Friday, July 13, 2012

Garden Update #4

     Things have really grown well this summer thanks to the massive amounts of rain we had as well as the recent hot, sunny weather.  I don't think I've ever seen cabbage heads this big, and there are more peas, pickles, beans, and tomatoes than we'll know what to do with.


     The pressure cooker/canning stuff arrived earlier this week, and as I type this Dad has his first try at Sun Pickles sitting outside.  Uncle Frank was kind enough to deliver massive amounts of canning jars, and everything seems to be ripening almost all at once.

     This year, I learned (from Dad) that keeping JUST the root of the onion covered grows some HUGE onions.  These are going to be GIANTS!


     See?   HUGE.  

    I think I'd like to sleep in the dill tonight.  
It smells SOOOOOOO good!

     30+ plants?
I think we'll have enough tomatoes to make
Juice, spaghetti sauce, marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, whole tomatoes, fresh & canned salsa & any other tomato product of our liking...  

     Our 2nd batch of peas (the 3rd batch is up and growing already!)

1st of 2 long rows of pickles.  

2 rows of beans

One dirty garden boy

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Calm Amidst Chaos

I think all Moms feel this at some point during their day.  Whether it's when the kids are napping in the middle of a completely torn apart livingroom...  or when they are dressed for church and walk past Mt. Laundry as we're leaving.  It might even be when our families sit down for dinner together and only a few feet away is a kitchen sink full of dishes.  The point is, as Moms, we always have some chaos happening within an arms distance.

     We took the big kids (and a couple of their friends) to Valleyfair yesterday.  Going on a Tuesday made for short lines, and not so much of a crowd even in the waterpark area!  We met up with a friend & his family, and they had been nice enough to hook us up with a cabana near the wave pool, so our day was spent sitting and relaxing while the big kids went off to play.  Elle was stuck with us, but had a great time swimming and splashing!

     Being allowed to sit quietly with my own thoughts for a few minutes, I was able to realize what a huge change there was in my life over the past 15 years.  Back then, I ran through the gates when we came here.  I rode every ride twice if not more.  I played the games that were nearly impossible to win.  And I'm more than sure I ate my fair share of fair food.  Back then, my chaos was going to an amusement park. 

     As I sat on my chair yesterday, my mind stayed home with the chaos.  The pile of work on my desk... the dishes... the cleaning of our bedroom & bathroom that I've skipped over for several weeks now.  I thought about Mom things.

     And I wished for awhile, that I could think about kid things once again.  I want to be excited that we're having spaghetti and garlic bread ~ not just think about how I've got to clean up the mess it took to make it.  I want to focus on church and not the pile of clothes waiting for me when I get home.  I want to float among the waves in the pool while my mind joins me. 


     And I want to get my chaos in order enough so there comes a time when I can be calm.  Right here in this picture.  On the beach.  Where no cell phone or internet service can find me. 

     I think this is simply another example of how us Moms are tied together.  We are the calm amidst their chaos. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Quiet Little 4th...

     For the first time in my life, I didn't go to a fireworks show on the 4th of July.  It was just TOO hot.  We're talking 100 degrees with a dewpoint of 75.  Hot, Humid, Sticky, and downright uncomfortable.  It was even too hot for my camera to be outside as my lenses kept fogging up. 

     We pretty much spent this whole week in the pool due to this heatwave we've been experiencing.  Nothing below 79 and in the upper 90's each day with heat indexes reaching 112 degrees.  Give us a few months and we'll complain about the freezing cold.  It's how we are here in Minnesota.

     We have had a housefull of people almost daily and I love it.  That's truly what summer is about!   This weekend will be a little quieter and cooler thankfully.  Hopefully time to catch a nap and relax!

     Happy 4th :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Subtly Loud

     After chatting via e-mail with one of my best friends ever, I realized something pretty important:  Actions do speak louder than words.  She had recently had a confrontation with her significant other about something, and he had gone from basically saying He'd do whatever he had to do to fix the problem, to saying "If you need me to do that, I will"... 

     The way their argument played out was an old story in our house.  Neither Brandt nor I are perfect, but there are days I forget this.  In fact, I forget this much much more often than he does.  There are plenty of reasons I love Brandt, and even more reasons why I'm still "in love" with him.  It's because he's subtly loud with his faith and his actions. 

     He's never once nagged me to do something.  I get reminded, but it's always nicely.   When I moved his truck for him a couple weeks ago, it was left on KTIS (our local Christian Station).  He owns a bible and has read it.  He has more patience with our children than I ever thought possible, but is also very stern with them when it matters.  He doesn't preach religion.  He doesn't tell the kids or I what he thinks is right or wrong.  He shows us.  He will work a 14 hour day and then stay up to help one of them with their homework.  He is very much responsible for all 7 of us financially, and will still take a day off in the middle of the work week to treat us to a day at Valley Fair, knowing he'll have to squeeze in the extra work somewhere along the line.  He will spend a HUGE amount of time teaching our 3 year old how to swim across the pool because I'm sure he's heard me worry about anyone drowning once too many times.   He will give 4-wheeler rides in 100 degree heat and is very open to trips to Dairy Queen after we have our jammies on.  He's quick to forgive, and has a zest for life like I've never seen in anyone else before. 

     Actions speak louder than words.  And today, I'm very thankful for him and for this!