’t ignore it, so I set the kids up near me and told Vivian if she would “babysit” brother that I would pay her. The carrots that I let over winter are now over run with weeds. So I began the arduous task of pulling them out.

I began to ponder how weeds are much like sin in our lives. If left un-attended they will root and grow until it is out of control. Not only does it look ugly, but it chokes out the beautiful things that God has given (or wants to give) us until it dies. The weeds in my garden (like sin in our life) was hiding my carrots (blessings) so that when I went to pull the weeds, I almost pulled up the carrots! Likewise when we go to remove the sin in our life we can’t just yank it out so easily. We have to let the Gardner pull them out for us, but first we have to submit to His will and His plan for our garden.

Finally there needs to be a layer of mulch put down around our veggies (or as the Bible says our fruits 🙂 ) to keep the weeds from coming back or new ones from popping up. No matter how much mulch you put down there will always be a few stray invaders, but if you recognize them you (with the help of the Gardner) can eliminate them immediately. So what is mulch? Well in the literal sense I personally plan on trying straw in my garden this year, but spiritually speaking it is spending time in the Word, prayer, worship, accountability, and not forsaking the assembling of the Church. Sounds like a lot? Well you need the best combination of mulch to surround you if you plan on getting rid of weeds and growing!

So this spring let us do some cleaning and ask ourselves (and our Gardner) what areas of our garden have weeds? Which areas need tilling? Is the Gardner wanting to expand your garden? Happy gardening/ spring cleaning dear ones!

Garden Update

Well the lettuce and swiss chard are still going strong. On the other hand the carrots still look kinda puny. Hopefully all this rain we’re getting will help them out. If anyone has a recipe for swiss chard let me know. I’m running out of ideas, before I run out of chard. We’ve done swiss chard gratin, beef and swiss chard soup, and sautéed swiss chard. I will be posting the recipe for the soup as well as beef stock hopefully next week.

After the holidays I am hoping to start planning next year’s garden. I am going to do less pumpkins and green beans. However I plan on adding acorn and butternut squash. I am open to any other suggestions.

On the warpath

I never thought that I could kill a living thing. The occasional bug, yes, but not an animal. Until today, no I did not kill anything, but I tried! I went outside with the kids to check on my garden and the ground in the lettuce section started pushing up. I saw RED!! I ran as quickly as I could to get my shovel, alas I was too late. The mole turned tail and hid. I went ahead and destroyed his little tunnel. I felt some self-satisfaction in that. Like I had said “Ha! Take that mole! I’m on to you! Next time you won’t be so lucky!!” Sigh. I guess that isn’t very princess-like, but I warned you, I’m not perfect.