Wednesday, December 11, 2019

A Magical Learning Moment

Isaiah had the most magical moment of learning yesterday and I just want to remember it forever. I don't know if I will be able to portray it in writing.

I hear Isaiah and Josiah say in play every so often, "FBI! Open Up!"

Isaiah learned the letter F yesterday and as we worked on his papers we were talking about F and he says, "F! Like FBI!" His eyes sparkle and I can see the wheels turning and he says, "I can spell FBI. F...B...I !!!!!!" And he laughs his high pitched squeal that he uses when he is extra pleased with himself. A second later he says, "I can write FBI. I know all the letters!"
He does and he is SO SO SO proud of himself.

The greatest part is that when we said, "Hey Buddy, can you spell CIA?" He had no idea. And when the UPS truck drove up today, I stopped Josiah from asking Isaiah to spell UPS. Josiah and I just had a good laugh together.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Every Tree Has a Story

I had tree decorating night planned all week. On Friday I used the winter plates for supper and had the tree decorating snacks prepared. At 6:00 Jeremy told me he was helping one of his team members trouble shoot an issue. At 7:00 he was stuck working on a computer and was deciding if he should just bring it home or not. At 7:30 I decided that I was just going to have to bring the tree in and set it up myself. Aliza helped me bring the box in and together we set up it. While I fluffed, Aliza and Anna tested the lights and untangled them.
It was about when the lights looked like this that Jeremy got home! Actually we had started stringing them on the tree, but decided we would stop and let Jeremy get settled and then let him do the lights. That was a very good decision.

When it was *finally* time to get the decorations out there was the usual chaos of who is going to get to hang which decorations. And promptly one decoration slipped out of someone's hand and shattered. I just cleaned it up. Thankfully I didn't let it ruin the evening.

My favorite is the new decorations from our adventures during the year.
Strasburg Train
New Orleans
Put-In-Bay, Ohio
Spangler Candy Factory
That's the story of this year's tree. I enjoy it now that it is up and decorated!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Joy Dare::November

6636. It's fall weather this morning and it literally changed seasons overnight
6637. Orange sunset behind the mountains
6638. Heslop cousins reunited
6639. My in-law family
6640. Jeremiah 29:7
6641. Tea with Christie
6642. Sitting around the table chatting
6643. Cousins didn't want to say good bye
6644. In the Annapolis mall for 3 hours and we didn't buy anything except lunch
6645. Showing up
6646. Prioritizing
6647. Taking the big kids on a field trip
6648. Enjoying the city
6649. Coming home to the country
6650. Aliza and Josiah had their own conversation the whole way home
6651. On a scale of 1-10, Isaiah rated his day a 20
6652. Pumpkin scones with maple clotted cream
6653. Car conversations with Josiah
6654. Fall yard cleanup
6655. Quiet weekend
6656. Jeremy's car is fixed
6657. I got to play with a one year old little guy
6658. Made chicken wings that were actually good
6659. Sunset after the storm
6660. Autumn snow
6661. Anna praying and singing with Isaiah at bedtime
6662. Long morning conversation and snuggles with Isaiah
6663. An hour at Starbucks with Jeremy
6664. Fresh air in the morning
6665. School finished earlier than usual
6666. Celebrating Grandad on his 92nd birthday
6667. "Meekness isn't weakness. It's power under control." Ruth Chou Simons
6668. Massive cleaning out morning
6669. Pulled out my cross-stitch and taught Anna
6670. Movie evening
6671. Shopping time with Janell
6672. Smelling wood smoke this morning
6673. Ice cream and pretzels
6674. "Fear God or you will fear everything else."
6675. Driving home with Anna
6676. Aliza's school perseverance
6677. Bright stars on cold evenings
6678. Hearing baby voices on old videos
6679. Hot tea
6680. Aliza's creative writing
6681. Celebrating Anna
6682. Swimming
6683. The friendly man who delivered the food boxes
6684. Played hard and worked hard
6685. Watching Frozen 2 in the theater with the girls and a couple aunts (Brandi came just to watch the movie with her nieces!)
6686. All the sprinkles...
6687. Joel and Brandi's visit
6688. Sunday afternoon nap
6689. Talking with my Sunday School girls
6690. That holiday week feeling
6691. 15 years post radioactive iodine
6692. Texting conversation with a long time friend
6693. When the oldest 3 decide to do nostalgic things "from their childhood"
6694. Aliza and Anna playing in their room all evening
6695. Blue sky on cold mornings
6696. Grateful. Thankful. Joyful.
6697. Family around the table
6698. Christmas sales
6699. Jeremy's family around the Thanksgiving table
6700. Hearing the story
6701. Isaiah coming home with 51 cents change and so proud of it
6702. Anna on the scooter first thing in the morning
6703. Walking the mall
6704. Relaxing weekend
6705. Loving enough to ask and pray

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Celebrating Anna

For more than a year, Anna has wanted a Fin Fun Mermaid Tail. I have tried to convince her that she won't get to use it very often, but she has stayed steadfast in wanting one. So we got her a mermaid tail for her birthday. And she was thrilled. Of course that meant that we needed to go swimming on her birthday. The pool we went to doesn't exactly allow mermaid tails. They let her use the fin without the skirt in the deeper pool and then an hour later when the shallow pool opened they let her use the skirt. She was disappointed, but she kept a good attitude and had fun.
On Saturday, Joel and Brandi came to celebrate Anna's birthday and to keep Brandi's promise to watch Frozen 2 with the girls in the theater. This has been a highly anticipated event as the girls had never watched a movie in the theater. I'm glad I waited for just the right movie. They loved the experience....and the popcorn!
Everything for Anna's birthday party was unicorns and sprinkles. It's been a few years since she has had a family birthday party at home and she loved it.

She opened her gifts and played with her cousins and ate lots of food. Not much can beat that!

Friday, November 22, 2019

Happy 9th Birthday Anna!
I'm pretty sure the next 2 days are going to be memorable as we celebrate you. 
You are so special.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

My Grandad

This week was so very normal--no extra activities on the calendar--and I loved it. On Friday, though, we had a special birthday to celebrate. My Grandad turned 92 years old. He looked at a picture of himself that I had printed for him and said, "Everyone tells that I look so young for being 92, but I look at that picture and see that I've never looked so old!"
Ezra made his Great Grandad the sweetest bag of gifts. It melts my heart when the children give gifts on their own and from their heart.

After everyone left I was talking with him, Grandad had just pulled out his Bible to read a verse to me when the phone rang and it was his son. So I waited until he was finished with his conversation because how could I leave when Grandad had something else to tell me?

Isaiah 59:21
"As for me, this is my covenant with them," says the LORD. "My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants--from this time on and forever," says the LORD.

When your Grandad is 92, you know that every day is a gift and every conversation is precious.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Field Trip Day

What a day Aliza, Josiah and I had on a big kid field trip to the National Museum of Natural History in DC. I navigated the Metro for the first time on my own. With a little help from the attendant at the metro terminal, we had a smooth trip in. It was actually a straight shot to the Smithsonian stop and only a short walk to the museum.
 Christie and her boys got to the museum first so we hopped in line with them. First stop was lunch where we quickly decided, based on cost, that we will pack lunch next time.
 We decided to start on the second floor with the bones and skeletons exhibit. It was fascinating to see the bone structure of so many different (very large and very small) animals.

 Next up was the insect zoo where Aliza and Josiah held a grasshopper.
 An exhibit on Ancient India and mummies was a little unsettling at times, but especially interesting because Josiah just studied India, mummies, pharaohs, and religion as part of his Ancient History class this year.

The museum's collection of gems, crystals and minerals was beyond what I could imagine. Every color and size imaginable. Of course, the entire museum was based on the theory of evolution, but the children and I walked away even more convinced that only a divine Creator could orchestrate all of this beauty and intricacy.
 The largest blue diamond in world, the Hope Diamond, is on display in it's own room in a huge case that turns a quarter turn in 10 second intervals so that it can be viewed equally on all sides. We were looking forward to this exhibit because it is pictured and highlighted in Aliza's Earth Science textbook. It is something like 122 carats, so you would think that they would be huge. And it is, but in the case that it is in, it doesn't look *that* big.
 Aliza would have liked to spend more time in the volcano exhibit since she just finished studying volcanoes. Instead we headed down to the first floor to the ocean and dinosaur exhibits. By this time, I was on visual overload!

 It was really great to be with friends who kept that same pace we did. We were all pretty well finished at the same time. We could definitely go again some day as there were exhibits that we didn't make it to. We stood in line to get into the National Archive building, but the line didn't move fast enough. Instead we walked to Union Station, got a snack and then it was time to head for home.

Riding the Metro during rush hour was a completely different experience and this time we had to change trains. But we made it! I was very happy to be crossing the bridge back to the Shore. I had to chuckle at myself because as I was so happy to be out of the city, I remembered that days when I felt like I was leaving the mainland of society when I crossed that bridge. I'm not a city girl and I'm perfectly ok with that! Aliza and Josiah had their own conversation the whole way home which made my heart smile.

Meanwhile, Anna and Isaiah had a day with Grandma and Grandad. They were pleased that they got to go fishing.

On a scale of 1-10, Isaiah rated his day a 20!