Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Isaiah's Spider

Isaiah has gotten into the habit of crawling in between Jeremy and I during the night. While it's been so cold, I don't even have the heart to take him back to his bed because I'm sure it's quite snuggly and warm to be between Mommy and Daddy.

On this particular night, though, Isaiah started crying--an all out scared cry. He crawled on top of me and when he opened his eyes and saw me and I told him he was in Mommy and Daddy's bed he calmed down a little bit. I rocked him and put him back in his bed.

Before I fell back asleep I heard him get out of bed and walk around. He didn't come back in our room and I went to sleep. In the morning, I found Isaiah snuggled in Josiah's bed.

I asked Isaiah why he was crying during the night. He told me this story and repeated it to his siblings and Jeremy. "There was spider in Mommy and Daddy bed. It was on my back. So I had to leave and get in Josiah's bed." With all of Isaiah's enunciation and mannerisms, it was about the cutest story I've heard in a while.

I think he had a dream.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Snow--and lots of it!

Since the beginning of the year it has been COLD. Temps have been in the teens and single digits with wind chills being below zero some nights. Last Tuesday we were the only crazy ones to go sledding on our friend's sledding slope. They have a snow maker and create a sledding hill each year and invite anyone who wants to, to come sledding. It might have been 20 degrees that morning, but it was sunny and there was no wind. The children had never been sledding before. They loved it and for an hour they kept at it. I was impressed that they lasted an hour. If they would have stopped moving, they would have been too cold. 

Isaiah rode with Aliza. Aliza took the best care of him and he didn't miss a single ride. He was quite a trooper walking through that snow and climbing the hill.

 Wednesday night into Thursday morning (that would have been Jan 3-4) we had blizzard conditions and got about 12 inches of snow. In December I wanted to just hibernate so badly and I got my hibernation time this week!
 We really enjoyed watching the birds at the feeder.
 The irony of Josiah lounging in the beach chair that is still on the deck just made me laugh.
 On the 3rd day (Saturday) it was time to dig out. Jeremy was able to work from home Thursday and Friday. The children and I continued to do schoolwork. Somehow snow days make for pretty good school days.

 Isaiah was the best (and only) shoveling helper.

 The snow plows made for some pretty deep drifts at the end of the driveway that Jeremy and I dug out. So many people waved at us as they drove by in their big trucks and SUVs. haha.
 I told Jeremy I would help until I froze and I made it the whole hour! And then I drug Jeremy over to dig out our neighbors. Once he got there he was glad to do it. They almost didn't let us. They kept saying "someone will come and get us out" and we would say, "someone is here and it's us!"
 On day 5 we finally ventured out and went sledding again. This time the temperature was in the low 30s and it felt great! This time the hill was busy with lots of friends. Once again the children went down over and over and over--really without stopping for almost an hour. All 5 of us fit on an old wooden toboggan. This picture is now my most favorite!
Schools are still closed today (day 6) so Anna didn't have dance. It remains to be seen if we will have our regular Wednesday activities tomorrow. I don't mind at all living in an area where snow stops regular activity for awhile.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Joy Dare::December

4958. Nutcracker Ballet with my girls
4959. Lollipop motivation
4960. Aliza's pen pal
4961. Good shopping morning
4962. Making pretzel treats
4963. When the 6th person gets sick I know the end is in sight
4964. Isaiah off the couch talking and playing
4965. Laughing until we cry at the supper table
4966. House cleaned
4967. Finally got to the library and Isaiah got excited about choosing books
4968. Christmas tree decorated
4969. Potty training success continues
4970. Dark evenings are cozy
4971. Anna willing to participate in Christmas programs
4972. Advent readings
4973. Bringing Anna upstairs to do schoolwork alone with me
4974. Evening with friends
4975. My husband
4976. An unusual early December snow
4977. The snow packed so Josiah made a snowman in the dark
4978. Apple pie and ice cream in front of the fire
4979. Our whole family playing in the snow
4980. Writing a few letters and addressing cards
4981. Jeremy did the grocery shopping
4982. A long, snowy day nap
4983. No electricity this evening
4984. Reading out loud by flashlight
4985. Backup heat source
4986. Aliza had a big school day and she handled it well
4987. Enjoying Pentatonix music
4988. Poinsesttia
4989. Somehow school was complete at 1:00
4990. Got some of my schooling questions/concerns answered
4991. Josiah got to play with friends
4992. Finishing Wednesday activities for Christmas break
4993. Aliza encouraging Anna so sweetly
4994. Anna participating in the Christmas program
4995. Mom's house!
4996. The cleanest the oven's ever been
4997. Aliza didn't expect braces, but she handled it well
4998. Jeremy is an amazing problem solver
4999. Josiah could hit the water tank for me
5000. The thought Aliza puts in the gifts she gives
5001. We experienced Bethleham
5002. My kids' sensitive hearts
5003. Attending Sunday morning service at IBC
5004. Floors swept when I got home
5005. Finished project
5006. Christmas shopping with Josiah and Anna--separately
5007. Teapots
5008. Talking to my mother in law
5009. Playdate morning
5010. Janell knows things I like
5011. Meghan and the boys!
5012. Date night with Jeremy
5013. The house is so quiet
5014. Childrens' bedrooms clean
5015. School finished for Christmas break
5016. Such a good discussion tonight
5017. Brian had the tool and was present to cut my shelves to the size I needed
5018. Isaiah snuggled in beside me and pulled my arm over for a hug
5019. A guitar I didn't know we needed
5020. "Let go of Plan A--Go with Plan Be." Ann Voskamp
5021. Shelves for shoes
5022. A lovely Christmas visit with Andy and Judy
5023. A restful Christmas Eve
5024. The children singing Happy Birthday Jesus at church
5025. Pizza, shrimp and salad for supper
5026. All the Christmas Eve excitement
5027. Aliza's sweet Christmas letter to me
5028. A very relaxed, happy Christmas morning
5029. Josiah's thank you hugs
5030. Diffusing fir needle, wild orange and cinnamon
5031. A clean desk means I'm scrapbooking
5032. Vacation week
5033. Called Grandma
5034. When Janell can stay on the phone and listen to Isaiah chatter
5035. Isaiah loving every picture in his scrapbook
5036. Identifying the "twerking bird"--American Woodcock
5037. A pair of bluebirds
5038. Curtain covering the sliding door
5039. Binge (for me) watching The Holiday Baking Championship
5040. Children snuggled on the couch with me
5041. Cookie baking for Heslop Christmas
5042. One more fun Christmas
5043. Isaiah's reaction to the remote controlled car
5044. Time to work on Project Life scrapbooks
5045. Jeremy got time with his Dad and Joel
5046. Aliza and Anna had an afternoon with Brandi
5047. I got to chat with Christie
5048. New Year's Eve shrimp

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A New-to-Us Bird

Have you ever seen a bird that looks like this? Neither had I.
Christmas morning Josiah told me he had seen a "really dorky bird that looks like it is twerking." I blew him off because I thought Josiah was being dorky.

The day after Christmas, Aliza saw the same bird and told me to come look at this really crazy bird. Since it was the second sighting, I looked. It was hard to see on the ground due to it's very convincing camouflage. And, like Aliza and Josiah said, it was the strangest bird I had ever seen. I watched it bob with his long beak poking in the ground for food and was completely clueless as to what it might be. I really wanted a picture and I contemplated getting Jeremy's long lens out but decided against that.

Instead I texted a friend who loves bird watching. I tried to describe it to her. She suggested looking up a flicker or a thrush. We did and neither one matched this bird. And so we let it lay...

...Until the next day when Jeremy saw 6 of these mystery birds in the yard. I knew if Jeremy saw them we would figure out what kind of bird it is. After agreeing that indeed the bird looked like it was twerking, he did some searching. About the same time, Jeremy figured it out, Aliza googled "bird twerking" and immediately she found a video of the American Woodcock and the picture and corresponding video was exactly the bird in our yard.
(Found this picture on Pinterest)
I told our friend and she was really excited to learn about a new-to-her bird. I'm a lot more interested in birds now! We have had one more sighting of American Woodcocks in our yard. They are migratory birds so now that it is really cold, maybe they have moved on?

I was not familiar with the word "twerking". I always thought it was "torking" and it was a bit disconcerting that my children could demonstrate "twerking" to me and spell it correctly. I homeschool my children! Where do they learn this stuff?!

Monday, January 1, 2018

The Last Christmas for This Year

It was Christmas weekend with Jeremy's family!
Isaiah totally knew what to expect this time and in typical 3 year old fashion, he did not want the present to end. One highlight for him was opening a remote control car. I seriously wish I had given it to him! He was SO excited. He couldn't contain himself and kept saying, "I always wanted this!" After all the gifts were opened, Isaiah insisted that I go to the basement with him. What he wanted to do was dump out all his candy and eat it. I let him. At one point he had two tootsie roll lollipops in his mouth.
I really like this artist, Ruth Chou Simons. Her shop is called gracelaced.
Aliza picked out a special wall decor for Grandma.
And she designed a mug for Grandpa. She wrote different names for God in the shape of a Christmas tree.
Brandi gave Aliza a board game called Suspicion. They had a lot of fun playing it. The next morning I woke up to the exclamations involved in Aliza, Josiah and Anna playing it together.
Anna now has a "pet" cat. 

Josiah got a game for his 3DS that he really wanted and I didn't hear much from him the rest of the weekend. Actually all of us continued our hibernation week through the weekend.

The guys watched the new Star Wars movie. I met my friend for tea. The girls spent an afternoon with Brandi. I worked on my Project Life scrapbooks. Josiah had way too much screen time. It was SO cold that no one was remotely tempted to go outside. Karen wasn't feeling very great so it a team effort to get the turkey dinner on the table. Aliza was introduced to Hallmark movies--and she loved them. Isaiah watched football with Grandpa. It must have been the first time he really watched football because his conversation about guys running into each other, and 2 blue shirts falling down was really priceless. To top it all off, Aliza, Josiah and Anna stayed up with us to welcome in the New Year. They had never heard of "watching the ball drop." That was pretty interesting to try to explain. They were so excited to stay up. As he was getting ready for bed Josiah told me that he has "always wanted to do that" (stay up until midnight).

Saturday, December 30, 2017


Our Christmas day in pictures and caption stories...
The children are so excited! It was contained excitement though. Some of them are growing up.
Aliza was the first to give her gifts. She was so excited to give. Aliza put so much thought into the gifts she picked out for everyone. Anna had to close her eyes...
...because Anna's gift was a basket of small things that Anna loves.
A gift card for a Daddy/Daughter date.
And for me--Aliza started working on a very special gift for me on Sept. 25. I had no idea that she was making something for me even though it was saved on my computer! Aliza wrote me a one and a half page, typed, single spaced letter of how much she loves me, 38 reasons why she loves me, a paragraph of encouragement and closed with a Christmas poem that she wrote. So incredibly special and sweet. I'll be re-reading that one frequently!
And then Josiah gave his gifts. Anna *sortof* loved the Barbie.
She tackled Josiah with a hug.
Aliza was hard to shop for this year. Josiah wasn't sure about what he chose for her, but she loved it and he was right there to check it out with her.
How sweet is this moment when Anna gave Aliza the gift she picked out for her. I loved seeing the joy of giving this year.
Isaiah loved, loved, loved opening presents. He was perfectly thrilled with all the Paw Patrol toys he inherited from his cousin. It's probably the only year that I'll be able to get away with re-gifting toys for Christmas and this time I refused to feel guilty about it.
So much happy in this boy!
Anna was a bundle of happy too. =)
Josiah was really playing it cool all morning--and actually the whole season. Whenever he was asked what he wanted for Christmas, he wouldn't really say. Mostly because what he wanted he didn't think we would get for him. So when he opened that Lego robot that he wanted he was excited...
...and he cried. I might be sad when he doesn't cry when he's happy anymore. I might add that the robot is really cool. So far he has played with it a lot!
All Aliza wanted was the Special Edition Dancing with the Stars People Magazine.
She promptly read it cover to cover. (We gave her some other things too that she appreciated.)
Christmas evening was with my family.
We had a lot of fun together.
Isaiah has been watching his gift every time we have visited my parents in the last several weeks. He always asks if he can open it and we finally, finally said yes.
A boat, a shark, a helicopter and a car! It was the perfect play set for him. He LOVED it and continues to LOVE it!
The only other thing Aliza wanted was a journal and she couldn't hardly believe that I didn't give it to her. She got it from Aunt Meghan.
Great Grandad set up his train set on his table. The children really enjoyed watching the train. Funny story--my Mom, Brian, and I were sitting at the table and Grandad asked us what we thought of his sweater. He told us that he got it at Herod's when he and Gramma traveled to London--in 1972!! That would make the sweater 45 years old. lol. He said he still likes it and plans to continue to wear it.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was on a Sunday this year and the children were just convinced that Saturday was Christmas "Adam". Because, surely, there can't be an "Eve" without an "Adam." I had all of my Christmas preparations finished so it was a pretty quiet day. I was hoping the mood to bake would strike, but it didn't.

We started church at 4:30pm with cupcakes and hot chocolate--a birthday party for Jesus. It is always fun to sing the traditional Christmas carols. The children sang Happy Birthday Jesus. I sat right in the front to help them sing. They all sang really well! It was a big help to have Aliza and Josiah singing too. Renee and Anna held hands the whole time. Towards the end of the song Anna looked at me and did her newly learned winking with both eyes. Kinda made me heart melt!

After church we had the traditional pizza and shrimp at Mom and Dad's house. Isaiah has been watching his gift under the tree at Grandma's house and he can hardly wait to open it. It was just a quiet and relaxing evening. All of a sudden Josiah and Anna were READY to go home. They wanted to go to bed so that morning would come faster.

When we got home they did get ready for bed pretty quickly. Aliza took a shower and soon I heard sobbing coming from the bathroom. I couldn't figure out what could possibly be wrong. The sobbing didn't stop and when I talked to her she didn't really know why she was crying but just couldn't stop. So much emotion the night before Christmas! Everyone slept well though. In fact, no one even crawled into our bed.