April Garden Update

This month I:

Added compost to all the beds. And started composting myself, in a garbage can, in the hopes that I don't have to purchase compost ever again.

Tilled and planted a potato/onion bed.
After measuring our space, Josh and I realized we had extra room- 2x6 feet of it! So we decided to last-minute add a crop of spring onions right next to the potatoes. I even found one teeny tiny onion sprout this morning!

Did I mention by they way that we are growing purple potatoes? This is the color they should be when they are dug up:

I even started my warm weather herbs (basil, cilantro, oregano, dill) indoors. And then Mal got to them....so then I started them indoors again.

Zeke helped me start his sunflowers indoors as well. They need to be potted up soon, it always cracks me up how quick sunflowers grow.

I re-planned the planting of my corn and beans. I had wanted to grow my green beans up my corn stalks, but after more research decided this method wasn't worth sparing Josh building a bean trellis. I would get a lot more of each if I devoted a bed to each. Plus, the more I read about corn the more I was told that in order for corn to pollinate, you need a big block of corn. So now I have an entire corn bed, and an entire bean bed. And as such, I decided to add a bush bean variety as well, which are the last seeds I will buy this year- I swear. Also the last change in plans this year, this is permanent:

I planted peas (a little over 80), carrots (a little over 40), 8 lettuce, 4 spinach, 2 chives, 2 dill, and a few marigolds in the raised beds. The peas I split, planting half at the beginning of the month, and half at the end. I've heard different ideas of when its optimal to plant peas, so its a bit of an experiment. About 1/2 of my early peas are up, we will see if the rest survived as well.

Zeke and I spread wildflower and lavender seeds in his garden. He also "built" a bench for viewing pleasure.

And Zeke, Josh, and I all worked together to finish the rock garden.

I couldn't have done it without Josh's brute strength OR Zeke's creativity. For some reason I was really stuck on how to go about the rock garden. Zeke knew just what to do, though.

Next month I want to:
-Transplant my "warm weather" herbs, and the sunflowers to the outside.
-Plant forget-me-nots in the rock garden.
-Plant calendulas, green beans, corn, zuchinni, squash, and tomato starts in the raised beds. ------Replant more carrots, lettuce and spinach to extend harvests.
-Begin harvesting strawberries, spinach, and lettuce.
-Enjoy some of the tulips Zeke and I planted last fall...if any at all survive Malachi (and they may not).

Malachi Was Here

Otherwise titled: "In Which I Unveil What Will Most Likely (and Unfortunately) Be A Blog Series" and/or "Reason #4938 I Hate Carpeting"

And yes, those are raspberries. Expensive, out of season, raspberries. I'm pretty sure he was doing a lord of the dance impression on them.


On Palm Sunday we went to church, where I spent the first half of the service distracting Josh by poking him with my palm leaf, and then Malachi spent the second half of the service shredding it into tiny pieces. Later on, at home, we died eggs.

Monday (Passover) I thought long and hard about doing a shortened version, maybe a 1/2 hour, of a traditional Hagaddah, and then decided my children didn't have the patience even for that, and I had to save my strength for the last half of the week.

On Thursday we went to a Maudy Thursday Service, where there were no palms to shred and therefor Malachi got rowdy and had to be taken out.

Friday morning Zeke and I built a tomb out of stuff we found outside and sealed up a playdough caterpillar inside. I may not have the daughters to build a fairy garden with but at least I get a grave right?...right?

Later that day Josh and I had the church college group over, where we discussed the significance of Passover to the Christian and to the Easter story. I also spent some time feeling guilty for skipping Monday.

Saturday we ate bbq on our new table (20 for the set on craigslist, woot) for the first time and pretended to not know about the dozen Earth Day celebrations going on around town and dozens of dozens of egg hunts.
I feel more guilty about Earth Day then the egg hunts. I've heard too many stories of children trampled. My kids aren't nearly aggressive enough for that kind of thing. Can you imagine poor Zeke?

Sunday morning the Easter Bunny dropped by, and we unsealed the tomb (for the 100th time, Zeke kept "checking" all weekend) to find a butterfly.
I attempted to explain the allegory while Zeke stuffed his face full of peep and nodded obediently.

Josh had to run off to church right away, because his middle school group was serving everyone pancakes. So the boys and I got dressed on our own and put together cinnamon rolls to rise while we were gone. Then we got dressed again because we were all covered in flour.

After pancakes and service we came home to enjoy egg salad sandwiches, and cinnamon rolls. Yum.

Then we napped. Well, except me. I enjoyed the raising of the lenten internet-limits.

After nap I hid eggs in the backyard for the boys. Zeke was really good about leaving the easy ones for his brother, but once Malachi found out there was candy in there he lost interest in finding any more eggs. I think he ended up with 5 vs Zeke's 19.

Then we had lamb. :)


The people that count such things say that a child laughs 300 times a day, while an adult averages a measly 15.
All I can say is that I am ridiculously blessed to have these two clowns around.

Because I laughed way more then 15 times today.
And I'm quoting here, "Look! I'm Mario!"

Also, there must be some seriously morose children out there to help balance Malachi. Because this kid? He probably laughs 3x that much.
Usually about things that I don't find particularly funny.

But hey, amidst the chaos I'm still finding the hidden grace, and counting the 1,000 ways I am blessed, 1,000 things to be thankful for; 1,000 ways I am loved by Love Himself...

#293. The list of items a 2 year old thinks are necessary for a 5 day trip.

#294. The list of items left off that list.

#295. Making goals...and reaching them.

#296. Learning a new art form.

#297. Groceries in the back seat- even if its just for a day while the carseats wash.

#298. Sun, hail, sun, rain, wind, sun. All in one hour.

#299. Big overwhelming yarn stores.

#300. Daffodils.

#301. Malachi blowing on my every pretend bite before serving it.

#302. First seeds into the ground.

#303. Four-legged running partners.

#304. Thirty days...and many more to come.

#305. The way Josh and I always think of the same joke.

#306. Exciting Easter plans.

#307. Giving ourselves permission for a much-needed potty training break.

#308. The ability to start over with grace- a lesson I've struggled to learn.

#309. Rootbeer Floats.

#310. Weaning going much easier then expected.

#311. A house filled with laughter.

An Amazing Mother

Every morning on her way to daycare-and then high school- she goes thru the McDonald's drive thru and buys her 15 month old daughter a hash brown. Every night at 7pm sharp she puts that baby girl in a crib in her room, and doesn't touch her again until 6am, come hell, high water, or hours of screaming. She's done it since she was 4 weeks old.

She never breast fed, it was too hard, and I have personally seen her fill a tippy cup with Dr. Pepper.

And as our babies, almost identical in age, sit at our feet and play together we talk about the words they are picking up, and the faces that they make. We talk about the flu's they've caught and the falls they've suffered, and the valley of darkness called teething. We talk about how love catches you by surprise, how it turns your life upside-down. We talk about what we want to teach our children.

And I tell her that she's an amazing mother. That she is doing a really good job.

I don't say it because its a nice thing to say, because I am trying to be supportive, because she's barely turned 17.

I say it because it's the damned truth. It's the swearing-in-the-middle-of-Lent fucking truth.

I know she's heard 1,000 If-you-loved-your-baby-you-would's. You would breastfeed, you would co-sleep, you would leave those pierced ears alone, you would, you would, you would... I've head them too. I've been berated for delaying immunizations until I could throw something, and then 2 hours later berated for giving them at all until I could cry. I've been told I should this and I should that, and I've had days that I would give anything and do anything just to have someone tell me I was doing a good job. That I was a good mom.

Do you know how hard this is? All these choices?

The sad part is that the only people that really do, other mothers and other parents, are the ones that beat us down the most. That tell us what we'd do if only we loved our kids.

No, not everything she does is the "best" thing. Maybe not even the "right" thing- whatever that means. But I'm not doing every "best" thing ever. Neither are you.

We're all doing the "best we can" thing.

And let's take a moment and honor each other for it.

So, I say to all the mothers reading this: Good job. Truly. You are doing the best you can. I know you stay up at night worrying about the things you can't, the things you don't know, and the things that you won't. But I'm here to tell you that you shouldn't. You're an amazing mom.