June 2016

June 2016


Birthday Beach BBQ & Bon Fire

Natalie turned 17 and requested to celebrate at the beach with a BBQ and bon fire. It is was such a fun time and we stayed the night and celebrated Mother's Day together as well! Natalie as a seventeen year old demonstrates such class and poise. Her confidence and determination continues to grow as she steps into each new phase of her life. Gerald and I couldn't be prouder of the woman she is becoming and the example she is to each of us. Happy Birthday Lady Bug!


A Beautiful Bloom

Having never grown artichokes before It was fun to have had great success in harvesting this delicious vegetable! I planted these beauties by seed all the way back in November and worried they would not make it through the cold nights of winter but to my surprise those tiny little seedling fought through the soil and became rooted. The artichoke requires lots of fertilization and plenty of water which was somewhat of a burden as the rest of my garden seems to fend for itself pretty well with not much attention at all.
During the month of April we all watched with excitement as this vegetable continued to grow and mature and develop in size so much that we probably waited a little too long to cut the first round of artichokes from their stalks. The artichoke is best harvested when the buds are still tightly closed. If picked too late, they can become tough to eat. We were all happy to find that we had produced some of the most delicious artichokes ever!!! Of course you could claim that we are biased. Having grown the artichokes we would easily think they tasted great even if the truth was the very opposite which is why we invited some unbiased guest to the dinner table that night.

What really intrigues me is the end result of leaving the artichoke on the stalk and making the decision to not eat it. With time and the help of the sun, this beautiful purple flower emerges from the inside. So a decision has to be  made, do you wait for this beautiful flower to emerge from a plant that looks like a huge weed or watch closely and cut the vegetable from its stalk just in time to enjoy at the dinner table? This year we got the best of both worlds.
I can't help but compare the lessons I learn as a gardener to my experiences as a mother. There are times when you take a step back and look at the garden as a whole and marvel at what has been growing and how much things have matured and developed. Looking at the big picture, you realize the time spent weeding, fertilizing and watering have been so worth it. However, just like the artichoke, the harvesting time is tricky. Each child is different... for some the best harvesting time is before their petals begin to open up and for others it is so beneficial to wait until they are in full bloom. I wish I could say I've figured this out! Having 2 sons picked and harvested has proven to be very difficult at times for me. I still feel the need to fertilize and I will always and forever want to over water because that's just how I am! This is the conclusion I've come to...

1. Even after a great season of growing, the soil will always need fertilizing and sometimes those same vegetables plant their seeds back in the same soil because they can trust its a good place to grow.

2. As the gardener, I will always be prepared to help that seed find success and fight off any weeds that try to take over.

3. As quickly as fertilizer helps the garden to grow, I am realizing more and more each day that too much water can drown any progress that has been made.

I love to garden. I love having my hands in the soil. Every minute spent in my garden has been well worth it!


I Know That My Redeemer Lives

Gerald and I were able to help drive the youth to Salt Lake City, Utah to attend General Conference. In a matter of 60 hours we accomplished driving over 640 miles, walked the grounds of 2 temples, acquired (scalped) 18 additional tickets needed, watched 6 hours of conference, witnessed a marriage proposal, ate peanut butter sandwiches with a return sister missionary (Nicole Dowd) and her father overlooking Salt Lake and witnessed the Easter Bunny deliver 12 Easter Baskets to the amazing youth of the La Quinta Ward! It was a couple of days packed full of lots of driving and time for Nacho Libre impersonations.  But more importantly a time for testimonies to be strengthened and relationships to grow. That is the very reason we do crazy things that result in lack of sleep and sacrifice of personal time.