Sunday, March 24, 2013

They're Growing!

I am really having spring fever this year and I can't wait for spring to arrive so I've started bringing the spring indoors.  I also hate waiting all summer for new blooms so I've started growing indoors this year.  I promised a post on New Growth #2 so here it is...
Here are 4 ideas on how to grow:

Reuse and recycle things that you already have to grow indoors.  I used toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, or wrapping paper rolls.  However, the toilet paper rolls seem to be molding so I would choose one of the others if I had to go back and do it again.  It kind of makes me think twice about using them for kids crafts too.

1.) Growing garden seeds indoors:

You could always spend a little more money and just buy a seed starter kit at the store but this really worked good because I like to reuse anything I can to save money and the environment.  I got this idea from Intuition Physician Blog.

Step one:  Save plastic containers, cardboard tubes...i.e. Strawberry containers, lunch meat containers, and paper towel rolls

Step two: Pick out some flower seeds or garden seeds that you would like to start indoors.  Honestly, I wouldn't waste my time with hardy annuals that will grow pretty fast and strong outdoors after the fear of frost.  I bought perennial seeds last year when they were on sale and I chose Lavender, Columbine, Pampas Grass, Sweet William, and Lupine.  I'm also starting my tomato's and peppers so I don't have to buy a start this year.  Make sure to follow the instructions on the seed pack.  Even if it sounds weird.  The lupine pack gave some instructions completely different then the rest of the seeds such as put them in the refrigerator.  I'm sure glad I followed the package instructions precisely because they are sprouting up already and I haven't gotten them out of the fridge yet.

Step Three:   Cut your cardboard tubes to fit your plastic containers.

Step Four: Fill your tubes with healthy potting soil.

Step Five:  Water, plant seeds either on top of the soil or slightly in the soil depending on the instructions.  I had tried to grow Sweet Williams for years now I was planting them slightly within the soil like my other seeds said but this seed needed to be planted right on top of the soil. I did that this year and they grew like crazy.  Then Water again.

Step Six:  Put them in a warm sunny place unless of course your package says to put them in the fridge or somewhere else. Keep watering them.  I watered them twice a day when they were seeds and once a day once they started to grow that seemed to work well.  I used a spray bottle to mist the water on most the seeds and it didn't disrupt the soil.  I also covered the plants with the plastic tops and it gave the plants a small green house effect.
*Don't forget to label them so you remember what you are growing and where.

Then watch them grow.  Pay attention to the germination dates on your packages I almost gave up on my columbines but they have a 30 day germination period so I'm still watering them and I'm starting to get some to grow.

2.)  Growing trees

Step One:  Sprout your seeds.  I took my seeds out of our fruit from the grocery store.  Put them in a wet paper towel either in a clear plastic container or a plastic bag.  Water the paper towel and then place them in the sun.  Continue to check on the seeds and water the paper towel when it dries.  I used Pear, Apple (all kinds), lemon, and orange seeds.  My lemon and orange seeds haven't sprouted yet but they may take more time.

Step two: Once they sprout put them in soil in a plastic cup.  Make sure you put wholes in the bottom of the cup so that the water can drain.
Step Three: Water them everyday and watch them grow.  Plant apple and pear trees outdoor in the spring or fall.  You may want to research more information on what trees will grow well in your area.

*If you live in cold weather you could plant lemon or orange trees in a pot and bring them indoors in the winter.  The leafs and plant of the trees are really pretty. *If you use clear cups you can see the roots grow.

3.) Avocado

Step One: Put three to four toothpicks near the point of the avocado seed (they go in easy).  We took our seed from on avocado from the grocery store.

 Step Two:  Place the seed bottom side of the seed into the jar or cup and the pointed side goes up and is not in the jar.  And fill the jar with water and keep it full of water.

Step three: Wait...It took a couple months for us to get a root.  You may need to peel the brown seed cover off the bottom it helps it root faster.  My daughter broke off part of our root before I could get a picture and so I started growing another one and this one is cracked and you can see the root starting inside.  It's pretty cool.  My mother-in-law started our avocado seed at our house and we have been having fun with them.

Step Four:  Once the root grows pretty big you can start to gradually add soil to the seed and then plant it in a pot you can use it as an indoor plant if you are not in it's ideal environment.  You probably won't get fruit because it won't be pollinated but it will be a nice house plant.

4.) Plants that will grow from themselves...

*Pineapple -
Step One:  Twist and pull out the top of the pineapple (it surprisingly comes out without a knife.)Then pull off the bottom about four layers of "leaves."  and cut off the small bit of pineapple that will be on the bottom when you pull the top out of the pineapple.

Step Two: Put the end of the pineapple in some water in a container.  I cut the top off a soda pop bottle.  Do not fill the water up all the way.

Step Three:  Watch the roots grow.  You will probably see some already growing once you pull away some of the green and cut off the pineapple.  Let them grow some in the water in the container.  Then you can move them to soil and have a beautiful spiky indoor plant.  You may even get a pineapple if you give it enough time.  My youngest daughter and I were having fun watching video's on YouTube.  Check this one out on the pineapple.

* Onion, Potato, and Garlic -

Plant potato underground outside in your garden and let it multiply.  Use some that have already started to root when you didn't use them up in time.  Look at my onion try the same thing with these.  I just had mine in my vegetable bowl on the counter and I didn't use it for awhile and this is what it did.  Plant it in the dirt and let it grow.  The garlic I am most excited about though.  Plant the pointy tip up in some soil in a small pot in the house or even outdoors during growing season and get some fresh home grown garlic.

What are you growing?


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New Growth

Do you ever compare yourself to other moms?  Do you ever compare your kids to other kids?  Telling yourself, oh man she has got this all together, what is wrong with me?  Or all the other kids are reading big books and we are still sounding out words.  I know I am tempted to do this and I need reminders to get my thoughts far far away from them.  So there is the doubt so let's work this thing out!  I love this time of year and I start thinking about spring and new growth and my thoughts are turned to the Savior and his resurrection.  I have been getting spring fever and I have been planting seedlings all over the house.  I will post my indoor growing methods on the next post new growth #2. :)  Okay but today "New Growth" is a metaphor.  I love metaphor's they really help lessons to sink in.  So I'm going to share the lesson I learned from my tree's today.

1.) First you have to look at how well my tree is growing...

2.)  Okay now you have to look at how well the rest of my trees are doing!

3.)  Did you compare the two?  You automatically thought my little baby tree wasn't doing very well didn't you?  Ha! Okay well, maybe you didn't but I did.  I was pitying this poor tree.  What is wrong with this tree I keep asking myself.  He's been in the same environment and everything else.  Then when I realized that ya this tree is smaller and doesn't seem to be doing as well that it could really end up being a strong tree if I don't give up on it and keep watering it, it will just keep growing.  When I look at this tree on it's own I think that this tree is doing pretty good put the second I look at the other tree's I think he isn't doing very well anymore.  This is the same way with us.  When we look at how well we think others are doing then we forget to look at how well we are doing.  We only see our weaknesses.  I know that as we look at our strengths and cultivate them and embrace ourselves the way we are that we start looking better and better.  Not only do they look better our strengths grow and our weaknesses can become strengths.

4.)  When we start comparing our children to other kids then we give them a disadvantage.  Of course we want our kids to do well and to be healthy and grow and be the best they can be.  How are they supposed to grow to their full potential if they are being compared to somebody else? When our kids see that they have to live up to some standard or to other kids then they miss seeing all the good that they have and can't develop those qualities.

I used this idea for a Family Home Evening Lesson and let everyone hold the small tree and asked them about the two tree's and all the kids said that my tree was better (the big one).  Except Dad could see what was happening so he tried to say that the small one was better. Stinker, oh well, he didn't get it right either neither of the tree's were better, just different.  Then I talked about how, when we compare ourselves to others we can't see the good in ourselves.  So then I went around the room again with both tree's and asked them again about the tree's and everybody talked about the good qualities of the small tree.  Even one of my daughters said that the fact that the tree was small was a good thing.  She herself is small and later I asked them to look at the good things about themselves and she said, "I'm small."  I asked her why that was a good quality and she said, "It makes me good at the limbo."  Even things that are looked at as negative can really be good qualities, you just have to look at them that way.  It reminds me of the movie "Wreck it Ralph"  which by the way if you haven't seen it then you need to it is sooooo good.  Ralph is the villain in his video game and he just wants to be good and be appreciated like the hero of his game.  So he goes out and tries to change his role in the game and anyway he finds out that he is really just needed the way that he is and when he embraced it he found the good in himself and didn't have to change at all he just had to find the good in his situation.  Here is a trailer.

My oldest daughter always struggles with this.  She will come home from school and talk about how other students in the class can read better then her or are faster with the math facts then her and on and on.  I could see her really listening to this lesson and she talked about how she is a good swimmer.  I remember she needed help with her reading so we really worked at it.  We stopped looking at what others could do and started focusing on what she could do and where she wanted to be.  We had some practice reading sheets the teacher had given us and the words per minute that they were "supposed" to be able to read by then end of the year.  Instead of saying you are supposed to be here we made this her personal goal.  When I first tested her she had eight words per minute, the goal by the end of the year is 47 words per minute.  So then we said okay if you do 10 more words per minute each month we will get there.  So we practiced everyday and at first she really struggled but now she is almost there and she still has at least another month to go.  Another thing that helped was her confidence.  I had a very strong feeling that she needed to be on the US swim team this year, so we decided to do it and it turns out that she is a natural.  She got 28th and ended last every heat the first meet and by the end of the season she placed third overall in the backstroke at B State and got the bronze.  Not only that, because she has something that she is good at her confidence has grown and it affects other areas of her life.  Her reading has gotten so much better and before she was very shy in class and wouldn't participate and now she asks questions and answers questions and believes in herself.  We are excited about the positive changes and I know that it was because we started focusing on what she could do and not on what she couldn't do.  We stopped worrying about what others were doing or not doing or what they thought.  We also did not pity her or feel sorry for her or feel like there was no growth for her, we simply helped her with love and patience and we believed in her.  Just like we need to do for ourselves when we struggle and feel like we can't live up to others.

5.)  If you look at someone else and believe they are perfect then you are mistaken.  We each have strengths and we each have weaknesses.  The problem is that we can't see every one's mistakes or weaknesses, especially as much as we see our own.  Some of us expect that we ourselves need to be perfect so it's hard to accept our failures.  But when we accept them then we can learn from them and keep making ourselves better.  When I remember my Savior, Jesus Christ, and all he has done for me then I can accept my faults easier and know that because The Savior Died for me he will make up the difference and that it is not possible for me too, then I can surrender and give my life to him and I will be made perfect Some Day.  It's exciting!  This Easter Season as we think about the Savior his sacrifice and his resurrection then we can remember that just as winter comes so do our faults but just as Spring comes and brings new growth we can remember that we grow also.

I read this talk by President Uchtdorf that talks about how we can avoid comparing ourselves to others.  You can read, watch, or listen to it here. Great Talk!!

Stop asking yourself, "What's wrong with me?" and start asking yourself, "What's right with me!"