Gettin' Our Garden In
It's always a big, big, BIG job to do a garden the size of ours! We started on April Fools' Day planting cold-tolerant seeds outside. But the garden began way before that. All winter I perused through seed catalogs, did research on varieties, had the girls choose things they wanted to plant, ordered everything, and had the seeds shipped in time to plant. It took forevvvvvvver to plant. I'm so glad I had the girls help me out.
We felt especially grateful to have a garden this year as the coronavirus pandemic began affecting everything in the grocery stores and availability of foods. When I would grocery shop the shelves were very bare, certain items were being limited, there were no sales anymore. The garden afforded me peace of mind. We prayed and God blessed our land. We had plenty for us, and enough to share with neighbors and friends. Fresh food, homegrown, not only tastes great, but testifies of God's care for you.
The following pictures are from April and May, you can see how the garden developed into such beauty.
|Coolest eyes ever! Try zooming in if you can.|
|I loved the shape of this little guy. He was so soft and fat.|
|Note the stripe and the glands behind the eyes. This little toad is poisonous. We found several of them basking around our garden. I welcome them because they eat the bugs that eat my plants!|
|bowl of spinach, a tomato start (candyland red), bowl of 5 types of lettuce, purple chive flowers, handful of parsley, and oregano.|
|Amara and I put together some cute fairy gardens using things we got from the dollar tree.|
A nice memory from this time includes the sister missionaries that came to do a service project of helping me harvest lettuce and spinach, as well as mow my lawn. (No pics, sorry.) None of them had ever mowed a lawn or harvested lettuce before. It was fun to teach them how to do it. Since my lawn is tiny and all 5 of them hadn't ever done it, they took turns running the mower. One sister would pull the rope to start the mower, run a strip of lawn down, then release the lever turning the mower off, so the next sister could have a turn starting the mower. It was funny to hear the mower keep starting and stopping every minute or so until the lawn was mowed. The missionaries were all on the lookout for outdoor service projects because they were not allowed to enter homes because of the pandemic, and after being holed-up for awhile, they were finally approved to do service projects outside. They called me since I was Stake Relief Society President and asked me to help them find some projects. They were so helpful in washing windows and planting plants for single sisters I reached out to.
Dino-Trax Trail Hike
|Amara's foot next to a dinosaur track|
|Can you see the dinosaur footprints leading to Pippin? I think they can smell him.|
|Pretty flowers that were SUPER tiny. They were growing on a rock we passed.|
|Amara creatively crafted her cotton candy into a bunny.|
Our Easter Dinner was a delicious feast thanks to many helpers! Grandma and Amara decorated the table. I made the ham and pineapple and green bean casserole. Lily made the rice and lemon crumb bars (so good!), My mom made the krab potato salad the day before.
Marco Polo Cooking Contest!
My dad issued a cooking challenge to our family via Marco Polo and it turned into a fabulous weekly event that really pulled our family together even though we were states apart! It was such a fun experience. It started the week after Easter and continued all throughout the summer.
First Challenge, issued by dad:
Make dinner using-
2. Food Storage item
3. Pantry item
4. Freezer item
We made veggie-and-cheese stuffed mushrooms, baked mac-n-cheese with ham and tomatoes, and almond scones with Devonshire cream and berries!
For another challenge- we made cherry pie ala mode shakes! The challenge was issued by Micah and Mandy and the rules were you had to cook outside and one of your ingredients has to begin with "M." We made Mushroom & Munster cheese stuffed burgers with cherry pie Milk shakes
Spencer and April issued the COVID COOKOFF CHALLENGE: You could not go out and buy new ingredients. You had to use what was already in your house.
Our bento boxes turned out really cute! We ended up winning this challenge.
|Amara's bento was inspired by a unicorn bento she saw online.|
|Steve's bento was about simplicity and eating soon. He made a kalua pig musubi and a spam musubi with side salad.|
|I like how Lily's plate showcases the single flower atop her musubi.|
|This little bear is in bed resting because he has COVID. Amara and I worked on this one together.|
The food was all really cute and pretty, but honestly, mine took so long to make that everything was cold when I sat down to eat it.
|Do you like the mask I made for the little animal? It was a leftover dice of cooked onion.|
Amara was excited to make cheese balls for another one of the challenges! It was issued by Jake and Spencer and the rules were the kids gotta cook it and must use cheese! Our kids planned the cheesy menu, and it did not disappoint!
|They made homemade pretzels and cheese sauce!|
|The Menu: Crackers and cheeseball, Caesar salad with parmesan cheese, homemade pretzels with homemade cheddar sauce, steamed broccoli and cauliflower (with more cheese sauce).|
Technology has been a huge blessing during this pandemic! We've been able to connect digitally and make family memories. I have loved it!
Grandma Bobbie's Birthday!
Amara really helped make Grandma's birthday special by making her a lei, decorating the house before she woke up, and surprising her with confetti as she came out of her room. It was the best!
Mom had some awesome drives down the fairway! Lily hit pretty straight almost every time. Amara had a knack for keeping her arm straight and getting down the technique!
LIFE ADAPTED DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
|Wearing masks in public became a thing. We also wore gloves to avoid the spread of COVID germs.|
This next picture was just too sweet although has nothing to do with dating or covid! Dad and Amara doing the dishes...
|Movie watching became more prevalent during COVID.|
One of Steve's students was so sweet and came by our home with a dozen delicious cupcakes and a poster of encouragement! That has NEVER happened before. This was a crazy time for schools as they had to go to online teaching practically overnight.
Amara also learned how to walk on air!
Covid may have made us a little crazier than usual.
Mother's Day 2020
|I made this Mother's day bouquet from things found in my garden, and a yellow wildflower growing nearby.|
So, GUESS WHO WON?
Yup! Grandma won the GOLD PRIZE! Her favorite, Ferrero Rocher!
I got some gifts as well: a non-stick pan, an instant pot cookbook, a box of merci chocolates (My FAVE!), some hand towels from my mom and a japanese card game.
Sacrament meeting was wonderful. Amara chose Mother's Day songs, Steve and my mom gave talks on motherhood. I liked my mom's insight that whether or not you bore a child, you are responsible for working with God to nurture and care for all His children. So true! Steve had some funny quotes at the beginning of his talk, my favorite being: "I don't want to sleep like a baby, I want to sleep like my husband!" Haha! I think I've totally said that before!
We had make your own picnic lunches and eat outside. For dinner we had a crockpot of roast, potatoes, carrots, onions, and green beans.
In the evening we built a fire and made smores with an extra good variation- nutella spread on one side of a chocolate chip cookie topped with the toasted marshmallow and sandwiched with another chocolate chip cookie!