"You're mean, Thunder!" my four-year-old childishly chides the sky as she eagerly awaits the passing of today's gentle storm. Me? I'm loving it as I steal away a few moments in my quiet sitting room, with the windows wide open. I love a good storm, gentle or not. There's nothing quite as relaxing to me, and after the last several days, I'm thrilled to enjoy some down time.
Summer vacation has begun for my two older children, which means even more fun for the two youngest - or more fights if you want to look at it that way. I prefer to be an optimist and not think of the the bickering that may soon ensue!
Honestly, though we've had mostly peace and harmony since vacation began last Friday. How could we not? It's been one big party for them so far. We started our vacation off with a bang by making a trip to the Erie Zoo with some of our favorite friends, the Wallace ladies, on Friday.
A trip to the zoo isn't complete without a ride on the train. Here's a combination of our girls getting ready for their ride.
Here's Giana sitting on my lap. She couldn't wait to see what was going on! She never went on a train ride before - at least that she remembers.
After the zoo, we went back to the Wallace's where they graciously shared delicious ice cream cake and we decided ordering pizza would be a good idea. So that's what we did, but we congregated back at our house, and after eating and playing more we ended our day with a campfire and s'mores. Life doesn't get any better than that, especially for a child!
The weekend was jam-packed with more fun for the girls - mostly involving kiddie swimming pools, and swimming at the pond. My fun came in a different form - that of weeding, preparing and planting gardens, both veggie and flowers, but mostly flowers. It may sound like a lot of work, but like storms gardening is relaxing in its own way, and it reaps so many rewards.
This is definitely one of them. Fresh cut flowers on the table is one of life's simple delights! The same goes for fresh veggies to put on the dinner table, or to can during the harvest season. I love feeding my family when I know exactly where the food came from or what ingredients went into what was prepared. It's hard to know what to trust these days and I never have to question it when it's from my garden.
But what I love most when I'm out gardening is the time I get to enjoy all by myself. Usually when I'm working I'm alone which is a rarity with four children. If they come near, they know I'll put them on weed-pulling duty which they definitely don't want! Either way, I win!
But seriously, gardening reminds me of my youth when I was able to enjoy the world around me; to really hear the birds singing, to watch the little chipmunks scampering across the yard, to feel the breeze blowing against my cheeks. It also gives me time to plan my days, decide what has or hasn't been working in my life, as well as prioritize and set goals.
Someday my life won't be full of the chaos that goes with raising children. Then perhaps these sweet little gifts will be mine all the time, but believe me, I'm in no hurry for that. For now, I'm perfectly content to enjoy trips to the zoo, listen to little girls giggling or bickering, and to stop to smell the vases of fresh cut flowers on my table every once in a while. I'll cherish the time I get to myself, but treasure my time with family and all my blessings even more.