Monday, June 21, 2010

Growing Good Things

So after putting this particular task off for quite a while, I managed (with help) to cross a big to-do off my list today. The garden!
During the long Idaho winters and summers, I would dream of the day when we would move back to the mild weather that allowed for growth of nearly every sort of non-tropical fruit, flower and vegetable imaginable. I dreamed of teaching my children where food came from (not from Super Wal-Mart, one of the only grocery stores within an hour of Mtn. Home). I fantasized about giving away veggies by the bucketful, living in a town where the only reason people lock their car doors is to keep their neighbors from stowing extra zucchini on the front seat.

My mother rocks, just in case you don't know. She has 6 "real" children and about 6 auxiliary ones to take care of on a near-daily basis. She volunteers up the wazoo, spends a ton of time in her Bible and prayer closet every day, has a healthy, hot meal waiting for my dad at precisely 6:05 every evening and stays skinny in the process. She's not perfect, but she's pretty darn close. She sets a high bar.

She also lends me her expertise when I'm in desperate need. Hence the garden help.

Meet my 9 tomato plants (trust me, Jack and I will eat them all!), 2 raspberry bushes, 2 zucchinis, 1 cucumber, onions and 2 bell peppers. The partridge in the pear tree would not hold still for the photo.

There's something so satisfying about knowing your child will eat healthfully over a season. There's something so gratifying about guiding a growing, living plant life to its full fruition. Quick, somebody get me some overalls!

Thank God I'm a country girl, Johnny.

Shelbea's home this week and ostensibly decided to work on her tan today. That's what she kept saying, but she was actually a big help. I'm so proud of the progress she's making!

Maybe I'll play classical music at night for my little green friends. Oh wait, that's for milking cows.

Be green and growing, folks.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ooey Gooey Oh My!

All right mothers, be honest. Do these pictures below

A) Excite you -- the kids look so happy! They're having fun!
B) Depress you -- my mom never let me do that!
C) Bring back fond memories -- that's how I learned science!
D) Give you nightmares -- my inner Monica will never recover from the cleaning fiasco!

Remember, no breaking of the 9th commandment.

If you answered A, B or C, you are at a different place in your mothering journey (some might say farther along), and if you said D, you are a woman after my own heart. This cannot be said enough: I LOVE TO HAVE A CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN HOUSE. I genuinely love to clean, but only on my terms. I clean in a specific order in a specific way. Any deviation, and my inner control freak has a chance to be molded into the image of Jesus Christ even more.

Enter this book. I haven't actually read it yet. Does that matter?

At our last MOPS meeting, there was a homeschooling mother of 2 speaking. She made us all laugh hysterically and inspired us to try new things....scary new things. Ooey Gooey things.

This mother named Suzie introduced us to a book called, "The Ooey Gooey Handbook" by Lisa Murphy. It talks to us about the importance of hands-on children's play, rather than learning from you, the computer/TV/video games, a book, etc. They need to actually feel and touch life. They need to get dirty, gain muscle instead of fat, develop hand/eye coordination and all that wonderful stuff we aspire for our offspring. We as mothers know this, yet we so often don't let them do activities along these lines.

Why? Because it is not convenient for our merry-maid souls that don't want ONE MORE THING to clean.

(Darn it, I soooo love that excuse. What am I going to use now?)

Yes, we wives and mothers are practically slaves, though well-dressed, well-fed and well-loved slaves. Yes, we have ten gazillion other things to teach our babies, and we're tired and supposed to be sexy to our husbands at the end of the day when all of our other duties were executed flawlessly....kind of. But what Suzie said really struck a chord with me, because my mother was (unwittingly) an Ooey Gooey Mom!

She made us homemade playdough and silly putty. She dyed our food green on St. Patrick's Day. She shaped our jello into our names on our dinner plates. She let us finger paint and use body paint in the bathtub and modeling clay and measure out rice and beans into funnels and muffin tins that probably spilled everywhere...she let us make dough and use cookie cutters to our heart's content. And it was a ton of fun!

So inspired by Suzie and the Ooey Gooey Handbook, I've decided to throw a party. An Ooey Gooey party!

Stay tuned for all the sticky details.