Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Yes I'm horrible at this blogging production....

It is HARD to find the time to sit down at the computer without a single distraction or without being suddenly ridden with guilt about what still needs to get done around the house. I don't know how these blogging mamas do it day in and day out but I'm impressed.

Let's see....how can I catch y'all up to date here without typing a novel?

So, I realize my blog has taken a sharp turn from my trail running adventures (sigh...how I miss those adventures terribly. 'whine') into the realm of kids and homesteading. It's not really the direction I wanted to go but I guess its inevitable seeing as that is truly what my life has evolved into for the time being. I know I will be back out there again, running and sucking air as I get myself back into the groove of things and back into a much fitter "me". I have to believe this because if I don't I think I'll cry. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my life as it has become. I love my children more than anything in the world and wouldn't change single a thing about it. Becoming pregnant not once, but twice with fertility issues I have been doubly blessed and I feel down to my bones that I was meant to be a mama. However, (and a small however) I am also an athlete to the core and feel mentally restless not being out on my trails, running exotic crazy races, and working out every day. I need this like the body needs water. I also really want to be an incredible role model to my children to show them the importance of being mentally and physically strong and healthy; to do crazy (but relatively safe) things to test your body and to gain the awe and inspiration that exercise and adventures deliver. So, although I am basking in motherhood, I also know that in due time (and I'm not rushing it because I know it will happen when the time is right) I will eventually be back running my trails and returning this body to the powerhorse it used to be! Then, dear friends, you can read about fitness instead of butchering turkeys and cloth diapering.

As it is I JUST did my first trail run in a very long time and (yay!) I DIDN'T suck!!!! I ran four fantastic trail miles in a decent time with the pup (who did amazing and even did a little successful off-leash trial). I was just a tiny bit sore the next day and I felt encouraged to try to get out more. I also have been using a weighted hoola-hoop (who knew?!), push up stands, and a speed rope for extra exercise in addition to my treadmill runs.

With the warmer weather I have also started taking the kiddos in either the Burley or tossing R-bear into the Osprey kid backpack and having L-bug hike next to me. She has been calling herself a "runner girl like mama!" and thoroughly enjoys sprinting next to me. Unfortunately her nearly three year old attention span lasts a few short minutes before she is suddenly planted in a crouch alongside the dirt road deeply inspecting whatever grasshopper, shiny rock, flower, spider, or bauble that she comes across. So I have come to realize and accept our walks are not about mama getting exercise but my kiddos exercising their curious brains and learning to enjoy the outdoors which is still a big fat win in my book.

This summer I am planning on starting the kids out on their first ever camping experience...in our back yard. We have enough land I can pretend we are gone far out but know if things go kattywompus we can always retreat to the safety and warmth of the house. For Christmas the kiddos both got true backpacks and high quality sleeping bags. Although it will be a bit until R-bear can utilize his gifts, L-bug is ready and willing to camp with hers, provided "there are s'mores, hot cocoa, and a campfire mama".

R-bear is starting to take his first steps and is signing words up a STORM! Practically each day he learns a new word and uses it correctly! Also he is my super snuggler. Ahhhh I love this boy. He will snuggle mama 24/7 if he was able. He fits right into my shoulder and neck like it was made to form around his little body.
L-bug is also coming into her own and becoming more affectionate and nursing. Yes, there are days of struggle where she spits out "no!" or "you do it!" but there comes immediate and swift redirection and she corrects her behavior. Not as many melt downs as she used to have. She is also using really big words as well as big concepts, and many often mistake her age to be a year or two older. This may bite us in the butt:) We are starting to homeschool although I use that term loosely right now because homeschooling at her age is mostly imagination play, arts and crafts, music, dancing, and helping mama cook. She has her own chores that are expected of her such as setting the table each meal and cleaning up her own place as well as helping clean the rest of the table. She also helps empty the clean dishes from the dishwasher and collect eggs from the chicken coop. She is eager and willing most of the time and all you have to ask is "can you help me?" and she is all over it with excitement!

Also, cowboy is starting to work one day from home each week which is absolutely delightful and I am down to part time. It is nice to see each other again a little bit more as we miss each other terribly!

Life is very good on the homestead. We are expecting to harvest our first batch of honey from our bees this month and we have 20 baby chicks in the brooder coop who are now fully feathered out. The elder hens are starting to lay better with the warmer weather and we just butchered one of our roosters for tomorrows dinner. Baby turkeys will be on their way next month (a mix of heritage and commercial breeds) and we are starting to discuss the potential of pigs this summer or next. MMMMM bacon.....

Book Review: God's Easter Miracles by Lee Ann Mancini

This book is part of a series "Adventures of the Sea Kids". I heard great things about this series while I listened to Dr. Meg Meeker's podcast so I looked up the book and was given a copy via BookCrash for my honest review. I really wanted to like this book but alas I felt it really fell short with the delivery of its message and the religious guilt associated. 

Although the book's quality is fantastic (thick pages, solid hardcover, beautiful illustrations), I found the content to be a bit over the top. First of all I felt there was too many messages attempting to be delivered. There is an autistic sea kid, an injured sea kid, the message of what Easter means with Jesus, and "letting Jesus in your heart". I would expect it to be very overwhelming for a younger child to comprehend. I also felt that although it is indeed an obvious religious themed book, it had a very pushy and off-putting tone to it. 

The Sunday school children were to hunt for eggs and whomever found the few eggs with crosses on them were to get a special present. Jimmy found two but was then bluntly pressured and guilted by the teacher into giving one of his eggs to the autistic kid who threw down his basket and pouted because he wanted a special present too. The message was to treat autistic kids with extra attention and exceptions than the other children and that didn't set well with me. Jimmy should have been allowed to come to his own decision to give up his second egg and been given praise regardless of who he shares it with. This part of the book reminded me of participation trophies which is a terrible thing.
Again with the autistic kid, when he has difficulty writing his card, others offer to do it for him. Instead of helping him work through his disability he is treated as being completely incompetent.
Second, I am not a fan of the notion of "Jesus take the wheel" when it comes to praying for miracles. It's fine to pray and ask God to help when someone is ill but to discredit anything else that may have helped save the child's life (doctors, nurses, etc) is ignorant. Yes, I guess you can assume that God's grace is in the medical staff but to just say we prayed and yay it worked! seems silly and lazy.
Overall the pictures were beautiful to look at and I could see the message that the author was trying hard to get through but I felt she really flopped. The pressure seen in this book is why so many run from religion and that is discouraging. Based on other reviews I am actually wanting to read to the other books in the series as many have written this was their least favorite because of the things I have mentioned here. I initially heard of this series off of Dr. Meg Meeker's podcast.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookCrash in exchange for my honest opinion.