Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ending the CBS Year Well

It just does not seem possible that we are finishing our out-of-home activities for the summer. Maybe it has something to do with the temperature today! Regardless, today was the last day of Community Bible Study. I explained to Aliza that the adults are given an opportunity to share what they have learned or what CBS has meant to them and asked her what she would share if she had the opportunity. She rattled off what she would say so I asked her if she would be willing to write down her thoughts and allow me to read them to the adults. She agreed and has now given me permission to share her letter here:

Dear CBS, 
I have gotten closer to God this year than any year I've come. This year I've gotten so close to God that I see him at night. This year I learned that life is not a breeze and there's hard times. For example, this month my siblings are getting harder and harder to work with. Miss Donna (her teacher for the last several years) had to leave in the middle of CBS this year and I was the only girl in my class a lot of weeks. But now I have Jesus close to my heart and he is powerful and will be with me in thick and thin.
Love,
Aliza

Isaiah has grown up so much in his class. In the past month or so when we round the corner to the children's hall, he jumps out of my arms and reaches for his name tag sticker. Then he walks right into his room. Today he even handed me his monkey and pacifier to put away. When I came to pick him up he was so busy playing that he didn't see me--so I grabbed a picture.
Aliza, Josiah and Anna made picture frames for me. I personally think they are the greatest things ever. =)
And their teachers completely spoiled them. Anna came home with sidewalk chalk and stickers and the big kids each had a gift bag with some puzzle books, candy and the boys had nerf water shooters. The teacher has two grown boys and it made me smile because she knew exactly what to get these 8 year old boys.
My heart is full. My children are loved so well here and it means so much to have other people speak in to their lives and impact their faith.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

My Bible Rebound

Way back when I was in 8th grade, I really wanted The New Student Bible. My parents gave it to me for Christmas that year and it has been the Bible used since then. It's been through life with me. By the time I got through high school and, having lived through years of school locker abuse, I got a Bible case for it. That preserved it for many years, but the binding continued to deteriorate. Quite a few years ago the zipper on that Bible case broke and the binding got to the point that one day soon my Bible pages were just going to fall out of the case.

Getting my Bible rebound in leather has been on my lists of wants for  a while and recently the timing was right. I found Bindlund Leather Co on etsy. The owner and I went back and forth a few times. I sent my Bible to him and this week it was returned to me!
Photo by bindlundleatherco
I love it! The pages still fall open the way they are supposed to. I have all of my notes and underlining. As long as the pages hold up it's my Bible for life--or at least for a good many more years.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Under the Sea Party

One of the private schools in our area is presenting The Little Mermaid for their spring play. The school put on an Under the Sea Party for children ages 10 and under. Anna heard about the party in the Bible study class and she wanted to go so badly. This time it was a Daddy Daughter Date.
The cast performed a few scenes from the play and then there were stations that the children could rotate through.

One of the stations was hair styling. Aliza got a braid and Anna a ponytail. The each got to bring home the dinglehopper (fork) that was used to comb their hair.

Anna wanted so badly to get her picture taken with Ariel, but when it came down to it she wasn't sure about a picture with a real person. The cardboard decoration was just right for her. =) Anna chose her party dress and plastic princess "slippers" for the party.
Another station was touring the stage.
They came home with a card full of autographs from the cast. Aliza has her mementos taped on her bookshelf. Daddy was pretty tired when he got home, but the girls were thrilled and called it the "best day ever."

Monday, April 11, 2016

Bathroom Counter Makeover

I guess this one can be called a pinterest success. My mother in law sent me a pin with this idea and I thought that on the cabinet door would be a great idea to store toothbrushes and toothpaste. We don't have a single drawer and only limited storage in the bathroom. The little bit of counter was the obvious place for everyone to toss toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Before

Girls side. Someone has more toothbrushes than they need...

Boys side. Another someone has more toothbrushes than they need... And now I know who needs to get rid of toothbrushes because they have to claim them in their cup!

After
Now that is a lovely sight.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Easter Weekend


I'm thinking these two boys are brothers!!
Easter weekend was very very busy! We were not expecting to see Jeremy's parents, but a visit was quickly put together when his Aunt passed away early in the week. Aunt Vickie fought ALS with every ounce of her strength and determination. Her funeral was on Friday. Jeremy and I attended the private service and had a meal with the family. Funerals are just exhausting. Taking the children to my Mom and picking them up required a couple hours of driving and by the end of the day none of could quite hold our heads up.
I decided to make our Easter meal for Saturday noon so that Jeremy's parents could eat it with us. It's more fun to make a big meal for more people anyway.
I saw the idea to make Peep Houses on Pinterest. It looked easy enough--famous last Pinterest words. Karen was not exactly sure about my sanity on this one. I'm thinking we were all still a bit tired! For about a minute it looked like Anna and I were going to be successful and then...
...it collapsed and we had a Peep tent.
We played with graham crackers and frosting for a while.
And put our nests and Peep boxes on the table for our centerpiece.
Spring pretzel treats were our Easter dessert. These were also pinterest inspired and took a bit more effort than one would think at first glance. They are yummy though!
While I was making dinner, Grandpa and Josiah were making steps so that Josiah can climb this tree. Josiah has tried to do this on his own, so he was pretty excited that someone could make his vision a reality.
About mid week my brother in law called me to ask me to take my sister to Chincoteague for a girls night in honor of Janell's birthday and her spring break. Saturday night was my only window of opportunity. As soon as Jeremy's parents left I packed up my stuff and went to pick up Janell. Jeff got us a most lovely hotel and we relaxed. That's all.
When I got home on Sunday it was time for our little family Easter time. Aliza and Josiah asked me to please do the colors in their Easter baskets because they "love reading the book." If you wonder about our book I wrote about it here.
I found silly string with the perfect color caps. Josiah's face was priceless. It was as much fun making spiderwebs in the tree as it was to chase each other.

Church in the evening finished our Easter. I took care of the children during the sermon so I felt like my Easter last a whole weekend and into Monday when I got to listen to the sermon.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Joy Dare::March

3228. Children playing outside--and Isaiah loving every second of it
3229. Craft time and an organic lunch (provided by the home school group)
3230. Isaiah loves looking at books
3231. Sharing my faith with a friend
3232. Celebrating my very special 10 year old
3233. Anna snuggled up in my lap this afternoon
3234. Women to process with
3235. Kindof a random snow day
3236. Aliza excited and not too nervous for the choir festival
3237. The anticipation of grandparents arriving
3238. My first time dropping my child off for an all day activity
3239. Relaxed grocery shopping
3240. Seeing Aliza walk on stage completely at ease with a huge smile on her face
3241. A pre-birthday meal for Jeremy
3242. An extra day with Grandma and Grandpa
3243. Taking a break after picking up sticks for our neighbors--so many good lessons packed into a morning
3244. School on the picnic table
3245. Just pretending it's really summer
3246. Josiah planning a scavenger hunt for Daddy's birthday present
3247. My plan for errands today worked well
3248. So very thankful that Jeremy's life is entwined with mine
3249. These first warm days are extra special
3250. Homemade anti itch spray that seemed to work
3251. Isaiah discovering the yard and shop at Grandma and Grandad's house
3252. Laughing
3253. Getting inspired just before a day of being a saleswoman
3254. Soaking up all my children after being away for the day
3255. Getting some extra chat time in with Brandi before they left
3256. A super late morning--apparently we all needed it
3257. Getting the kids through schoolwork
3258. The moment they realized it was light enough after supper to play outside
3259. First blooms of spring
3260. My girls trimmed hair
3261. Country yard where boys can dig as deep and long as they want
3262. Taking the time to let Isaiah communicate (without words yet)
3263. The excitement of trying on her dance recital costume for the first time
3264. Ignoring school to visit with the neighbors while our children played
3265. Wild daffodils
3266. The utter excitement of trying on Easter dresses
3267. First Easter egg hunt for Isaiah and the last for Aliza (she says)
3268. Kids sleeping at Grandma and Grandad's house and there was no drama saying good bye
3269. Reaching out to a friend I haven't seen in a long time
3270. Dropping off supper to a cousin
3271. Eating way too much steak
3272. Going to bed knowing that no children are going to be need me tonight
3273. Clean house and I get to enjoy it staying clean for a day
3274. I really enjoyed the quiet, but it's so good to have a busy, loud, messy house again
3275. My man to come home and fix the water pressure
3276. Grace to adapt to the unexpected
3277. Three children big enough to sit through my Dr. appt--so I only had to corral one little guy
3278. The stockpile of chocolate my Gramma sent me home with
3279. Offering a hug and prayer
3280. Isaiah's "thank you" is about the cutest baby talk ever
3281. Knowing when something has to give
3282. Crossing off the to do list
3283. Getting to brag on my man to his mother
3284. My mom available for Plan B
3285. Recognizing that a couple children had to deal with disappointment and there was nothing I could do to make it easier
3286. My family and upbringing
3287. Easter meal a day early
3288. Time with my sister
3289. Walking, eating, scrapbooking
3290. Jesus is alive!
3291. The colors in our Easter baskets
3292. Silly string
3293. Listening to the children playing together
3294. Clear countertop
3295. Back into the normal routine
3296. Jeremy found the missing school DVD
3297. There must be a gift in this picture somewhere...
3298. Aliza's smile in dance pictures
3299. Checking on my people
3300. Reading to the children until the book was finished
3301. Hot water
3302. A hygienist that is fun to talk to
3303. Lunchtime dessert with Mom and Gramma

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Oregano to the Rescue

In October I was introduced to the idea of using oils for more than aromatherapy. It overwhelmed me, to say the least. I ended up with a box of 10 essential oils and a book that told me how to use them. I let the box sit for a month. It taunted me though--every time someone had a sniffle or a fever I wondered if maybe those oils had some value.

I decided I needed to do an objective test. A test where I could see if oils had an medicinal value. When one of my children showed me this toe, I cracked open my usage guide book--a little nervously. I looked up "warts" and oregano was the oil suggested to use for treatment. I asked some veteran oil users how to apply it and started putting one drop of coconut oil followed by one drop of oregano on the toe every night. There was immediate change and consistent improvement over months. After about 2 months, I omitted the coconut oil and just used the oregano. And, now, just about 5 months later, the warts are completely gone.

I use oils here and there. I have given up my stove top candle for a diffuser. I can't say that I swear by oils medicinally, but for this issue oregano was definitely the best way to go. I'll let you know if I have any other huge successes!