We survived! School is officially over. I think it’s safe to say the last three months of school was a learning experience for everyone. We’ve all been stretched and grown, both as a group and individually. But now that school is over, what do we do?

Our beach trip? Cancelled. Summer camps? Cancelled. Trampoline park? Closed. Movie theater? Closed. With a campus full of kids, we’ve had to get creative. With many of our go-to activities unavailable, we’ve begun to return to our roots. Joy Ranch is slowly becoming a ranch once again. Along with our influx of new animals, we’ve also planted gardens. Each cottage has a raised garden, where the kids planted their favorite vegetables. Sadly, as our kiddos learned, there is no such thing as a pizza seed.

Each kiddo chose what they wanted to plant, and their gardens are as unique as the person who planted them. Alex planted cucumbers, watermelon, but is most excited about his sunflowers. Lily chose to plant cucumbers, carrots, and cherry tomatoes. The next day, she sadly learned that cherry tomatoes do NOT taste like actual cherries. (I wish you could have seen her face when she told me this.) Julia was quick to point out that even though she planted beefsteak tomatoes along with green beans and sunflowers, they do not taste like an actual steak or hamburger. Although Edith isn’t the biggest fan of playing in the dirt, she is happy about her sunflowers and cucumbers. Danny is thrilled that his tomatoes, sunflowers, and carrots are already growing. Along with planting squash, peppers, carrots, and cherry tomatoes, Kayla surprised us with planting gourmet greens, emphasis on the fact that they’re gourmet. Evy is looking forward to eating her watermelon, but she’s also pleased with her carrots and peppers. Nona let it be known that she is very excited about her peppers, and she also planted cucumbers and carrots. And last but certainly not least, Cheyenne planted turnips, radishes, beets, and carrots.

The children are responsible for watering and tending to their plants. Each day we can see our kiddos making the trek to their gardens. They are learning patience, hard work, appreciation for a job well done, taking care of something, and that not everything can happen immediately. As much as we are thankful for school and teachers, we are reminded once again that not everything is learned in a classroom.

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