Feel Like Royalty in BikeBandit Fashion

fashion and accessories for bikersIt’s been years since I been on the back of a motorcycle.  I loved riding years ago, but my bike riding was placed on the back burner when life happened.  The job, kid, house and other life events became a priority, and than fatigue set in.  I’ve dreamed about riding from time to time.  Seeing a motorcycle or hearing the sound of a Harley brings back memories.  I admire biker’s out for a Sunday afternoon ride or those who are taking a road trip.  I look forward to 3,000 bikers converging on our small town with police escorts yearly for Bike Night.

I’ve often thought about purchasing a leather jacket or a pair of motorcycle boots for my next ride too.  My skinny jeans would be the perfect accessory for the pair.  BikeBandit would be my go to for the boots, jacket and accessories.  Their leather jacket selection is huge.  They have hundreds of styles to choose from in a variety of sizes in ladies leather jackets.  I found the perfect jacket for my next ride.

womens-enchantress-jacketblk

Bikebandit’s Enchantress leather jacket is at the top of my list.  It’s every lady biker’s dream jacket, stylist and affordable.  For example, the jacket is made of top leather.  YKK  zippered sleeves for comfort put the icing on the cake.  I would wear a sleeveless shirt under the jacket in the summer, but a shirt under it in the spring, fall, and winter.  The removable, quilted and insulated liner makes the jacket a great investment.  The insulated liner can be inserted on cool mornings and evening rides.  Also, it can be removed on days when it heats up during the cooler weather or in the summer.

This jacket also has two sleeve and a back vent to help keep you cool on hot days. People often wonder why bikers wear leather in the summer.  They assume that the leather is hot and sticky.  Not so. These jackets are made to keep you warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather.

Because Bikebandit has a great selection of fashion and everything else relating to biking.  I recommend you head over now and grab your share of the bargains.

 

 

14 Reasons You Need To Get An Outdoor Pool!

 

swimming pool ideas, summer activities, summer family activities

 

 

Swimming is something we all do as kids, and then as we get older a lot of us start to lose interest.  It’s not because it’s not fun, but as we get older we have other things to do. Also as we get older, we get hang-ups about our bodies in a way that few kids really do. That’s not to say it never happens to kids; regrettably it does.  But whatever age we are, we can all benefit from time spent in the pool.

If you’ve been considering getting a backyard pool, or just starting to get more use from the one you have, then you definitely should. There are so many reasons why it is an excellent choice, ranging from the obvious health benefits to many others.  Although it’s not cheap, the benefits you will get mean it really does pay for itself. Particularly if you have the climate to suit it, a pool can be a year-round investment.

Swimming Is Some Of The Best Exercise You’ll Get

 

summer activities, pool ideas

Image Source: Wikipedia

A lot of people talk about swimming as a low-impact form of exercise,  and in some ways it is.  It is an excellent way of getting aerobic and cardio exercise, which everyone needs.  It doesn’t put much pressure on muscles, and if you struggle with endurance time in the pool is a great way to build it.

Getting In The Pool Is A Great Way To Cool Off

It’s a fact that, globally, temperatures are on the rise, and are staying higher for longer periods of time.  It is also a fact that heatwaves are happening more often.  Heatwaves has its benefits for those who love the sun. However, anyone who says that it’s not occasionally uncomfortable is either untruthful or some sort of lizard. We’re not built to sustain heat indefinitely. Getting in the pool is heaven on hot, steamy days like these.

Swimming Is A Communal Form Of Exercise

summer activities, summer family activities

Image from Wikipedia

Going to the gym has its place. We all benefit from running machines and exercise bikes, but it’s not for everyone. It’s certainly not “fun for all the family.” You don’t really get to have a fun chat as you’re pounding the treadmill. That’s not least because you fear being sling-shot into the weights machines if you pause for a moment. But you can use your backyard pool and go at your own pace.  Make it a family thing.

Helps In Recovering From An Injury 

As mentioned earlier, swimming in a pool is a low-impact form of exercise from a muscular point of view. This is a major reason why doctors recommend it as part of an injury recovery regime. To get back in shape you need to exercise.  With the support of the water, you can do it without over-exerting and aggravating the injury.  It will also strengthen muscle generally.

Perfect For Parties

No matter the type of party, a backyard pool can be an excellent venue. For grown-ups, they allow an outdoor space to enjoy good music, food, drinks and a place to cool off in summer. For kids’ parties where games are an absolute essential, they provide a great setting.  From the classics like Marco Polo, to Noodle Jousting and Octopus, all are a lot of fun and easy to monitor.

Enhances An Outdoor Space

When you move into a house, most of your time is spent thinking about the indoors. But the outdoor areas are in many ways just as important. A well-tended garden can make a house feel more like a home and increase its resale value. A pool and outdoor seating area can make it special too. When friends and family come to visit, you can be sure that they will appreciate the chance for a dip.

Each Pool Can Be Customized To Great Effect

It could never be said that when you’ve seen one pool, you’ve seen them all. What you do with your pool is up to you, but you can add a waterfalls,  put in a springboard or set up a hot tub and that’s just to start.  Even a waterslide is a possibility; however, unless you have a lot of disposable income you’re not going to challenge the theme parks.

Out Of The Pool Onto The Patio

Setting up a seated area on the patio is the perfect way to follow up a relaxing time in the pool. After you’ve had a bit of a workout and swum until you can swim no more – or if you feel like a change of scene – a few patio heaters will make a big difference. You’ve worked those muscles and now they deserve a rest. Get a towel wrapped around you and let the heat radiate and soothe any aches away.
As the temperatures drop and you’re still in your swimming costume, warming up by the pool is essential. Next to a heater on a comfortable patio chair, you can relax with a drink and carry on conversations begun in the pool. It’s worth checking sites like Hot Tub Advice to get a bit more information on what will suit you.

It’s An Incredible Way To De-stress

In the course of a day’s work, the stresses and strains can build up to the point where you feel like one big knot of frustration. Getting in a swimming pool and swimming or just floating for a bit can be a wonderful way of letting those stresses melt away. Think of it as being a big, gentle massage that encompasses your whole body. Can you think of anything more relaxing than that?

Strengthening Athletic Abilities 

 

summer activities, summer family activities

Image Source: Wikipedia

A child can demonstrate a talent for swimming or diving in the swimming pool. Maybe they’ll be great at water polo or synchronized swimming.  In any case, the chance to practice at home is something that could make things much easier for them.

Any Day Can Be A Holiday

Your familiar with the idea of a “staycation.” You do all the things that you would do on holiday (try driving a few towns over for some sight-seeing). The kicker is that you don’t have the travel costs to worry about. So if you like to spend a holiday by the pool, now you can do it at home. Weather permitting of course!

It’s A Great Convincer For Playdates

Let’s be honest, you’ll see your kids more.  Inviting their friends over to swim and play is a great way to get to know other parents too.  You can use the time for adult interaction. Having your own pool is a pretty useful card to have in the deck.  Kids like swimming and it’s good for them – and it could be good for your kid’s social life too.

A Pool Ups Your Resale Value

Having a pool in your garden compared to not having one can up the resale value on your property by 5% or more. If your house is currently valued at $500,000, you could add another $25,000 on to that.  The more you add around it – pool house, gas grill, diving boards – the more the value can rise. You’ll be sorry to leave it, but you’ll have the funds to do it again!

Do You Hate Bedtime? Not Anymore!

Having a backyard pool means that your kids are getting exercise all summer long.  You may not realize the full benefit that this gives you until a couple of weeks into the summer. At some point, you realize that you haven’t had to shout at your kids to go to bed.  They have tired themselves out swimming all day.  A sound night’s sleep is good for them and for you.

The initial outlay of a backyard pool may seem excessive; however, the fourteen reasons above is worth it.

When it comes down to it how would you like to spend the sunny days of the year?  With a meal and a drink, and relaxing swim, and than looking over the sparkling water of your backyard pool sounds like a winner to me. You’ll never regret making the choice to get a swimming pool.

Leave us a comment and let us know what your dream pool looks like.

Why You Should Visit Amish Country – The Home and Farm

 

I spent the week-end in Lancaster, PA recharging my battery and admiring the Amish.  Regardless of the time span between my visits, I always find it to be peaceful. First, who can’t use a little peace in their life, right. We may recharge our batteries and seek peace in different ways, but we all need to stop and take action at some point.
Next, watching the Amish and their way of life causes me to pause. The fields of corn, horse and buggies, roadside produce stands, handmade quilts and the slow pace take me to a peaceful and simple way of living. They are gentle people with a deep belief in God and family above all else. Furthermore, they have a deep sense of community and helping their neighbor without the distraction of modern technology. Most importantly, they are self-sufficient, independent, and they take care of each other. They pay taxes, but no welfare or social security benefits for their community. They have no desire to integrate into our society, their lifestyle is a choice.  Plain and simple is their motto and they live it.
During my visits, I’ve taken tons of pictures and I thought I would share some of them with you in a two part post on the Amish and their lifestyle. This is Part I  – The Amish Home and Farm.  Before the Amish Home and Farm became a tourist attraction, Amish and Mennonites families lived in this house for many years.

 

 
Because most Amish families are large, most have 7 or more children, Amish homes are usually quite large.  When parents get older they remain at the home.  They usually stay in another home on the property called a Dawdi Haus.   The second home can also be used as a guest house.  The Amish take care of each other life.  Rarely is an Amish person put into a nursing home or sent elsewhere to live.
Furthermore, the Amish are a deeply religious community.  However, they don’t attend churches as we know it. For example, families take turns hosting church service at their homes. The picture above shows an Amish living room that has the furniture removed.  The host family removes the furniture and replaces it with benches.  Or, benches are set-up barn or buggy house on the property.
Benches are placed on both sides of the room. Women sit on one side and men on the other.  So, benches are placed on both sides of the room.  German is the official language of the service.  After the service, lunch is served.   Everyone socializes while the children play.  Sunday is the day of worship, so only the basic chores are done at home.  Therefore, businesses are closed. Visiting neighbors is high on the list for the Amish on Sundays.
 
There is no divorce in the Amish community.   The women take care of the home, husband, children and kitchen gardens.  The men bring home the money, work the fields and take care of the farm animals.  There are some Amish men and women who work outside the home or farm.  They own businesses such as making furniture, storage sheds and yard furniture.  Additionally, they also work as waitresses, in factories or other jobs with the English, non-Amish. I own 2 storage sheds built by the Amish.  Their work is superior.
Those who work on the farm are ready to go at sun up and stop working at sun down.  As a result, they eat a hearty breakfast before heading out to the fields.  Normally, they return around noon for lunch and again for dinner. They usually start their day at 5:30 am and are in bed by 8:00 or 9:00 pm.
The above picture is a typical Amish kitchen. Appliances are powered by propane gas.  Lights, faucets, sewing and washing machines, as well as blenders and mixers are powered by compressed air. As in most homes, the man sits at the head of the table and his wife to the right of him. The oldest child sits on the opposite end of the father. There are no pictures of family or children hanging on the walls, Amish do not take pictures. They do hang quilted wall hangings, a framed list of their children and their birthdays, framed puzzles etc.
 
Amish serve hearty meals.  They typically preserve hundreds of jars of vegetables, fruits and meat during the canning season to feed a family of 9 or more during the winter months. They are masters at baking bread, pies, and cakes.  Fortunately, they are able to grow their own fruit for jams, jellies, pies and cobblers as well as vegetables in their kitchen gardens. Their gardens and flower beds are meticulous. You won’t find a weed in them. The children start in the morning pulling weeds to ensure that nothing distracts from mom’s garden.  They butcher or use Amish butchering shops for their meat. Self-sufficiency and being experts at it is the name of the game.  And the Amish know how to play. They are astute at making things happen.
Amish women are experts at sewing and quilting.  They do the sewing for the entire family.  Furthermore, they make their own dresses and aprons, pants and shirts for their husbands and all of the children’s clothing.  Additionally, they also make quilts, diapers for infants and a host of other items. Most prefer the old Singer treadle sewing machines shown above.
They do shop at local stores such as Wal-mart for plates, glasses, and other home goods as well as undergarments, socks, hosiery, Birdseye diapers/pampers etc. Most stores provide hitching posts for their horse and buggies while they shop.
 
 
This is the typical wardrobe for Amish girls.  Dresses are muted colors and calf length.  Muted colors include: pink, green, purple, blue, brown and black.  However, no prints are allowed.  Prayer coverings are black or white. And are pinned onto the solid colored dresses.  Hook and eye closures can be used, but no buttons.  Prayer caps are white and heart shaped. Shoes are black.  I have seen the Lancaster Amish wear sandals, Crocs, sneakers or go barefoot.
 
Girls wear a white prayer cap around age 9.  A black bonnet can be worn over the prayer cap.  In the winter, a black cloak is worn.  The black bonnets may be worn without the cloak, but the black cloak can’t be worn without the black bonnet.  Also, Amish women do not cut their hair.  Amish women are not allowed to wear prints or jewelry, not even a wedding band.
 



This is a picture of a nursery or small child’s bedroom in the Amish home.  They have the usual furniture that you would find in a nursery: a crib, rocker, changing table and dresser.  What I didn’t see was a bottle warmers, mobile or  baby monitors.

 

I bet this changing table is worth a mint.  It was heavy and study.  The hardwood floors are the wide planks and absolutely beautiful.  Amish women take their ability to keep house seriously.  As a result, their homes are spotless.

 

This is the typical Amish boy’s room. The boys wear black pants that hit about the ankle.  Their shirts are muted colors with snaps and hook and eyes.  The pants are worn with suspenders, but they have no zipper.  Instead, hook and eyes are used.  On Sundays, the boys and men wear black pants, white shirts, black vests or jackets.  Married men grow beards without a mustache.

 

This is the typical dress of a married Amish woman.  Her aprons are black instead of white.  Her husband’s clothing, is the same as the boys.
Another fact is, Amish women usually give birth at home and are assisted by a mid-wife.  However, they can use a birthing center or hospital if they desire.  

 

 

It looks like an older son is replacing posts on the farm.  Also, he has several of his younger siblings on the wagon.  He made sure everything was in place after making each turn.  Amish boys work the fields with their fathers at an early age.  Women and girls also help if needed.  Usually, Belgian horses or mules pull the equipment.

 

Corn fields are abundant in Lancaster.  It is harvested in stored in the farm silo to feed the farm animals.  This young man above is handling a team of 6 horses.  The Amish are masters of their domain.   The women are subordinate, but equal partners in their marriage.  Women are involved in the daily operation of making the farm efficient and productive.  Many can be seen hand picking various vegetables or helping with the harvest.
Amazingly, the Amish still use wringer washers to do laundry.  Hanging clothes outside on a clothesline is still a part of their chores.  Once dry, they iron the clothes.
Most of all, Lancaster is a combination of things. For example, traffic, shopping malls, horse and buggies and endless rows of corn and other vegetables.  It’s a place where you can lose yourself in the simplicity of a culture.  The beauty of the farm houses and acres of rolling land capture your deepest senses.  Furthermore, it draws you into a life that can only be admired by those who are willing to put down their smart phones and laptops.  I admire their ability to persevere in the mist of modern technology.  Also, their calming affect takes me back to the days of running through the cool grass bare foot.  Eating homemade ice cream or drinking ice cold water from the hand pump down the lane when I visited my grandparents.  Oh, how I yearn for those days now.
Last, if you have an Amish community nearby and you haven’t visited, you should.  We can all learn from the Amish, and it’s a great family activity.  Additionally, you may also like:  Quilts, Transportation and Great Food.  
 
 

9 Tried and True Beach Foods

It’s beach season. Do you have plans to head to the beach within the next month to soak up a little sun and have a little fun? When I head to the beach I stay for most of the day. That means I pack plenty of food, drinks and a good book. Over the years, I’ve had food fails and successes when packing our lunch/snack bag.

I’ve learned to invest in a good insulated food bag to ensure the ice doesn’t melt and having it on wheels doesn’t hurt either. My cooler has 4 plates, which is great for the kids. I pack it with plenty of ice so everything stays cool. Baggies are my best friend on the beach. I double bag everything to ensure the food stays dry and to help keep the sand away.  Sand somehow seems to land on everything, and we all know that it sticks.  I actually have a cooler for the food that needs to stay cool and tote for the dry goods like chips, crackers, cookies/brownies, wipes, small cups, forks, plastic grocery bags etc.

I’ve also learned to pack foods that can be handled by both children and adults. Finger foods are great beach foods. I can have the children sit and relax in their beach chairs and they can handle the finger foods on their own or with a napkin. Finger foods are also easy to obtain from a container or baggies.

Our favorite foods to take to the beach are:

1.  Lettuce Wraps – Lettuce wraps eliminates the need for bread and is a much healthier alternative. The wraps go over much better with adults. Anything green is still an enemy for the kids. Another reason we love wraps is because they are so versatile. You can wrap chicken or tuna salad, spicy shredded beef etc., and control the size of the wraps. If you pack anything with mayo make sure is housed on ice. I use plastic containers to house the wraps because they are water proof and I can cover the container well with the ice.

2. Pepperoni Slices – These are great for both the kids and adults.  You can pack low fat or turkey pepperoni.  Pack plenty, these are a favorite.

3. Fresh Fruits – I love freezing seedless grapes. They are so refreshing after being out in the sun. I also slice a seedless watermelon and cut each slice into 4-6 pieces. I place the slices into gallon zip lock baggies. The children can handle eating it, and the adults devour their share too. Chopped cantaloupe, honeydew or strawberries will work too. Just chop it and place in a gallon baggie. Use a plastic cup to hold the chopped fruit when you’re ready to eat it.

4. Mason Jar Salads – These are great for adults.  I would recommend chopping your ingredients into bit size pieces before you place them in a pint size jar. You can add your favorite dressing before leaving the house. A plastic fork is the only utensil you will need.

5. Fried or Baked Chicken Wing Pieces – These are a huge hit with the kids. They are easy to handle and eat without a plate. I double bag these in gallon baggies and just let the kids grab a few. Place the bones in a plastic bag and just throw them in the trash.

6. Cheese Cubes/Slices and Crackers – The kids love cheese cubes. I buy a bag of the cubed cheese and transfer it to a zip lock baggie. It’s easier to access them from the baggie than the package from the store. I also pack sliced cheese to place between crackers for the kids. They love it.

7.  Brownies – My family loves brownies. I cut them into small squares and place them into baggies. Nice sweet treat without the mess.

8.  Rolled Deli Turkey or Ham – I take deli ham or turkey and roll it. I take a long toothpick and place it through a few olives before placing it through the rolled meat. Both the kids and adults like this. You can also add a slice of cheese to the top of the meat before you roll it.

9.  Chips –  Not healthy, but always great at the beach.  You can purchase low fat or baked. My family doesn’t care. If the bag says chips, it’s on.

Be sure to pack plenty of water, Gatorade, or flavor infused water. It’s better than sugary fruit drinks. I also take a container of wipes that I purchase from the dollar store to whip hands before and after handling the food. What’s your favorite foods to take to the beach?  Please add them to our list, we may want to pack them to.

Free Ant-Man Activity Pack Printables

Ant-Man is in theaters and it is a hit. Print our free activity pack for your little Ant-Man fan. The activity pack includes:

  • A mask with instructions
  • Maze
  • Coloring activities
  • Spot the differences and answers
  • Matching card game and instructions 

 

 

 

                               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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15 Summer Activities For Kids

summer activities, summer ideas for kids, summer games for games

 

School’s out!  This time of year can be stressful, but joyful for the kids. The kids will be home all day and they will need to be occupied in a fun and healthy way.  Finding activities that they will enjoy and won’t break the bank is essential.  

Checking the local newspaper, subscribing to local sites like the zoo, the aquarium, family fun centers, can help you come up with activities.  Kids love to be outside getting fresh air and enjoying the sunshine too.  

Here’s a few activities on my list:

1.  Crafts and Coloring – I’ll occupy the 5  year old with crayons and printables that I collect all year. My grandson loves to do crafts.  He’s very artistic, so he enjoys drawing and painting. Stay tuned for my kid’s craft posts series.   

2. Matinee Movies – Matinees are a great summer activity with the kids. They’re much cheaper than evening shows.  

3. Family Fun Center – I can occupy them both at the water park, nature center, train rides, jungle gym, and games etc. 

4. We’ll spend a day at Shenandoah Caverns in Virginia – They have beautiful caverns, an area that houses props from Presidential Inaugurations, floats from Macy’s and the Rose Bowl parades, and an original 1957 Cafe that serves old time shakes, burgers and fries.  

5. Day At The Park – I will be planning an old fashioned picnic where you pack a basket with sandwiches, drinks etc. and find a spot where we can just enjoy nature, the swings, take walks, feed the ducks, paddle boats etc.  No grilling on this day.     

6.  Story Hour At the Library – I’m still partial to actual books and I’ve started a library for both of my grandchildren. I think it’s important that the kids be exposed to books and family friendly stories.  Our local library also offers other activities, so I’ll have to see what’s on the calendar during their stay.  

7.  Baking Day – We’ll make Mawmaw’s famous funnel cake and bake cupcakes.  The kids love to cook.  I found a kit that has flower pots that we can bake the cupcakes in.  A delicious cupcake baked in a flower pot makes a yummy day.   

8.  Berry Picking Day – We’ll spend a few hours at a local farm picking berries to make homemade jam.  They love it on toast and biscuits.

9.  Home Movie Day – We’ll spend the day watching movies from the home DVD collection and eating popcorn. I also have Infinity on Demand. I can found shows or movies that we didn’t see at the theater.  

10. Sprinkler Day & Sleep Over – I’ll invite a few of their cousins over to spend the day running through the sprinklers and a sleep over.  I have issues with public pools and the things that happen in them.  They can’t add enough chlorine for me! I’m debating on whether or not I want to put a pool in my backyard.  Once I retire, we’ll be able to enjoy it during the summer.   

11. Fishing  – We’ll spend the day fishing and throwing back the fish at one of the stocked ponds in the area.  Life jackets for this one.  

12. Summer Reading List –  We’re all avid readers in my family, and this summer I will be introducing a summer reading list to my grandson. I will be downloading a few books on his Kindle, but I also want him to enjoy handling a good old fashion book. 

13. Nature Hike – Set up a day to go on a small nature hike.  Give each kid a backpack with water, snacks, a magnifying glass, and disposal camera. You can look for bugs, birds, and flowers.  

14. Bird Watching – Buy inexpensive binoculars for the kids and find them a shady spot in the backyard where they can watch the birds from a feeding station. Let them fill up the feeders, and than wait for the birds to retrieve the treats. 

15. Sea Shell Hunt – If you live close to the beach, set up a day to go on a sea shell hunt. You can use the shells to make crafts. 

What activities do your children like to do or participate in during the summer?

 

5 Fun Summer Activities For Your Kids

kids summer activities, summer activities

It’s about that time of the year again when the sun will shine bright, the birds  will sing loud, the flowers will be in full bloom and everyone will flock the beaches. Summer’s round the corner, and my little ones could not be happier. Sure enough, along with the freedom to build sandcastles on the beaches and play long hours in the pool, they also have a long break to look forward to. The  problem’s mine; I have to think of new ways to keep them occupied throughout the summer to avoid hearing their “we-are-so-bored” rants right from the third day
of their vacation. Well, if your problem is similar to mine, worry not, as I have a solution (or few). Here is a list of five fun summer activities that your kids are sure to enjoy:

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My Little Diva – Beach Fail

My Myrtle Beach vacation is over.  I could use another one, this time without the kids. They require energy, lots of energy. The weather was beautiful for the majority of the week, we had a great time.  


Things didn’t go as we had hoped with my little diva. She’s modeling her new bikini in the photos above, but that is as much use as she got out of it.  In a previous post, I talked about how Zarriah wasn’t fond of the beach. Well, she’s still not fond of the beach.  We attempted to take her to the beach twice during our vacation.  The first day, she lasted about 30 minutes. She decided that she wasn’t interested in building sand castles, she rather munch on chips.  After a few handfuls, she wanted to return to the condo.  Thank goodness her grandfather was there, he’s not fond of the beach either so it worked out.  He was happy to babysit while we enjoyed the beach.  






The second day out we took her out in her new bikini.  It didn’t end well, she said a fly got on her sandcastle and on her belly.  She wasn’t having any part of it.  She insisted that she be returned to cleanliness and she wanted the bikini off immediately.  What’s a diva to do?  This one decided to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and watch cartoon network.  She was perfectly content, and later decided to take a nap.  After all a girl needs her beauty sleep.  


Needless to say the beach is not working out with this diva.  We’re looking at the Disney cruise for next year’s vacation.  Do you have a diva?  How do you handle yours?



Summer Activities: Gardening With Your Child

 

gardening with your child

 

My grandfather had a garden when I was growing up, and I remember how different the vegetables taste from the store brought veggies today.  With that in mind, I planted a vegetable garden.  My father was an avid flower gardener, so it’s in my blood.

I decided to involve my grandson when he was little.  He lives near the beach, so backyard gardening isn’t a common theme in that area. When he visits in the summer he helps me with my garden.  He enjoys playing in the dirt and watering my plants.

Most importantly, he is learning about growing vegetables and flowers.  It’s a great way to get him outside and moving.  He loves it so much when he hears the back door open, he is on my heels.  In the photo above, he’s picking peppers.  Hot peppers are big in my family, we love them on everything.  Xavier loves hot peppers on his nachos, he’s a kid after his grandmother’s heart.  I pickle hot peppers, so we have a fresh supply all year and freeze Belle peppers for cooking.

gardening with children


Next, he’s learning the importance of watering the plants, weeding and waiting to reap the benefit.  How do you like his garden boots?  They’re Disney cars.  He loves splashing in the water after he makes puddles in the yard.  I can’t say that he’s learned to love everything he’s nurturing in the vegetable garden, but he’s having fun helping everything grow.

My grandchildren do love carrots, corn, cucumbers and tomatoes.  I use them in pasta salads, and the tomatoes for sauce for spaghetti and pizza which they both love.  I also can tomatoes for chili and soup in the winter.  Yum!

gardening with children

 

I’m a petunia lover too, so I make sure they’re the star on my deck in the summer.  Xavier was 2 when I started involving him in my gardening.  I thought I would share this picture of him sucking his binky and watering my plants.  It’s one of my favorite pictures of him.  I purchased a little watering can, rake and shovel for him too.  He remembers watering the plants, and now wants to water them each summer.  My granddaughter is old now, hopefully she will take an interest as well.

 

gardenng with children

 

Gardening doesn’t have to be expensive.  I start most of my vegetables and flowers from seed that I save.  I also purchase plants off the clearance rack at Walmart or Lowes.  The planter above is filled with Walmart clearance items. I purchased the planter from the Dollar Store.

Most importantly, if you don’t have a yard use your balcony or patio to grow a few plants.  Get your child involved. Better yet, let them plant a few flowers or vegetables of their own.  It teaches them responsibility and also gets them involved in nature. Try a perennial, they come back each year.

Next, when you expose children to different experiences, they will be open to different cultures, music, foods and other experiences as an adults.  Their formative years are in our hands.  They may not model everything that we do in their adult years, but they will have the memories and experience.  Last, you can’t place a price tag on that.

10 Benefits of Vegetable Gardens

I love gardening.  It’s a rewarding experience and there’s nothing better than fresh vegetables in the summer and throughout the winter months.

My grandfather had huge gardens when I was growing up. He planted enough vegetables for his kids and their kids. There was a catch, the grandchildren had to help weed the field, I mean garden.  It looked like a field and felt like one when we had to walk it and pull the weeds.  I remember the gardening holding tons of tomato plants, green beans, peas, onions, corn, greens and the list goes on.  The garden became a part of my soul. For as long as I can remember, I thought about my own vegetable garden.  I decided to finally put one in several years ago, and I look forward to digging in the dirt each spring.  

It’s time for me to decide what I want to grow this season.  I planted garlic in the fall, and I saw green sprouts yesterday.  I was unsuccessful last year, so I’m really excited.  My freezer is full of squash, peppers and, zucchinni now, so I was thinking that I wouldn’t plant any. It dawned on me that others aren’t as fortunate, they would love to have fresh veggies this summer and maybe freeze a few for the winter months.  For the veggies that I don’t use or give to family, I can take to a food bank. 




I have found so many benefits from planting my own vegetables.  Here’s a few:

  1. I save money on my food bill. 
  2. I have delicious vegetable for summer gatherings and snacking. 
  3. I’m able to make my own tomato sauce for pizza and pasta.
  4. I’m able to can and freeze vegetables for use during the winter.
  5. I share my bounty with neighbors, family and friends.
  6. Gardening is a great way to exercise and get fresh air.
  7. Gardening is a great way to relieve stress.
  8. Learning to grow a variety of vegetables is educational.  
  9. Provides an opportunity to bond with my grandchildren.
  10. Growing produce from seed is challenging and rewarding.     
For those who don’t live in the country, don’t be discouraged.  Urban Gardening has become popular; growing fresh vegetables in small places is possible.  A little creativity, and you can have fresh vegetables at your door. Fresh vegetables are being grown on decks, patios and balconies. How?  In containers.  The containers can be paint buckets from Lowe’s or Home Depot, planters, or old whiskey barrels. Use your imagination.  Grow lettuce, peppers, tomatoes or herbs.  Herbs can be grown in small flower pots and don’t take up much space.  You can place these in your kitchen window, and they really enhance dishes.  Start small, but start growing your own greens.