Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Parents, Take Some Time

Last night my church had an Religious Education Town Hall meeting. It was very interesting, but one theme that emerged pretty quickly, was that most parents are uncomfortable answering their children's religious/spiritual questions because they don't really know themselves. Sunday school happens for about one hour a week. Teachers can only do so much in that short of time. Therefore, you, the parent, are your children's main spiritual guide. Children look up to their parents, and, hopefully, really value your opinion. I want to encourage all of you to take some time and invest in YOURSELF and your spiritual development. Read books, participate in any Adult Education your congregation provides, join a Chalice Circle, or devote time to daily meditation. The best influence you can have on your child in setting an example of what lifelong spiritual development in about. It is OK that you don't know all the answers (who really does?), but by trying to understand what you truly believe/feel can go a long way in easing difficult discussions with your child. Giving them the gift of faith, needs to begin by giving yourself the gift of faith.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

So close!

Does anyone else feel like the end of the school year is a race to the finish line? These last couple of weeks are packed with recitals, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, field trips, award ceremonies and graduations. We are pretty low-key people, but the end of May always ends up being crazy. Throw in a trip to Chicago and Iowa and I may just lose it. I will be back when I can breathe again!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Time keeps Moving Forward

Today is my birthday. It always falls around or on Mother's Day. I used to feel annoyed that I had to share the day with all the mother's of the world. It is supposed to be my day and my day alone! Restaurants were always booked, and fun places to go were packed with loving families - totally oblivious that it was my special day! Now, of course, I have grown up. Inching my way through my thirties just isn't that exciting. What is exciting is experiencing my children every day and all the adventures we go on. No two days are the same and I like it like that. Mother's Day has now officially eclipsed my birthday. I am thankful that I am part of those loving families that eat out and pack the Botanical Gardens and the parks. Celebrating Mother's Day has much more meaning to me now then a passing year on the calendar. Personally, I would love time to slow down, just so I could savor more each day as a mother.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Suburban Farming

It is no secret that I am desperate to have a small/micro farm. I dream of having ten-twenty acres with with apple and walnut trees. I also envision a huge garden and mini vineyard. I would have chickens, turkeys and a couple of dwarf goats. It would be my slice of heaven! It is very appearant, though, that this is no where near happening any time soon. I am trying to readjust this vision to fit my current circumstances: suburban life.

I need to just get going on my plans and work with what I have. The main garden is started, and I have made a (hopefully) better plan in laying out the plants to maximize space. I need to quickly expand the kitchen and medicinal herb areas. Many of the plants came back bigger then ever and I need more room! The hops are doing well, but could use better trelissing. The blueberry bushes need to be moved and I need to replace one of the raspberry plants. Thankfully, the other three survived the winter. We have planted two honey crisp apple trees and now I need to find a walnut tree(s). Additionally, I want to get some grapes started this year. Happily, the strawberries have started to come in. One family member in particular could hardly stand the wait and has made a huge dent in the supply.
I am hoping next year I can plant some grains and maybe convince my husband to have a few chickens! Today, after hiking at Pere Marquette, we got lost in the wilds of Illinois farmland, and I realized that I am starting to get behind in my planting. There are just not enough hours in the day. I will be glad when school is out and we can just have some long, non-busy, gardening days at home!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Elizabeth George

I love Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley mysteries. It is my absolute favorite series. Her books are big and involved. They take time to absorb. I am currently reading her newest one, This Body of Death. Due to a major event that has happened to one of the main characters, her last two books had dealt with that issue. This is the first one in awhile where the whole team is working together again and I am loving it! The character's in her books move forward and you really start to connect with their lives. So much so, that sometimes the mystery gets in the way of knowing what is going on with them personally. I wish so much that I could call Elizabeth up and ask what is going to happen to Barbara, Thomas and Winston. I NEED TO KNOW!! She only puts out a book every couple of years, which is not nearly often enough. I find myself becoming very impatient. So Elizabeth, if you happen to read this, please write faster!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Plant ID Help!

What is this plant?! I planted calendula last year, but this is what came back. It is in my medicinal herb box, so I want to make sure I get the right identification. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


We did it. Yes, I was in a complete panic due to all the storm warnings and tornado watches, but we did it and survived! Was there drama?-yep. Was there sleepless nights and tears, definitely. But there was also a whole lot of fun and learning. Overall, I would definitely say it was a success. I am incredibly thankful that my Junior troop went with the Brownie troop. Their leaders know a lot about GS camping and I learned a ton from them. I feel a whole lot more comfortable using a GS site now. I also realized there is a huge maturity difference between fourth and second graders. I have to admit that I don't think I will ever take a group of second graders camping again. The four we had in our group were a challenge enough. I know it is because they are young and most of them new to camping, but the amount of extra work they were for the leaders will discourage me from taking them again. But that is me. I am sure there are a lot more patient and understanding people who can do that and I will let them ;-) I was very pleased, though, at how well the two troops and age levels worked together. They really pulled together as a team and made sure everyone felt included and had fun. I am very proud of them for that. I also discovered that I am an AWESOME fire builder. I wish I had a picture, because the fires I built were beautiful. I also had fun teaching the girls how to build them and hope that they at least remember some of my lesson. It was a good, growing experience for everyone involved and I think I may now even attempt to camp as a family. Maybe.