28 July 2013

What is this?

If my girls were younger, this would make for a great science lesson over the summer.

I have no idea what is growing in my garden, most likely either watermelon or pumpkin but I honestly don't know yet. One friend suggested that it might be zucchini, yellow squash, or cucumbers, but that seems unlikely to me, unless the seeds were carried by a bird. Earlier in the year, Bob and a friend emptied the good compost out of the bin and put it in the garden. Later, I spread it out and these two plants started growing. Actually they could be different things, a watermelon and a pumpkin. I don't think they are squash or cukes since I'm not sure how the seeds would have gotten in the compost. The most likely thing, actually, is pumpkin. We usually throw our pumpkins in there after Halloween is over.

Oh, the lessons I could teach with this. We could learn about compost, what it is and how it's made, about worms and heat and water and how they all interact to make good dirt. We could learn about seeds, the parts of a growing plant (cotyledons, anyone?), disease, how much water and sun they need, how long it takes for a plant to grow enough to set fruit and how long that has to grow to be ready to pick. I'm sure there's more we could learn, like what to do with whatever it is that's growing in my backyard. Is it something to eat? How do we cook it? Is it a pumpkin that we can carve? If it actually was squash or cucumber, we could talk about how birds transport seeds and the role they play in the ecosystem.

Alas, my girls are teens now and I'm probably the only one who is curious about what's growing. They've both been busy this summer, Sweet Pea has only been home on the weekends, Rosie Jane has been busy golfing, babysitting, seeing friends, and more. Like I said, this would have made a great science lesson if they were younger.

18 July 2013

The Lazy, Crazy Days of Summer

Summer is supposed to be full of lazy days, especially if you're a kid. We've had quite a few of those, but it seems like we've had more of the crazy days. We haven't been nearly as busy as we are during the school year but a lot of our days have been full.

We went on vacation in May, came back to finish up school, then Sweet Pea was off to camp. That was the beginning of her summer at Camp Highroad, a high adventure Christian camp. She went that first week as a camper and had a great time. She had the opportunity to do the high ropes course, go creek hiking, night swim and night ropes, and lots of other stuff. Since then she's been back at camp as a CIT (counselor in training) and has two more weeks to go. She's working with the wranglers group so she's spending all her time with the horses. She was off one week but we spent part of that week out of town, so it wasn't especially relaxing for her. Once she gets home from her last week, she'll have a week to relax then we're going to start back into school. It won't be everything at once and we'll still be taking a few days off here and there but it will be back to school time.

Rosie Jane has been just as busy. She's been home more and has been able to have some of those lazy summer days but her time has been pretty busy as well. She's been babysitting for a couple different families weekly, taking golf lessons through First Tee, going to the senior high bible study at our church and the youth group at a friend's church. She also went to camp for a week and loved it. Right now she's in Guatemala on a mission trip with a group from our church. She gets home late Saturday night, then will have some well deserved rest before she gets busy again. She's got more babysitting jobs lined up, a couple of dance classes, hopefully a quick trip out to visit her cousins, and of course starting school again soon.

I really think that first week of August needs to be full of lazy, fun summer days. Maybe a trip to King's Dominion will be on the schedule, it just needs to cool down some. We'll enjoy some last lazy days before we head back to school.