Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phillipians 4:8

The sweet reward...

We pay our dues all winter long. When the dreary, cold, sunless days go on and on and we wonder why we live in Michigan. But now, the sweet reward...the sweet, round, delicious, blue reward...BLUEBERRIES!!!

We went picking as a family last night. Our first stop had me a little worried that we might not find the blue treasures we were looking for. The bushes were full, but the berries were tiny and not so sweet. So, off we went to Blueberry Hill. Maybe they should rename it Blueberry Heaven. I have always found great berries there in the past, and this year rewarded us with the same treats. (Wasn't our first stop because we thought you had to be done picking by 7 p.m.)

The bushes were so loaded that the branches couldn't hold the weight. Lift up the branches and ohhhh, sweetness! One for the bucket, one for me, two for the bucket, three for me.......

Sage had to be confined to her stroller, so I made a feeble attempt to entertain her with some cereal. That lasted about five minutes before I heard, repeatedly, 'uh-oh', 'uh-oh'!! She was either attempting to plant 'Alphabit' trees or knew there was better goods to be had and was making room in her tray! Once she had a taste of those sweet little treats, she didn't want to stop. If one of us wasn't within 5 feet of her (thus close enough to share), we heard about it.

Regan didn't take long to master the idea that the big one's are the sweet ones. She even managed to get a few in my bucket for the stash to take home. She enjoyed the idea that she was the perfect height to sneak into the bush and find all the big ones that are hard for the grown-ups to reach/find.

This morning we enjoyed the fruits of our labor with breakfast. For Regan, that means oatmeal with blueberries. One of her favorites, especially in mid-winter when we pull a few from the freezer.

Oh, how we love the sweet treats of Michigan summers!

Yahoo! Cowgirl!!

This week's theme at VBS was 'Tumbleweed Gulch', a rodeo/ranch theme. The kids and adults seemed to have a ball with it and did a tremendous job organizing and facilitating. There were about 400 kids there. By the end of the week, Regan was very into dressing just like the leader girls, right down to ponytails in her hair!!

She did great managing her fear of the animals, until the last night. Up until then, the animals stayed on stage and she knew what to expect. The last night, they were 'mingling'. When I got there, I found her in the arms of her leader, crying. She wanted to go home. We ended up staying, in the foyer, so that we could have popcorn and say goodbye to friends, but there was always a watchful eye for any wondering animals.

Overall, she had a great week! She loved that she got to eat dinner there everyday, and would ask each night and morning what was for dinner. It would take about an hour to wind down at night before going to bed. Luckily, she would 'sleep in' until about 8 am to make up a little bit of sleep.

Her verse for the week..."For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son..." John 3:16 Hearing those words from your four year old takes away any doubt of whether it was worth exposing her to things she feared.

Kids and Fears...

We aren't parents who nurture fears in our children by any means, but yet, the fears that Regan has are very real. Her most current fears are fireworks and people dressed up as anything.

When I picked her up from VBS last night and asked her about her night, the first thing she told me about was the people dressed up as farm animals. Her first reaction was that she did not want to return tonight. I asked her if the rest of the night was fun, and she said yes. You know, kids, singing, crafts, stories, snacks, pretty much all of her favorite things. After some exchange of dialogue, she decided it wasn't worth missing all the fun, just because of the animals.

Yet, at midnight, I awoke to her crying. She still "couldn't stop thinking about the farm animals". She told me the same thing in the morning when I asked what she was dreaming about. (I think this is the first time she has ever been able to say what her bad dreams were about) It is so sad as a parent to see your child have these kind of fears. You want so badly for them to trust you, that everything is OK. I guess they have to work that out for themselves though.

So tonight, on the way, I told Regan how proud I was of her for returning, despite her fears. We talked about how afraid Daniel must have been in the lions den and how God kept him safe. We talked about closing her eyes and listening to the story instead of watching the people dressed up as animals. We talked about pretending Sage, mommy, daddy and Regan were inside the animals (she thought this was quite funny).

I guess, in time, this will be one of the things we can laugh about. Just like the home video we watched today of her meltdown over needing band-aids on her buns. Band-aids were one of her great fears about 8 months ago. (Still not one of her favorite things, but I think she has gotten over the fear of them. ) She also battled some eczema on her back side, which she would scratch until it was bleeding. After everything else failed to get her to stop scratching them and start telling us they itched so it could be treated, we resorted to telling her we would put band-aids on them if she made them bleed. This resulted in about a four minute, America's Funniest Home Video worthy meltdown about 'PLEEEAASSE, don't want any band-aids on my buns!'

For now, I pray for her, as she faces her fear of the animals and that God will show her at this tender young age that she need not fear, for He is God.

(Edited to add: Regan had a great night! She had no problems with the animals, although definitely not her favorite part. She has no reservations about wanting to go back and asks repeatedly, how many more nights and what is for dinner tomorrow? Thanks God for the answered prayers and the supporting prayers from friends. How great that we can take even the simplest requests like this to our Heavenly Father and he cares enough to listen and answer!)

Finding Joy in the mundane...

"...follow in the path he has given each of us, content that we should take delight in simple, daily things and do what good we can with what he brings our way. For even simple things and deeds of seeming insignificance can be of everlasting value when the Lord himself is doing them in us, absurd as it may seem" Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 Paraphrase by T.M. Moore

I have to say, I have no idea who T.M. Moore is, but I think he paraphrased these verses for mothers, in particular stay-at-home moms. While there is great joy and fun in most of my days at home with the girls, there is also such repetition and so many trivial tasks. These verses encourage me to take a different look at the parts of 'the path he has given' me and try to have a different attitude and perspective on them.

They challenge me to find contentment and joy in the 'now' of life, before it is gone. So, tomorrow when I fold the laundry, change the diapers and cook another meal, I will have faith that it has eternal value, even if it seems absurd!! I will give thanks that it is me, not someone else changing the diapers. I will give thanks that my first chance to start laundry is 9 a.m., not p.m. after working all day. I will give thanks that I can cook for and nourish my family with healthy meals, because my schedule allows me to.

The things we take for granted...

We had a reminder tonight of the things we take for granted. When the girls and I came home from
VBS tonight, the power was out. It was about 9:00 pm and everyone was definitely ready for bed, which didn't help the situation.

Meltdown #1 - no ice cream for bedtime snack, because the freezer cannot be opened. Try explaining that to a 4 year old! Her alternate choice? Popsicle, again a no.

Meltdown #2 - I can't sleep without my night light in my bed! and no, you can't bring one of the candles in your bed!

Meltdown #3 - I can't find my pajamas in the dark!

Meltdown #4 - I can't find scruffie in the dark!

Meltdown #5 - no you can't have your little 2" flashlight in bed, because it is currently the only flashlight mommy and daddy can find!

After some hugs, soothing words, finding scruffie, borrowing Sage's glow bear, devotional, prayers...I thought Regan was ready and calm enough to actually go to sleep.

Meltdown #6 - Glow bear isn't working, needs new batteries.

While I was putting the batteries in glow bear, the oven beeped, and yes, the power was back on. This knowledge had instant power to change one four year old's perspective instantly.

Back to bed (skipping the whole way, grin from ear to ear), "Sage can have glow bear back", one more prayer - Mommy "Thank you Jesus...", Regan "...for turning the power on!"

Good night!!

Sage was deprived her night cap of cold milk, but was so exhausted, she didn't miss it.

Sometimes it's good to have these little reminders of the things we take for granted everyday. We are so used to all of our creature comforts that we feel we are entitled to, we forget how many people live without them everyday.

Shrinky Dinks...

Today, I made a fond trip down memory lane to the land of 'shrinky dinks'. I remember doing these as a kid. I don't even remember what we made or what we did with them, I just remember how cool I thought they were!

Regan pulled some out of our craft supplies today and asked if we could do some. She had no idea what they were. Per the instructions, we attempted to color them with colored pencils, but they wouldn't show up. So I, reluctantly, pulled out the permanent makers (water based doesn't work). After careful, specific instructions on the handling of the markers, we went to town. Regan did great, and was very careful. I even traced my own designs onto some blank sheets.

We cut them to shape, punched holes in most of them and sent them cooking! Regan had a ball watching them in the toaster oven. She was a little perplexed at how they were going to get smaller and what would we do with them if they got so small?? She watched in amazement as they cooked, curled up, some into a ball, and then flattened out again.

Several of our creations are now nicely strung with beads into a necklace for Sage and a necklace for the 'my little ponies'.

This crafty mom is glad to have a crafty kid! It allows me to do the things that are meant for kids, but some of us grown-ups still like to do!!

What are you reaching for?

This song has been running through my head today. It is by Carolyn Arends. I haven't listened to it in years, but I have always loved it.


There’s a time I can recall
Four years old and three feet tall
Trying to touch the stars and the cookie jar
And both were out of reach
And later on in my high school
It seemed to me a little cruel
How the right words to say always seemed to stay
Just out of reach
Well I should not have thought it strange
That growing causes growing pains
‘Cause the more we learn the more we know
We don’t know anything
But still it seems a tragic fate
Living with this quiet ache
The constant strain for what remains
Just out of reach

We are reaching for the future
We are reaching for the past
And no matter what we have we reach for more
We are desperate to discover
What is just beyond our grasp
But maybe that’s what heaven is for

There are times I can’t forget
Dressed up in my Sunday best
Trying not to squirm and to maybe learn
A bit of what the preacher preached
And later lying in the dark
I felt a stirring in my heart
And though I longed to see what could not be seen
I still believed
I guess I shouldn't think it odd
Until we see the face of God
The yearning deep within us tells us
There’s more to come
So when we taste of the divine
It leaves us hungry every time
For one more taste of what awaits
When heaven’s gates are reached

I guess it kind of highlights the theme of last nights scrapbook page and today's devotional.

This page is pictures of Sage and Regan at Mima and Papa's 60th anniversary party. Regan spent the day playing 'me too!' with her older cousins, while Sage had her own version, wanting to be with big sissy.

It seems true of all kids, that they are always 'reaching' or yearning to grow up and be like the big kids. We try so desperately to keep them young and encourage them to enjoy it while it lasts, but I guess it is a fight against natural longings.

(Regan loves her sissy though, and came back to offer her some amusement at the window.)

Todays devotional (from Dee Brestin -A Woman of Contentment), focused on Solomon's reaching or yearning for earthly things. First he set his eyes on wisdom, then folly, then on material possessions. In the end, he found that 'In all the whole long list of my accomplishments, not one appeared that gave my life beneath the sun the slightest bit of lasting meaning' (T.M. Moore's paraphrase of Ecclesiastes 2:20.

Longing for things we do not have can be good or bad, depending on where we set our sights. If we take our eyes off Christ, like Solomon, we see and long for earthly things that have no value. If we keep our eyes on Him, we will be "left hungry every time For one more taste of what awaits When heaven’s gates are reached". We will long for the things God wants for us.

So, what are you longing for today, the cookies or the stars? The earthly or the Godly?

Family Photo

Yesterday, we celebrated Paul's parents 60th anniversary. It is a rare milestone that most of us can only hope to achieve. It also is bittersweet, because with 60 years of marriage, comes the onset of old age.

All five of their children were there, which only happens in Paul's family about once every 3 years. It was nice to visit with family that we don't see very often. As I downloaded the pictures to the computer, I was reflecting on how much, yet how little, a family photo can say.

In the faces of the kids, their smiles and expressions say it all. They are having fun, being kids, hanging out with cousins they don't see enough. They are care-free, as they should be.

On the faces of the adults, you see smiles. To the outside world, all is well. Behind the faces are a different story. A closer look will show the oxygen tube that is helping supply dad's lungs with the air they need. A glimpse in the minds and thoughts of the adult children would show their concern for their aging parents and the stress of the impending decisions that need to be made.

'A Picture says a Thousand Words' -normally I find so much truth in this saying. Today, I find irony in it. I see in this family photo the hurts, feelings and concerns that sometimes can be hidden behind a smile.

The Joys of Yesterday and Today...

Bike ride, park play, blue Icee

Grandpa better, kissy time, beautiful rainbow

Garage Sales, Aunt Wanda, Mima V

Uncle Billy, raspberries, Grandpa home


Secret Recipe

Take one part crabby kid...

Add one part captured bunny...

POOF! Instant Happiness!!
(Hand in the air making the bunny sign)

Tonight Sage was extremely unhappy with everything. She woke up from a 2 1/2 hour late afternoon nap on the wrong side of the bed. She didn't want to eat, she wanted to be held, she wanted down, she wanted a toy, she didn't want a toy....and so on.

Paul captured this baby bunny (probably the culprit of many missing leaves in the garden) and her mood changed immediately. I showed her the bunny sign once and for the next 20 minutes or so that was all we 'heard'. I took her inside, briefly, to change diaper and she told me about the bunny the whole time. When finished and back downstairs, she marched over to the door, beating on the glass, and signing bunny, clearly let us know where she wanted to go.

The bunny provided both girls with their evening entertainment before Paul set him the neighbors yard :)

A Season of Life.

I am currently reviewing this book for a women's Bible Study group that I will be leading in the fall. It is about contentment and is based on Ecclesiastes. This weeks reading took me to one of my favorite passages: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
A Time for Everything
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

We make reference to the concept of this passage quite often at our house. We often say 'it is just a season of life' or 'that's the season of life we are in right now'. Usually this is said in reference to the age of our children and the things that go with this season. Things like naps, that don't always coincide with our plans to get out and do something.

We are actually in the middle of a few different seasons at our house. The kids stuff is usually the most prevalent, but not the only thing going on. Paul is in a 'time to search' and 'time to build' season of his business as he is restructuring, hiring and mapping a plan for the future. This is a scary, but exciting time for us, as we are possible watching God unfold an answer to my 'Big Prayer' for Paul's work. It is a process that has been talked about, but not acted on for quite some time as Paul's brother/business partner gets closer to retirement.

We are in a season with Paul's dad where it could possibly be the 'time to die'. He is 86 years old and in the hospital now, for the second time this month, battling pneumonia. He has mild congestive heart failure, which is what his sister died from about 5 years ago. It's one of those seasons of uncertainty, whether he will bounce back or not.

As Sage grows bigger, it is a 'time to keep and a time to throw away'. I am not a pack rat by any means, but it is hard sometimes to sort through all the baby things and just get rid of them. There are so many memories attached to things. Some are remembered for who they came from, some for where they were worn. With Sage's things, it has been especially hard to just get rid of the preemie clothes. They are so tiny, it's hard to believe they even fit. They are a reminder of how blessed we are that she was totally healthy, despite her early arrival.

Through all of these 'seasons' of life, I am so thankful for my faith and my faithful husband. Without these two things, the seasons would be a lot less bearable.

Strange Day...

It was a strange day for me today...I spent the whole day home, alone. I can't remember the last time this happened. My friend Rebecca had the girls all day. We exchange child care, normally for half a day. She needed me to take Eden a full day a couple of weeks ago and was repaying the favor today.

I spent the day getting some much needed house cleaning done. I am pretty good at keeping on top of the 'picking up' and looking presentable. It's the true 'cleaning' that tends to get lost in the dust :)

You know what I'm talking about, when you actually assemble the attachments on your vacuum and get the spots that get missed with the regular roller. When you actually reach high and stoop low to dust more than just the things at eye level. When you actually get on your hands and knees to clean floors in places that haven't seen a rag or mop in months. That was the kind of day it was. Well, at least for the morning. The heat took a toll on me by mid-afternoon.

After talking with two other mom's of preschoolers today, I found something very interesting. The consensus was that THEY would have spent the day just as I had or doing some other much needed chores, bills, etc. However, if the SPOUSES had the day to themselves, they would have been out playing!!

Well, it wasn't playtime for me, but there is enjoyment in a clean house, listening to adult music and working diligently for hours without a 'MOMMMMIE' interruption every 3-5 minutes. About 10:30 I did answer the phone to hear "Mommy.....Mommy....hey, Mommie" repeated times, but it was just Paul making sure there was some normalcy to my day!!

Imagination Station

Yesterday was a beautiful summer day in Michigan, so we decided to hop on the bikes and head to Grand Haven. Paul had a hankering for some Butch's Beach Burritos. After dinner we headed over to the Imagination Station by the local YMCA. It is a beautiful place for the kids to play.

Sage continues to want to do every thing big sister is doing. She shows her temper when she is not allowed to copy 'naynay'. She still had a ball and was filthy from head to toe by the time we left.

We weren't sure if Regan would make it both ways on her trail-a-bike, so we put Sage in the double Burley, just in case sister needed a ride on the way home. Regan made it both ways, but was pretty tired out by the end. After a quick stop at Mima's, she had enough energy for our 'race' home against daddy though.

If I could figure out how to channel the energy that comes from her lips down to her pedaling legs, I would have an easy ride!!

Doggy Ears...

The good thing about having young kids in the house is the laughter they bring. They force an old fuddy duddy like me to come out of their shell and let loose. The neat thing is, the more you let loose, the more they laugh and the more fun you have together. For Regan, the sillier, the better.

She is not one to have her hair done up very often. If you do get something in it, it doesn't usually stay put. Most days, that's OK because fussing with hair is just one more thing to do before getting out the door. Sometimes, though, it is fun to just play with and stroke their soft, fine hair. I tend to do this when Regan is sitting on my lap. It usually drives her crazy.

Today, I bartered book reading for the privilege of playing with her hair. I convinced her to let me put in 'doggy ears', as opposed to the traditional 'pony tails'. She thought that was hilarious and let me do my thing. After giggling in the mirror at her new look, she thought it would be a great idea for mommy to have doggy ears too!

After making funny faces together in the mirror, I hauled out the camera to preserve a few of these precious memories. So, I guess I got my mini-makeover after all!

To end our day, we all took a trip to the Whippi Dip for some ice cream. Regan likes this place because they just put in a wonderful new play set. After finishing our ice cream, both girls enjoyed the swings and slides. Sage even managed to climb the tower several times, to make her way down the slide. It isn't exactly designed for a 16-month old to climb, but she managed with mom and dad as a safety net. Mommy never knew which end was going to shoot out of the tube slide first, but there was always a smile on her face!

The night ended abruptly after Regans attempt to play Super-Girl on the swing ended in a face plant in the dirt. She is usually a pretty tough girl who can shake almost anything off. Tonight, she was pretty shook up though. She has some pretty good road rash on her face. I knew this was a dandy when she was asking for scruffie when we got home.

Scruffie has always been her favorite animal, ever since receiving it on her 1st birthday, but it has been a long time since Scruffie has been her 'security blanket'. However, this was the second time Scruffie served that purpose this week.The first time was earlier in the week when a lack of communication between Paul and I resulted in Regan being alone in the house for about 20 minutes while Paul was mowing the lawn. I came home from a short bike ride with Sage to find a very distraught 4-year old, clinging to her Scr

Bubble Paint

Today was a beautiful day outside, but in the morning everything was wet from last nights rain. So, from a four year olds perspective, it was a 'rainy day'. You may ask why this is a good thing, especially to a kid who loves to be outside? Well, she has been asking for some time to make 'bubble paint' again and I have been telling her 'That is a great project for a rainy day'. So today, we made bubble paint. (I didn't take pictures today, but the one above shows us making it the first time, back in February).

My sister-in-law gave us some powdered tempera paint quite some time ago and I recalled seeing this done on a PBS special called 'Kids Concoctions'. I found a recipe on-line: 2 tsp dish soap, 3 Tbsp water, 1/4 C powdered tempera. Whisk together. (couldn't get the actual site anymore to link it)

It's a little bit messy, but loads of fun. We use a heavier card stock type paper and make cards and such after it is dry. It's important to discuss blowing vs. sucking with the straw, as Regan insisted on experimenting with this morning, even after being warned. I guess some things kids just have to learn the hard way!

It is so fun spending this time with Regan, sharing the crafty things that I love to do and teaching her how fun they can be. I know she loves this time as well, based on her comment a couple of months ago "Mommy, you know, I really like Sage and all, but I still like it when she goes to nap." ...."Why's that Regan, because you like spending time with just you and mommy?"..."Yes mommy, I like doing things with just you and me."

A tribute to George...

And all of his colleagues, faithfully serving our Country today and fighting for our freedom in Iraq. I don't know George, but stumbled across his blog yesterday and found it quite interesting. It made me think a little more today about all the freedoms we have here in the USA and all the people that are paying a price for it.

I must admit, I am quite removed from it all and tend not to think about the war much. Although, when I hear all the things the media puts out about it, I am always deeply sympathetic to our President and the weight that is on his shoulders.

Today I have been praying for all of the men and women, like George, who are making such sacrifices. I have been praying for their families that have been left behind. I have been praying for the people of Iraq, that they may come to know the freedom we have here. I have been praying for myself to more thankful for the freedoms I have and to try and remember what a privilege they are.

If you know a soldier or a family, please take a moment to thank them today. If you don't know anyone, send a note to George and his companions (can find his email on his blog) or send something generic from this site.

Blessings to George, his companions and everyone else fighting for our freedom this Independence Day!!

Mini Makeover...

No, not me! Although I probably could use one! I am referring to our 'Sun Room'.

In the original plans of our home, this room was designed to be a 'sun room'. A room with concrete floors, lots of windows, a future hot tub. A place to sit and relax when the bugs were too bad outside. When Regan came, we realized it would make a great play room.

We designed it with a cottage type feel, which is quite different from the rest of our rustic house. The original plan included white tin ceilings, white trim and wainscoting, yellow bead board and built in toy boxes at one end. It made a great place to hang my birdhouse collection. Paul found a 'freebie' desk at the end of someones drive that had a glass top on it. We painted the desk and the top made a perfect place for a family photo collage.

We used the room this way until August of 2006. We had decided to take in an exchange student and originally thought we would finish a bedroom in the basement for her. After some contemplation, we decided it would be much less work for us to make a few changes in the sun room and set up a bedroom for her there.

We purchased blinds for the windows. Paul built a wardrobe on one end where we had planned to build a shelf unit eventually. We left the shelves out for the time being. We strung a cable with curtains to divide the room into a bedroom and living area. I put some of her photos under the glass and hung some framed pictures of her friends and family in the bedroom to make a more welcoming environment for her. We also added some privacy film to the french doors. It was a large static cling window sticker that was made to look like stained glass.

After our exchange student left, I really liked the room divided into two areas like this, with the couch as the divider. So I decided to leave it that way and use the 'bedroom' space as our designated craft area. The toy boxes didn't make such great toy boxes. The covers were always pinching hazards and they were too big, meaning toys were always getting lost and forgotten in them. They now make great craft supply storage bins.

I picked up another freebie from the neighbors, a table and chairs. They were a little beat up to be desired for someones dining area, but perfect for our needs in the craft area. Paul sanded the top of the table and I stenciled it with the words "hope, joy, peace, smile, imagine, dream, love, believe, wish" around the edges and "Laugh as much as you breath.. Love as long as you live", along with some flowers and butterflies.

A shelf and some baskets from garage sales made another nice space for craft items, along with some bags I sewed to hang on the hooks. An alphabet floor puzzle made a nice catch all/carpet protector.

The final touches were putting silk flowers in the wall sconces, after they sat empty for three years! And the 'crown jewel' of the whole project is the beaded art/photo gallery. Inspired by this website and this item from Oriental Trading, I came up with the idea for the gallery.

We strung the cable from the curtains along the wall, instead of across the room. I made the starter strings for the top using curtain rings/clips with beads added to the center. I then ordered some more clips to make extensions so that more than one item could be hung on each strand. The pictures don't do it justice, it looks really neat.

This has always been my favorite room in the house and now I love it even more. It is such a great, cheery place to go and sit, play, craft, read or whatever!

...How does your garden grow?

Right now.. pretty good (or is it well?).

Rewind 3 months and we had a different story to tell. About Easter time, I decided it would be fun to start a garden with Regan. I thought it would be neat to start from seed, indoors, so she could water them everyday and watch them grow. We had a blast for about two weeks or so. We bought seed and dirt, planted them in egg cartons and put them inside ziploc bags. Everyday we would pull them out of the bags and spray them with water.

In no time, our seeds sprouted and Regan was very excited. The kitchen counter where we housed them only got sun for a small part of the day, so I made every effort to get them exposure in other places, at other times of the day. Sometimes I could put them in front of the slider or kitchen door, but that only worked when Sage was asleep. When it got a little warmer, I started putting them on the deck, on a table. That turned out to be our demise. A windy day took all but one carton and blew them off the table. They were still in the ziplocs, so I had hoped for the best. A few days wait proved the worst. I think we could have salvaged a couple plants, but it was no longer worth it.

I have to admit, I had to gain my own composure before telling Regan what had happened. I knew she would be sad and I didn't want her to feed off my own emotion. I was very sad as well. I am not a great 'green thumb' and was pretty proud of how diligent we had been in taking care of these plants to this point, only to have it all blown away.

I assured her that not all was lost and we could try buying plants in a couple of months. So, in late May, early June, Daddy finished our garden space by the house and we started over. We bought tomato, yellow watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew plants. We also planted beans, carrots and pumpkins from seed. Daddy transplanted some raspberry bushes that were not thriving on the other side of the house.

The original pumpkins were planted out in the yard by the wildflowers, but apparently they make a tasty treat for the deer. So, today, we used the last free space in the garden by the house to plant one more mound of pumpkin seeds.

The actual garden is watered daily by the sprinklers. To continue our gardening experience with Regan, we planted a few of the beans in a planter on the deck. She waters them everyday. It has been fun to watch her excitement as the beans have grown 'so huge!'.

I look forward to eating the fruits of our labor in a couple of months!