Today we made our first of several trips to the local strawberry patch. (We traveled a little farther last year to a huge patch and made a large batch of jam. This year that patch isn't as plentiful and is only open on a more temporary basis. Today they were closed, so we may try again next week. They had a great price and we were able to pick oodles.) We have been eagerly awaiting ALL the berry seasons this year! First for Virginia is strawberries - this mama's favorite! This year we hope to make enough jam for gifts and to last us the full year, freeze berries for waffles, and eat plenty of fresh ones along the way.
I wanted to be in the moment with my children while picking. Plus I needed to herd both of them to the patch, while carrying the containers for the berries. Carrying a camera was just one thing too many. They were adorable, and excited, and Töchterchen finished the picking with her sweet little face covered in strawberry juice, as it should be. Mannchen is an excellent berry picker and our Töchterchen is an excellent taste tester/plant squasher. While she may not have contributed many berries to the boxes (and took out a plant or two in the process), she did provide endless entertainment as our very own strawberry fairy and made friends with several ladybugs we found in the patch.
After we finished picking, we took a break on the old tractors set up around the farm stand.
The strawberry fairy on the tractor. (And yes, that's a church in the background. When you live in the city, even the farms are surrounded by churches and storage facilities.)
"We need to hook that tractor up to this one."
That little woman is in charge.
Big brother, you shift the gears. The wheel is mine.
Compare today's photos to this flashback from Oct 2011. They're a little bigger now and Töchterchen still hogs the wheel. Why must they grow so quickly?!
Finally, the tractor enthusiast had a chance to drive the tractor on his own. He couldn't have been happier!
I also wanted to thank you for the kind words and prayers yesterday. I am learning (yet again) to be patient and trust God's timing, not my own. Our house will sell and we will make the new apartment work. It's hard to let go of a home that we love so much, but our happiness does not lay in our earthly possessions. Our family, the true sources of happiness and joy in my life, will all be on this journey together and our precious family will fill the tiny apartment will all the love we fill this house with.
In an attempt to clear my mind and brighten my mood yesterday, we went for a walk on a nearby trail after naptime. The kids love walking there because it surrounds a lake and on sunny afternoons there are always plenty of turtles and other wildlife to observe. Yesterday was an extra special day because not only did we get to see FOUR dinosaur (i.e. snapping) turtles, but we discovered a fairy trail! When we began the trail was dusted with glitter! We knew right away that meant the fairies had been there the night before. We looked closely for the treasures they left behind and we were able to discover hidden flowers all along our path. It truly was a mood brighter with my favorite little people. I am so thankful for their gentle reminders to focus on the here and now and to stop worrying about the future. Right here, right now, is so beautiful.