Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The sunflower patch

Last year, I ordered all these sunflower seed varieties from 
Baker Creek Seeds.
I didn't have great success because I planted them late and we had really extreme heat last summer as well as drought. 
 I love sunflowers so much that I was determined that this year we'd have our very own garden space dedicated to these lovelies!

We had some local tree trimmers dump a pile of woodchips in our yard.  The pile sat around a while before we could get them all spread, but that worked to our benefit!  The ground underneath the pile was rich and soft and all the grass was gone.  
It was the perfect place for our sunflower patch!  
Danny loves the flowers as much as I do and we eagerly went to work spreading seeds.

Within a few weeks, some of the stalks were as tall as Dan!

And with the warmer temps and tons of rain, 
new seedlings are coming up every day.

"Teddy Bear" sunflower

I get happy just looking at these beauties!
"Henry Wilde" sunflower
are some links to sunflower gardens past.

Have a happy and SUNNY day!!

Friday, May 23, 2014

About a boy

There is this boy I know,
he's kinda stolen my heart.
He calls me "Mom" and I love him so!

Our parish bazaar was this past weekend.  
Kyle and the other boys had signed up to volunteer to help out in the game booths and for clean up.  

Kyle said he wanted to do more...

 He asked me to buy him some really good plywood and paint, and after finishing his schoolwork and chores for the day, he went out to the garage for hours each day.

He drew, cut, and painted.

He sweat and worked hard all week.

By Friday afternoon, he had three works of yard art to donate to the auction at our bazaar.  

And when it was all over, 
Kyle's projects fetched $400 for our church. 
 May God bless these wonderfully kind and generous parishioners.

And may God bless this special boy!
May he always have a servant's heart.

He teaches this mama by his example.

Growing in the garden...

A little butternut squash...





And a garden arch!
This is the remnants of a wood chip pile.  
The ground below is soft and rich and I thought it would be a great place to plant, especially since all the grass under it is dead!
Kyle and Doug put this together for me yesterday.  All it is, is four small rebar hammered into the ground with two large PVC pipes slid over the ends.  A little chicken wire and zip ties complete the arch.

Luffa and gourds will grow over the arch and the fruit will hang down.  I think it will be so pretty in bloom.  I'm also planting a small watermelon patch below to cover up all those wood chips!

Right now, the garden is my favorite place to be!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

They're baaaack!

Every year I plant dill in the garden,
and every year the Black Swallowtail caterpillars find it.
I even go to the trouble of planting in different parts of the yard each time...but they always find it! 

They're pretty smart little boogers,
I wish my kids could find their stuff so well!

Their first year here, we took them inside and kept them in a big jar to watch them transform into butterflies.  
You can read all about it HERE
 It was really fun back, not so much!
I wanted that dill for my pickles and other recipes!

But I get a kick out of the kids continual curiosity with them.  Multiple times a day they go out to check on them, 
they've even named a few.

The caterpillars have won this round by endearing themselves to the kids (they really are kind of cute!)  so I'm headed to Walmart to pick up another pack of dill seeds...and maybe some bug netting, too!

I will have pickles!!
(saying as I shake my fist in righteous anger!)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Feast of Our Lady of Fatima

May 13th, feast day of Our Lady of Fatima.

We started our day by watching an EWTN documentary titled, 'Fatima ~ Our Hope'
and then an episode of 'Life is Worth Living with Archbishop Fulton Sheen' (circa 1954) about the story of Fatima and it's impact (which is still relevant in 2014!).

Then we made Miracle of the Sun cupcakes!

And took them to the church office staff.
Doug was able to pick up some holy cards with the Fatima novena on them, and then he and the boys prayed a decade of the Rosary in the church before coming home.

O, my Jesus, forgive us our sins.
Save us from the fires of hell.
Lead all souls to Heaven
Especially those in most need of Thy mercy!

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Life's a Beach!

So we take off to the beach right after Mass on Sunday 
and arrive to this:

A wall of seaweed!

It was so thick that we could not even make it to the water!
But the kids didn't care, and we made our camp on the nice sandy part of the beach and then the digging commenced!

I snuggled into my chair for the day and Danny was kind enough to bury my feet in the warm sand.  Turns out that a tall cup of sweet tea and listening to the sound of waves crashing and children playing is terrific therapy!  

I opened my eyes for a second to see the big boys burying their little brother up to his neck.  I started to fuss at them but the guys said they had a plan...

There is always a "plan" with boys,
isn't there?

Pretty clever, huh?
A sand mummy and mer-man!
I loved that they were working together, laughing,
 and having a good time.

Mary Grace supervised the projects from her lawn chair, 
always with a cookie or bag of chips nearby
because supervising is hard work.

Even our dog, Abby, got to come for the day.
But she thinks the beach is over rated because 
there was not one squirrel to chase!

We had a great time despite not getting in the water, and now I can add washing towels and vacuuming out the van to my list of chores Monday morning!

(It was totally worth it!)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A motherless daughter on Mother's Day

I hate Mother's Day.
There, I said it.
Does that make me a bad person, a bad mother?
I don't know.

I've always secretly hated Mother's Day.  
You see, my mom died of breast cancer when I was four years old.  Mother's Day was just another reminder that she was gone and I was alone.  I miss her so much. 
So much that it physically hurts sometimes.

I have a small hand full of pictures of her.

This is one:

I don’t want to forget her. 
Sometimes I force myself to think about memories that don’t have any photographic evidence to support them, just so that they don’t fade away. But at this point, my life memories that don’t include her far outnumber those that do.

She is so beautiful, and I see a bit of her in all of my babies.
It should be a comfort, but it's not.  
It makes me miss her so much more.  
I wish she could have known them!  
Oh, how she would have loved them!

I just feel cheated on Mother's Day.  She was taken too soon and I never got to really know her. I never got the chance to ask her all those life questions that a girl needs answered by her mama.  Questions that come up when you’re first engaged, how to take care of a house and new husband, questions when you're told you're going to be a mother yourself, and how to deal with little ones as they grow up.  And no matter how old I get, the hurt never lessens when one of those 'mother' questions comes up 
(and at the age of 45 they still haven't stopped coming up!).

I had a miscarriage on Mother's Day several years ago.
It was almost more than I could bear, I needed my mom more that day than any other.

I also hate that my children feel obligated to me on Mother's Day.  Sure, the handmade cards and gifts are wonderful, but I don't need them to know that they love me.  I don't want the kids to feel like they HAVE to do anything special, I don't want them to make a fuss over me.

This Mother's Day I think I'm packing up the kids and heading to the beach.  I'm going to sit in the sand with a tall glass of iced tea and stare at the waves for hours until the sun sets.  Then we'll come home and I'll probably have a good cry in the shower.

And tomorrow I can get back to my life...
until next year.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Birthday Math

One clay pot
four bottles of paint

Plus three eager bakers, 
a pan of cookie dough, and a tub of icing.

Plus ten dirty fingers,

And a pack of candles...

Equals one happy birthday for  our Nana!

Hope you had a wonderful day!
We love you!