Splashes of Joy.

Man.  I feel like these past couple of weeks have been a little rough.
I can't remember a winter where our family has fought colds and sickness like we have this year.
It's been a little brutal.
My oldest girl.
 So, with coughing and snotting, and fevers and sore throats... playdates have had to be cancelled, co-op has had to be missed, tempers have been a little testy, naps have been a little sketchy, and with several days of rain in a row as of late, it's made for a few days of somewhat slipping into survival mode.
Coffee.  It always, always, always makes me happy.
Thankfully, I feel like we're moving upward.  Slowly but surely.
Why just today, I was able to taste my food!  That's a plus.
Although, my housemate downstairs just declared that he's starting to feel a little yuck this evening....

Playing with rocks.  Simple joys.
Ah well.
Spring is upon us - I can feel it in my bones.
And I continue to count my Joys....especially during these past few days of dreary.

Peas and beets and spinach will go into the ground this week...just as soon as I find my "get up and go.."
Getting my hands dirty is food for my soul.

Our baby chickies are growing.
Their nighttime peep-peeping across the hall makes me happy.

Our current critter count:  32 salamanders - which we released just the other day so that we could refill our tank with:  an eel, 3 newts, and 2 tadpoles.  This makes me happy, too.  I love when all of the creatures of the forest start to wake up and my boys live and breathe catching things, and making homes for them, and catching food for them....and then releasing them in exchange for another treasure found.
One of the 32.  Released to lay their eggs.
Sweet, simple, summer pleasures.
One of my favorite ways to play and bond with my boys.
Our freshwater eel.  Just a wee little baby.
And over the week-end, we had our first, family fishing trip.

One of MANY that we shall have this summer.  All three of the Hoolies have Fishing Fever - right along with their Big Daddy.  A friend told us about this sweet little stream, which we later learned that we didn't go down far enough, and so we got skunked for the day.  But, for our first expedition out, and for London's first fishing debut, the day was pretty successful.

Ransom has come along way from our first trip last year, where after not being able to get the casting thing down - in complete frustration he chucked his pole into the rushing river, in which the Mama - being very largely great with child dove in after it.

I was surely not impressed with my third child in that moment.
So, we've come a long way, Baby.
She had fun...and she only ate about 3 rocks and one small fistful of dirt.  Not too shabby.
More Happy's...

One of my dear friends painted me a masterpiece a few weeks ago.
This, I love.
I had purchased the blank canvas, and I told her that I would trade her bread and canned goods for one of her creations.  I think I got the better deal.  It's hanging proudly in Ransom and London's room.
Love.  Love LOVE love...
And the highlight of this weekend for me was sweet Shandy downstairs teaching all of the Hoolies how to crochet.  Her youngest Hoolie broke his collarbone this past week, so she was brainstorming ideas and activities to keep him still and calm for the next couple of weeks.  I'm quite certain her intention was for a quiet evening of crafting with her baby, when my two oldest came clamoring over, begging her to teach them, as well.
I love this.
I love our families meshing.
Amidst the crazy and the loud and the wading of the waters of brotherhood and friendships...
I love splashes of calm.
And I love when the other Mama and Daddy teach my kids something that I don't know how to do.
I love when my kids learn a new skill, and I love that Shandy took the time.
So, there we have it.
Many, many joys - so many reasons to give thanks - no matter what, and in spite of...

"Something always comes to fill the empty places.  And when I give thanks for the seemingly microscopic, I make a place for God to grow within me...  {I am} happy in all these little things God gives." ~ Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts.

I will not disdain the small.
Because the whole of my life is made up of the tiniest of moments...
And if I neglect the small...I will miss it all.

And so, I will forever count, so that I will always remember...

#5163-5169 ~ My Joy Journey

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