It's been gorgeous outside- both yesterday and today. Plenty of sunshine, comfortably warm temperatures and not as many flies and mosquitoes as in the weeks before. I love being outside. It calls me out even when everything inside is screaming for help...well the children only scream occasionally- I really meant the housework screams. Anyway, I've been playing in the garden some this week. I never thought I could get addicted to pulling weeds, but I'm coming close to such an addiction. We've gotten our garden in- complete with corn, tomatoes- Roma and big ones (I forget the name), cucumber seeds, zucchini and summer squash (we hardly ever plant enough- the kids love it!), bell peppers, winter squash, carrots, broccoli, turnips, pumpkins, and plenty of grass. I also planted a host of Zinnias right along the road and if I win the grass war they should look beautiful in the middle of the summer. Jonathon insisted on having his own garden and he spent his own money to by his own corn and okra seeds and has his little plot as well. Right in the middle of the garden we planted some sunflower seeds to make a sunflower fort and as soon as they come up we're going to plant some morning glories around them to climb up the sunflower stalks. I think the kids will like it. We are also going to plant some green beans in a couple of weeks. We got some blue lake green beans and some Turner special variety that we are going to try this year as well. I've had a jolly good time getting dirty, pulling grass weeds, mixing in manure (who'd have thought that was fun!), and just generally relaxing in the sun. It's so enjoyable. I wish I could spend all day out there.
But then there is my homeschool stuff that just recently arrived and I am torn between the fun of being outside and the fun of being inside at my desk pouring over our new books for next year. It's ridiculous how excited I am about school stuff. This year was such a success- I have expectations that next year will be just as fun if not better. We are learning all about world geography this coming year- continents, countries, cultures, various people groups, ecosystems, animals, Oh...it's gonna be great. I went with My Father's World for our curriculum last year and LOVED it, so we decided to try it again. In short- I could sell this stuff I love it so much. I would be a great person to be up there saying, "Hey, this is the best stuff for school on the planet and you should buy it right now- even if you don't have kids, cause you might know a kid somewhere and..." yeah...it's really awesome- so much information and really good books and resources combined with a Biblically based worldview for all of it AND written for homeschoolers who need age integrated materials. If you can imagine a three year old wiggling in his seat from the excitement of merely anticipating eating his birthday cake or the last two minutes before the six year old gets to run into the water at the beach- that's me and this school stuff. Love it, love it, love it!
K...and then there's the baby...having a blast watching her study her world. She's so alert and awake much of the time. She is dainty and looks so thoughtful. She folds her hands in front of her and looks as though she's 50 and politely listening to the conversation with her ankles crossed and knees together and a little smile on her face all the while nodding to let you know you have her attention. She doesn't do all that of course, but she makes me think she would be if she only knew how to sit up. She's giving me some rough nights wanting to be awake at 2 am and such, but that's the way it is with babies and part of me secretly loves the fact that she doesn't want to be in her bed, but instead is content to lay awake snuggled in my arm which after 2 hours can't move from that position anymore because the joints and muscles just froze that way. It hurts so much, and yet I wouldn't trade it for the world, cause she's so happy. Of course, there are plenty of times I wish I could just roll over onto my stomach and sleep for a good 12 hours straight, but she's so precious and it just makes my heart melt to have her there and happy- sleep deprivation and all.
Then there is exercise...glorious exercise! I worked in the garden and felt sore later and was thrilled. I went for a walk and got my heart rate up and it felt so GOOD and energizing. I've been trying to eat better- mostly counting calories and trying to figure out how to eat the most food for the least amount of calories- which usually involves having mostly healthy choices (like who wants to waste 140 calories on 2 TBSP of mayo when you can have half a sandwich with mustard, pita, turkey, lettuce, and tomato for about the same amount???) I'm learning alot about how many calories I put in my body every day and I am shocked at how many I was consuming! I had no idea! Anyway, trying to make it a healthy amount for me and baby and the weight is gradually coming off. I know it helps to be nursing to, so I figure- use the edge while I have it. For all you worry warts out there, don't think I am "dieting". This is just an attempt and eating what I really need and stopping there- I'm not starving myself or my little girl- or coming anywhere close. I also got ChaLEAN Extreme thanks to a wonderful person who helped us afford it. I have friends who seem to love it and have had good success with it and I am looking forward to starting it when I'm all safe from baby to workout again! So, right now, just focusing on the food side and getting some form of exercise- walks, or stretching, or just working up a little sweat and can't wait to get to the next step!
So, things are going well. Mom happy, children happy, Daddy back to work most of the time. Oh...and I'm loving my freezer meals. We packaged some up before the baby all on one day- 21 meals. They weren't all completely made, but they are just prepped. But none of them are high fat casseroles. They are all fairly healthy with whole grains, good cuts of meat, healthy lower fat sauces, plenty of veggies, and taste good. So I just pull out a bag at the beginning of the day and most of the work is all ready done. It's just throw it in the skillet or crock pot or whatever and add a potato or salad or veggie on the side. So easy...part of me wishes I did this all year round...I might consider it. I still make some meals, but these take the stress out of meal preparations! I know I have a healthy easy option for when I don't feel like cooking up a storm or when I just need to be focused on something else.
You know, writing this all down makes me think of David and his Psalms- partly because of what someone said to me once about my posts sounding real, but this is one of those that's just overflowing with thankfulness to God for his goodness. I've had some of those that just cry "WHY" and are pretty distressing, but this is just the opposite. I feel VERY blessed and as much time as I spend telling Jesus my problems, I want to Him to know how much I appreciate it when I feel His bountiful goodness pouring out all over me and around. And I suppose, since I'm writing this publicly, I'd like you to know too! God bless your Friday and upcoming weekend.