It’s been go go go the past few weeks and I’m just able to come up for air (briefly). Despite our seemingly constant state of sickness, we’ve been enjoying these spring days. Whether it’s the kids fighting over the tree swing in the yard, spending the afternoon at a nearby park or going on a hike around the lake, we can’t get enough of this temperate weather before the summer heat sets in.
Grady is settling in nicely with his orthotic helmet—and we are already seeing great success with his head shape changing. We are praying he he graduates from it by his first birthday at the end of July. And it would be amazing if he was out of it before our beach trip the week of July 4th.
Final Weeks of School
Can everyone agree that these last few weeks of school are crazy? We have packed so much in the past three weeks, including another stomach bug, parent-teacher conferences, field day, ballet recitals, soccer games, park hopping and doctor appointments (per the usual). Next week is two awards ceremonies and a field trip. I’m so grateful I planned ahead for end-of-year gifts with The Happy Snail. Not only did it help with time management, it freed up some mental space for me as well.
There is exactly one week left until school is out for the summer for my Rowdy boys. I have mixed feelings on this. Mostly, I’m excited for a more laxed scheduled, where I’m not pushing them out the door at 7 a.m. each morning. I’m also excited that we get to do a lot of fun morning adventures, such as splash pads and botanical gardens and park playdates and picnics. I’ve also got my boys signed up for a couple morning camps sprinkled throughout the summer. (See my 2019 Summer Camp Guide for ideas.)
As excited as I am about summer, I’m a little nervous trying to figure out how to do my freelancing with all four kids home this summer. Though it’s hard to know how it will play out until I’m in the thick of things, my current plan is to use the baby’s two naps to work. I would still love to get up early at 5 a.m. or so to tackle things before my kids are up at 6 a.m., but who knows when the baby will start sleeping through the night. Until then, I’ll just be winging it and adjusting as needed.
The house hunting adventure is still going strong. Though I posted about it a couple months ago, my thoughts are still all over the place on where I want us to end up. If you asked me today, I’m leaning more towards a smaller house on some acreage. I’d even be happy with 2-3 acres, plenty enough for my kids to roam. But because most acreage is farther out from the city we’re in now, there’s a lot to think about before buying. We’d be farther out from the little community we’ve built over the past three years, including our church, our gym, James’ business space, preschool and of course family and friends.
I’ll confess that I’m having a hard time letting go of this house hunt and giving it over to God. It’s not as much about not being the lead in the hunt that I’m worried about. I think it’s more that I’m nervous about where He will direct us, because change (in any form) is not always easy. It takes a while for me to digest things and be at peace with them. He may lead us to a small lot in a local neighborhood, and I guess I’m worried I’ll be disappointed because I wanted more outdoor space for my kids. Or He may lead us to 10 acres in a nearby town, and then I’m nervous about moving away from familiarity and our community. It’s freeing knowing I don’t hold the reigns to our house hunt but also a bit scary at the same time. Can anyone else relate?!
Since my last life update in March, I made it through Where the Crawdads Sing and loved the book. I highly recommend it for a refreshing read! Since then, I’ve read Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love and am nearly finished with her book The Masterpiece. And I’ve downloaded (Kindle Paperwhite lover here!) several new samples of book recommendations. I just need to choose what to start next: What If It’s True, Tending Roses, The Queen’s Rising, Firefly Lane or A Lineage of Grace. The good news is I have plenty of choices on my summer reading list!
Our hydroponic gardens are still churning out the salad greens. Next up are our hydroponic tomato bushes. We have a couple cherry tomato bushes in the basement beside our greens, but the husband has put a slew of non-automated hydroponic tomato plants outside to see how they fare. We eat salads year round, but summer salads with fresh tomatoes and berries on top are my favorite!
All this to say that salads are on the (near) daily menu to stay. Because I’m nursing a baby with food allergies, I’ve cut out dairy, gluten, soy and eggs, which means I can no longer sprinkle my favorite crispy onions on my salads. But I’ve found something better (and healthier) as a replacement: Simple Mills Almond Crackers. I buy a double pack at Costco every couple months, but most local grocery stores stock it as well.
The husband has been using the instant pot a lot lately, which has inspired me to make more recipes in it as well. I love using the saute function for my veggies before throwing in all the ingredients for a soup or stew. I’m still learning just how much I can use it for, but so far, so good.
There hasn’t been much time for new recipes the past month. Instead, I’ve stuck to tried-and-true recipes on days I have more time to cook: buffalo chicken soup, sweet potato-topped chicken pot pie, beef stew (I just wing it). On busy days, we get by with the basics such as grilled hamburgers, pork tenderloin or marinated chicken, as well as tacos, salmon burgers, meatloaf, spaghetti meat sauce on zoodles and sloppy joes. And always with a salad as one of our sides.
Are you ready for summer?!?