I have always loved having a garden, but we have not always had much space or time to get a bigger garden accomplished. We have had success with a few small flowerbed veggie gardens, where we have grown carrots, okra, onions, snow peas, radishes, squash, and zucchini. This year, with the boys being a little older, I felt was a great time to till up a part of our backyard and start a family garden. My hubby bought a used tiller and we also borrowed our neighbor's tiller and we went to work. For the past three days, we have been tilling up land, raking up grass, killing grubs, and working hard! Gardening with kids is so much fun! It's awesome to work alongside my family and know that we all are working towards a common goal: to grow veggies for our family to eat! I am not sure what we will plant, but I'm planning for okra, yellow squash, zucchini squash, tomatoes, peppers, and….I don't know what else…but it's exciting!
I thought it would be fun to encourage everyone to start growing your own vegetables this summer. There are TONS of options for growing a garden, even if you don't have a lot of room. Check out my gardening board on Pinterest for a few awesome ideas! There are also lots of natural, organic ways to take care of pests and to fertilize your garden, so check those out before you unload tons of chemicals into your garden.
If you have kids, here are a few fun ways that the boys have helped us with our gardening project.
Recently we were faced with the question – "How do we talk to our child about death?" About a month ago, my husband's grandfather became ill. It was very sudden and unexpected. Although he was 78 years old, he was the picture of health. He had a GI hernia, though, that caused chronic hiccups. Not just a short bout of hiccups, but hiccups that kept him up and were unrelentless. He went to the doctor and they referred him to a GI doctor, but the hiccups soon caused him to start vomiting, and he aspirated, causing pneumonia. He was in the hospital for a couple of weeks, with no sign of getting better. A week ago last Thursday, he was sent to hospice and died later that night.
The Captain knew that Nino was sick. He prayed for him dilligently every night for him to get better. We never took the boys to see Nino in the ICU, but we did get to see Sweet Grandma (which is their great-grandma) while he was in the hospital. Hubby and I began talking about how we were going to talk to the Captain about Nino when he died, because we knew it was imminent. We decided to take the honest approach, like we try to do with every situation life throws at us. The Captain is four, so he's full of questions and also has a very vivid imagination. We wanted to make everything clear and answer any questions he had, without giving him too much information.
That night, we were lying in bed with the Captain, doing our normal story and prayer time when Hubby wisely told the Captain "do you know how we have been praying for Nino to get better? Well, tonight we need to start praying for Sweet Grandma because Nino died tonight." The Captain's reaction surprised us. He said "So Nino got to go to Heaven?!" So sweet and so innocent. We smiled and said "yes, Nino is in Heaven with God." He had a few questions, like "So did Sweet Grandma look all over the Earth and she couldn't find Nino?" That's when we realized that he thought that bodies go to Heaven, too, which, he had no reason not to believe that. We explained that God doesn't take bodies to Heaven….he takes our Spirit. WOW! Now that's a hard concept for adults to understand, let alone children!
Since then, he's had a few more questions and we've answered them all truthfully. We agreed that we should probably not take him to the viewing of the body, but the funeral would be okay. I could not be more happy with our decision. The Captain reacted in a way that we really didn't expect, but probably should have. When it was time to walk by Nino's body, he kept looking at it. We had told him that the body is here, but the spirit is not, but he still needed to prove it to himself. He went back to hubby's mom, Grandma, and said he wanted to see the body again. She took him up there and he asked to touch it, which she let him do. He touched Nino's hand and that was enough for the Captain. It was cut and dry for him. The body was here, but Nino clearly wasn't. He was in Heaven, with God. I took that as a great lesson from the Captain. We tend to overcomplicate things with our mature ways of thinking. So many people have varying opinions on life and death but we just know what the Bible says and if we simply take it for what it says, it will all be clear.
It wasn't until the Captain saw Daddy and I crying that he started to tear up. He pressed hard on his eyes and I told him it was okay to cry, but he didn't. I think he was sad about Mommy & Daddy crying, rather than Nino being gone. He LOVED Nino, but he was happy that he got to go to Heaven with God. We will have sweet memories of this godly man who loved us and our children so, so much.
If you're wondering, we also took Baby D to the funeral, with the help of my parents to entertain him during the service. He doesn't understand at all, but I still think it's best to not shelter our kids from life. It's our personal belief for our own kids, and that's not necessarily right for every child. It's our gift as parents….we do what we think is best and sometimes it turns out great and sometimes it doesn't and that's okay. But we can rejoice in every circumstance that we were given these precious kids to parent!
Where is my favorite place to be? My first though, selfishly, is in bed… asleep, but that's not really my favorite place to be, just where I'd like to be right now.
My favorite place is…get ready for the cheesiness…..anywhere my family is. My husband, two boys, and I have the ability to make almost any place fun and as long as we have each other, I am content.
But, let's also add in that if I were here with my family, I wouldn't complain:
Where is your favorite place to be??
This past weekend, we were able to go visit my family in a whirlwind trip across Texas. We were able to eat at our old favorite restaurant, visit my grandmother and parents, attend our niece's 4th birthday party, go to church with my brother, sister-in-law, and niece, and spend some good time with our family. I was able to forget about what needed to be done on the blog and in the house for a few days, and my hubby was able to forget about the tasks that waited for him at church and at the house, as well.
Well, today it's back to reality. The yard had to be mowed and it was way overgrown. My dear husband spent a long time mowing and remowing because the weeds were thick and probably a bit wet. But, the weather was nice and cool, and both boys slept longer than they usually do, allowing us to rest up, as well.
And the laundry and dishes and things to put away after a trip? Yikes. I mean, I'm sure we left a path of destruction at my parents' house and my sister-in-law & brother's house, don't get me wrong! (Thanks to both of you lovely ladies for taking care of our sheets and towels after we left! And the countless out of place toys and hair elastics you'll likely find for weeks! 🙂 )
Vacations and breaks from reality are fun and we need them to recharge. But as a mom, dad, husband, wife, HUMAN…there are always tasks waiting when we return. This fact makes me want to say NO to vacations but really, we all need them. I love spending time with my kids, husband, and family on vacation and we need that time. Next time, I'll try to be more patient as we travel in the car (sorry, Honey!) but family vacations really are good for us!
And besides….if we never went on family vacations….we'd never have sweet moments like this one…