Some of my favorite pics from the garden

My favorite thing to do for dealing with stress these days is to dig in the dirt.  I pull weeds, yanking them out of the ground and tossing them into the trash pile.  I plant seeds, water them, check on them several times a day waiting for them to grow.  I love capturing some of it all on film too.  So, here are three of my favorite pics from my garden so far this summer.

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Look at the bee!  He’s been working very hard in my garden this summer!

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This lovely sunflower is just beginning to bloom!

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This is my absolute favorite one!  God is so amazing!  He put such care and attention into all of His creation!  Look at the detail He put into designing this beautiful butterfly!

I really hope the pumpkins, carrots, lettuce, and kale all work out too!  If so, I’ll be sure to take pics of the harvest!

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“When wuz you pregnant wit her?”

I’m a “pink” foster mama.  Baby Girl is our precious dark chocolate 2 year-old princess.  We have had her in our home since she was 6 months old and she hasn’t known anyone else, but us as “her family,” since that time.  We have encountered several people who have questions about the fact that we don’t “match” in color or who look at us with a questioning look when we’re out and about, but most of the time everyone just goes about their business and we go about our’s. When we go to the city park; however, we are kinda just asking for it.  The other night it was HOT!  So, I loaded the kids up in the truck and we visited the Splash Pad at our city’s park.  Tons of kiddos were running around jumping and splashing in the water that shoots from the ground!  Everyone was having a great time!

I see her out of the corner of my eye.  She is watching us.  She is taller than my youngest biological daughter, so I’m guessing she’s about 8 years old.  She makes a beeline for us.  She looks at me, looks at Baby Girl and blurts out, “When wuz you pregnant wit her?”  Okay, so I then realize she may be younger probably six, her height threw me off.  “I was never pregnant with her honey, she grew in another mama’s belly.”  The little girl looks at me like I’m crazy.  We keep playing and she goes up to Baby Girl to look at her more closely.  The little girl says to me, “I was standing over there thinking, when wuz you pregnant wit her?”  I smile.  This should be interesting.  “I wasn’t,” I say, “another mama carried her in her belly, but I’m the mama who takes care of her now.”  The girl looks at me again, she is NOT convinced this is “right.”  She runs up to my son who “matches” me.  “Is dat your sister,” she asks.  “Yep,” he says not missing a beat and running in the opposite direction.  I look around, I see who I think is her mama and she is laughing.  She is totally happy to let me handle this.  I smile and laugh to myself.  This precocious little girl just can’t figure this out and I really don’t know how much I’m wanting to or willing to share.  Then, the little girl spots my middle daughter who also “matches” me.  She runs to her and says, “Is dat your sister?”  My middle girl says, “Yes, she’s my sister,” and runs up to Baby Girl, picks her up and runs to play.  The little girl takes one more look at me and shrugs her shoulders.  She’s satisfied.  Once she had the same story from all three of us, apparently that was enough for her.  She went off to play and didn’t give us another look.

These things are going to happen.  We don’t “match.”  We look different, but I guarantee you that if that little girl had asked Baby Girl, “Where is your mama,” she would have run straight to me.  And, to me that is what counts.

It’s just us again. 

We had Daddy home for two weeks, Cousins and Auntie visited and Uncle came for a few days too.  Within the past three days everyone has left though.  It’s just “us” again, me and my kiddos.  

We had such an amazingly wonderful summer, full of sun, family, and fun!  It’s not even over yet either!  We still have three weeks left before it is “back-to-school.”  

This school year it will still be just me and the kids, but our Soldier Daddy will be back on weekends and extra special days and holidays!  It’s not exactly the way we want it to be yet, but at least he’s in the states!  

This week Baby Girl’s social worker comes for a visit too, so I’m hoping to find out what all has happened with her case this past month.  I found out her bio mom is in jail again, so I’m not sure how that will change things, if at all.  

So, here’s to life and all of its ups and downs!  Hope you and your family are enjoying summer!  

DIY Drip Irrigation 

So, I’m kinda getting into this gardening thing.  It’s the perfect hobby for me during this season of my life because it’s done outside and it’s summer right now, so I’m always outside with my kids.  At night once they’re in bed I can spend time on Pinterest reading and learning all things “garden” related before I fall asleep too.  It’s been really fun!  I’ve discovered there are TONS of gardening blogs out there!  I’ve also discovered that there are lots of cool “tricks” to help your garden along and I’m having a good time trying out a few of them.

Watering my garden is a problem for me.  I’m always worried that I’m watering too much or not enough.  So, I read about different techniques to keep my garden watered and the soil damp while I’m growing my plants.  It’s really interesting to me because we live in a very warm climate and for the most part we’ve been having a pretty dry summer.  I don’t want to spend a ridiculous amount of money on our water bill just because I want to grow a garden, so I was interested in saving money while still watering my plants enough that they will grow.  The idea that I found on Pintetest that I thought would benefit me the most was a “DIY drip irrigation” system.  Here’s the pics of what I did.


Water bottles with holes drilled into the sides and bottom.

Do not drill too many holes.  Do just enough to let the water drip out into your soil.  I drilled about six holes in each bottle.

 Once I tested the water bottles to see how fast the water dripped out, I buried them into the ground.  (Just put them right beside your seeds or the plants you are transplanting.)  I was doing carrots planted into pots buried in the ground on this day, so I put the water bottles into the center and then scattered the seeds and covered them with a mixture of dirt and a bagged garden soil mix.

The idea is that I will fill the water bottles from the hose each morning and then allow them to slowly drip and water my soil and plants all day long without fear of my plants drying out. On really hot days (90-100 degrees), I’ve been filling the bottles twice daily.

I haven’t had a harvest yet, so we shall see if this is a “Pinterest Fail” or a Pinterest Success!”

Digging in the dirt makes me happy! 

Getting to be a foster mama is one of the biggest blessings of my lifetime.  I love my Baby Girl!  She has brought so much joy into our lives and I wouldn’t trade getting to be her mama for anything!  “Foster Care” in and of itself; however, is stressful.  Baby Girl’s case is coming to an end, but still strange things can happen at a moments notice and change the course of everything.  I’ve been a bit stressed lately.  I decided to do something with my stress, something productive.  Some people clean when they’re stressed, some people work out or over eat.  I garden and pull weeds.  Here are a few of my little beauties to show off.  I know they’re nothing to brag about just yet, but it’s fun and it makes me happy!

  My first raspberry bush!

Pumpkins popping through!

Jalepanos growing!

 My first beautiful sunflower to bloom!

Soccer

So, I’m kinda scared.  Our Oldest Girl just tried out for and made her very first “club” soccer team.  She’s played for the YMCA, for military teams, and school teams, but this will be our family’s first experience with “travel ball.”  My husband played soccer up until his freshman year of high school and he played pretty competitively until he decided football was more fun for him in high school.  Two of my three sisters played soccer and one went on to play in college and now coaches.  I danced.  I was never real “sporty” as a child.  I was a dancer.  I did tap, jazz, ballet, and hip hop and loved it!  I was on a college dance team and I danced all the way up until Oldest Girl was born.  I don’t do soccer.  I’m “soccer stupid.”  I know absolutely NOTHING!

So, tonight as I stood there in the very first club meeting with my three little ones and my Oldest Girl I felt, um well… out of place.  The room was filled with “soccer people” filling out paperwork and getting it notarized.  I had to provide a copy of her birth certificate to prove her age!  This stuff is no joke!  What have I gotten us into?  I know Oldest Girl has a future in high school and maybe even college sports.  She’s amazing and everyone tells me that she’s a natural, but I’m not a “soccer mom.”  I don’t know the rules, I don’t know the coaches, I don’t know the “right” teams to be on, I’m just a mom of an incredibly talented 13-year old girl.  So, wish us luck!  Practices start in July and I’m terrified!

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I’m a better mom in the summer.

I like summer.  I always have, I probably always will.  No schedules, no early mornings, no hurry or rush, just fun.  We swim all day and sometimes swim all evening.  It is just the best!  I’m a better mom in the summer.  I’m chill, I’m happy, I’m totally relaxed.  But, summer only lasts two and a half months.  It won’t last forever.  We’ll be back to schedules and routines and early mornings before we know it, so I’m going to enjoy this while it lasts.  I’m going to enjoy sitting on the porch eating popsicles, I’m going to enjoy watching my kids be kids again.  School seems to just suck the life out of my kiddos sometimes.  Summers provide them with an opportunity to be little again.  They dig in the dirt, swing on the swing, and run through the yard with their shoes off.  They look for butterflies, watch ants marching in a line, and try to find the turtle that visits our neighbor’s yard.  And THIS SUMMER we are going to fulfill one of my childhood dreams!  We’re building a treehouse!  We have no tree to put it in, but we’re still building it!  It will be built and secured to large poles cemented into the ground and attached to our existing swing set.  I have wanted a treehouse since I was a very little girl.  I’ve asked my husband for years if we could PLEASE build one for our kiddos.  The time has never been right, but NOW… now is the right time, this summer!  I’m so excited!  Sooooo, check back to see our progress!  I promise to share pics of our adventure!  I simply cannot wait to build our treehouse!