Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Raised Garden Beds

My lack of ability to garden is sadly embarrassing considering my mother was a master when it came to getting plants to grow. Frankly I'm surprised my children have lasted as long as they have with the way I manage to turn growing things to brown things so quickly.

So of course it made sense last year for me to decide to begin trying to grow food.

Last year it was a few containers. I was very successful at cucumbers and mostly cherry tomatoes but I managed a few other items as well.

This year I decided to step it up and join the big leagues. Rex and Leslie were kind enough to design and build me (with some minor help from me and Micah) 2 sets of raised beds for my food garden.

Why raised beds? Well my yard is possibly the 5 circle of Hell for plant life with the dogs constantly digging and pooping etc. and so I struggle to grow weeds in the lawn area of my back yard. Vegetables just didn't stand a chance unless we raised them and fences them in for their own safety.

This is the beginning:

That's Micah showing a stubborn stump who owns this yard. You see that patch of green in front of him? That's the only spot where grass grows in that yard. Wanna guess where the dogs pee?

This is a rare moment of Leslie sitting down. Will assists with general supervision duties.

And this is the end product.

You see that roof between the two of them? That's a mini Pergola. My plan is to have my vining plants (I'm torn between cucumbers, green beans or sweet peas) climb up each side and hopefully over the top.

Each bed measures 12 feet long by 3 feet wide by 18 inches high (roughly).

That's a LOT of vegetables. I can't wait.

First tooth lost

Poor Lizzie has been waiting so long, first for a loose tooth and then to actually lose the darn thing. At 6 and a half she's already the oldest kid we know to not have lost one and the wiggly thing was just teasing her.

Imagine then my surprise when I came home tonight to this:

Unfortunately she doesn't actually HAVE the tooth. She says the bell rang for the end of school, she reached in her mouth to wiggle the tooth and it was gone.

Most likely she ate it at lunch but we'll never really know since she never noticed.

She wrote a letter to the tooth fairy explaining what happened and where the tooth most likely was.

I have it on good authority the tooth fairy at our house is VERY understanding about that sort of thing.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sock Hop

Lizzie attended her first school dance tonight. It was a sock hop put on by the Student Council. Since I am a lazy bad busy mother I mentally pretended as though I didn't know about it until last night at 9pm when I realized she had no costume.

Being a mother of economy I convinced her to wear the dress you see above. It has now served us very well three times. Once for Alice in Wonderland ballet, once for Christmas and now for the Sock Hop. And at the rate Lizzie grows it will probably serve us another 2 years before I get sick of it or she outgrows it.

Lizzie's date for the evening was Evan, her life long friend of around 4 years now who she is going to marry someday. So comfortable with the idea are they that both his mother and I have a rule when they play together at each house they must leave the door open. Firm rule of "no kissing" also applies and I personally have threatened to move schools and homes if I catch them at it.

So far they believe me and are content to play other games.

The dance itself was cute and I watched while Evan presented her with a glow in the dark bracelet (an elementary school students idea of corsage) and twirled her around the dance floor multiple times.

I love that she loved the Sock Hop.

Next year though, I'm hoping the Student Council goes with "Masquerade". That way I can get a little more use of her Halloween costume.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I've mentioned him a time or two on my blog and what a wonderful blessing and gift he is to me and my family. I just want to remind everyone that today was my father-in-law Rex's birthday.


I've mentioned before that Rex has shown to me how men, real men, men who are completely comfortable in their own skin, in their own roles in their family, behave to women, to children and to others.

He loves his grandchild. He views them as a blessing. Will can say what sounds like it could be "Grandpa" when he sees Rex (and "Grandma when he sees Leslie). He builds the base of a fairy garden for his wife and granddaughters despite being busy and overwhelmed with other constraints on his time.

Remind me to show you the fairy garden. Leslie, Rex and the kids did an amazing job.

He has promised me a raised garden bed before planting season.

He works long hard days but doesn't have a cross word about it.

He doesn't complain when grandchildren spend the night or come over to play. He plays with them.

He is easy to talk to. He has amazing ideas.

I can not wait to see the cabin he is building but truly I find anything he makes to be almost as good as magic since I can not make my brain see things or envision things they way he does.

I am blessed by my mother in law. But I am also blessed by my father in law. Micah's biological father will never be family to me the way Rex is and my loyalty will with him. When my children grow up I hope my girls look to him as an example of how a man should behave and how a man should value his family. I hope my son looks to him for guidance and wisdom. (Along with their parents of course)

Happy Birthday Rex. I have forgotten how many years you have had upon this earth but I hope it's many, many more.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Even after all this time,

the sun never says to the Earth

"You owe me".

Look what happens

with a love like that

it lights the whole sky.


Brian received orders a couple of weeks ago now. He wanted to take both girls with him. I said no. I offered to let Kylie decide. I was certain, based on the way she talked about their home that she wouldn't want to move their full time.

I was wrong.

She wants to move with them to Las Vegas.

My heart is broken into a million pieces.

She says she wants to move, to try a new school. She says she loves me but she wants to go somewhere warm. I hear her. I know her. I still cry.

I have raged. I have been mean. I lash out at her because I hurt so bad. No one said I was always a good mother or a completely mature one.

I love her. I will miss her every moment of every day that she is away from me. I am her mother. She belongs with her mother.

But she does not owe me. That quote at the top reminded me of that today. She does not owe it to me to stay with me.

Despite being her mother, despite loving her from the depths of my soul, despite spoiling her, despite holding her hand at every teenage crisis (real or imagined), she does not owe it to me to stay.

That does not mean that I am any less hurt or heartbroken. It just puts my mind in a different place. A better place.

Because I think I have a love that lights up her whole sky.

Enough to say "You do not owe me for any of it".

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


One of the things that I've always been lucky with is family. Despite being an only child and despite being an orphan (okay not technically but he might as well be dead) I have been truly, TRULY blessed with a large and wonderful extended family.

My mother was the 4 th daughter and 4th child in her family of 6 siblings. I have three aunts and two uncles by blood. All of my aunts are still married to their original husbands. Between them they had 10 children. One of my uncles also has a child. 2 of my cousins are gone now but my cousins have been PROLIFIC and have now 21 children and step children between them.

My aunts remember me. They email me. They call me. They still send me birthday cards. I know, at the end of every day that they love me and are looking out for me.

When people talk about the dread of spending time with their extended family I can't relate because I love mine so much. I love my aunts and uncles. I love my grandmother. I love my cousins and their spouses and their children and some day (in the distant future) their children's children. We are a large group of wonderful and I love it.

We have a family reunion/grandma's 90's birthday coming up this summer and I can not wait to go. I can't wait to introduce my husband. Show off my youngest. And my oldest. And my middle. I can't wait to see my kids play with their cousins (third cousins?) and share stories of the years with family who if I wasn't so blessed to be related to them I would want them as friends. All of them.

My family does not have a creepy uncle or weird cousin. No fights break out, no temper tantrums of anyone over the age of 5, no silent treatments. I love it.

On the other side, I have also been blessed with my in laws. I've mentioned before how much I love my mother in law and father in law. I love my husband, I love my sister in law and her family, I love my brother in law and his wife. I love how easily they brought me and my children into their hearts and now it seems like we were always there, always with them. I am such a lucky human being.

Recently when Nana was in town, ready to take Kylie to New Orleans she made an offhand comment. I'm sure to her it was just a statement, nothing to really dwell on and yet I have every day since she said it.

She said, "Your Mom would have just loved Leslie." (Leslie is my mother in law)

While I've always known this to be true it means a lot coming from the person who knew her best.

I've always known that God had to have had a plan for me but I think what I sometimes forget is that the plan was in place long before my Mom passed away, long before my marriage fell apart, long before we moved to Colorado. He blessed me with a wonderful mother who had a wonderful family. He put in my path a closeness to my family that I didn't have while we were moving across the country and a wonderful man to share my life with who ALSO came with a wonderful family.

I'm truly lucky.