Sunday, October 4, 2015

Joy Dare::September

2741. Butterflies all over Mom's flowers
2742. The second week of school continuing to go smoothly
2743. Listening to a sermon online--You have to get to the place where you understand that God's plan for your life is bigger than whether you like things at this moment
2744. No fingernail polish on the floor
2745. The lab's system for making appointments
2746. Taking on a project
2747. Completed reading through the Bible
2748. Surprise in the mail for Aliza
2749. The cupcake game
2750. The outrageously confident shopper--Anna
2751. Hearts in celery
2752. Getting a bunch of scrapbook layouts done
2753. Anna got to hang out with me all day
2754. The big kids got lots of minecraft playing time
2755. Mom took my turn taking care of children during church
2756. Science experiment
2757. Watched my oldest child take her first solo run on the lawnmower
2758. Planning for the budget--it's hard and good
2759. My sister-in-law made me sit on her comfy couch. Our children played and she made supper.
2760. Seeing people I know and making some new friends the first day of Bible Study
2761. Aliza knowing that I see and feel her sadness
2762. Family play practice (written and directed by Aliza) which included hysterical laughter
2763. Starting to find my focus again
2764. The joy of planning what we can DO to help
2765. How Isaiah claps every time he wants to be picked up
2766. Kids in a tub fill of bubbles showing off their bubble beards
2767. A Mom's house afternoon
2768. The first batch of pumpkin whoopie pies
2769. The first leaves drifting slowing to the ground
2770. An acceptable performed play
2771. Celebrating some special nephews of mine
2772. Invigorating cooler temperature today
2773. Kids playing some kind of crazy charade game in the dark car on the way home
2774. Feeling ready to face a new week
2775. Enjoying my children and all their joy while we walked and explored
2776. Stunningly blue sky
2777. The way back to feeling content
2778. A good day for painting outside and cookies
2779. A yard safe for children to play alone in
2780. How the deck becomes another room of the house when weather is ideal
2781. Isaiah did better in child care at Bible Study this week
2782. A musical and cultural experience
2783. I heard myself say to my children, "Thanks for being so much fun to hang out with."
2784. Relieved--no cavities
2785. An unexpected chance for a last swim
2786. Baby knees black from crawling outside
2787. Frisbee playing
2788. A vacuumed out car with no stickers on the windows
2789. A competent endocrinologist who I have grown to respect over 11 years
2790. The kids thing the car trip is never going to end and then they invent a game
2791. Jeremy had time with his Dad and brother
2792. Good travelers and a smooth trip home
2793. My mother in law. I love her. One reason being that she sends us home with all kinds of food--even some unhealthy stuff that I hid for myself!
2794. A butterfly in the sandbox caught my attention and I stopped
2795. Changing season
2796. Our zoo outing that included Chrissy, letterboxing, picnic, playground and watching a bear cub play
2797. Josiah wanted me to hold him while we talking to me tonight
2798. Encouragement from someone successful
2799. Feeling more connected at Bible Study
2800. Goldfish and applesauce to take away the lightheadedness
2801. My Mom's ability to expertly care for my grandparents
2802. Phone time with Maria
2803. Students with good attitudes today
2804. How Isaiah is just so excited to see Daddy
2805. Isaiah feel asleep on me tonight--his little hand on my chin. I was a big puddle of mama mush
2806. A sister willing to take care of 4 extra children for the evening
2807. Another closet cleaned out
2808. That beautiful thing that is our marriage
2809. Warmer clothes in drawers
2810. Aliza, Josiah and I snuggled together reading our own books
2811. A perfect night for the lunar eclipse. Marveling over the Creation and The Creator with Jeremy
2812. The almost too hot fall days
2813. Hot day=brownie sundae
2814. Laughter
2815. Listening to rain
2816. Studying with my children
2817. Lower gas prices
2818. "Mom, I don't really care for meatloaf, but I'm sure yours is the best." Josiah
2819. I took Aliza to the store with me tonight and upon getting in the car she informed me that she would be talking constantly the whole time. I hope she never stops.
Happy 1st Birthday Isaiah!
It was so much fun celebrating Isaiah's life last night. When he was smiling big, he was moving! There will be plenty of cake pictures to come. =)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I Have a 4 Year Old

Sometimes I forget that I have a 4 year old. She walks and talks like she is older than 4. She plays with her big sister and brother. When she is alone, however, she acts like she is 4 or maybe 2!

Between the hours of 4:00 and 8:00--today only she:
  • baptized Aliza's lalaloopsy's with bubble bath and then put a tiny dot of lotion on each head (you have NO idea how many lalaloopsy's Alliza has!) while the lalaloopsy's were innocently sitting in the doll house
  • chose her favorite pieces of my jewelry and stashed them in one of her favorite baskets (at least she knew where they were when I asked. I did find another one later on my bed)
  • dumped pepper all over a bucket of acorns that Josiah had picked up this morning. A sprinkling of pepper was all over the counter which gave her away.
  • sprayed All-Purpose Cleaner ALL OVER her bedroom which is also Aliza's bedroom. You can only imagine how mad Aliza gets over all of this.
You can only imagine how mad and frustrated Jeremy and I get over all of this too! I know it's a dumb question to ask a 4 year old, but I can't help asking her, "Why did you do this? What made you think that A, B, or C was ok to do?" Her answer is "My brain told me to." And we say, "You need to tell your brain NO!" She gets disciplined. I sigh. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Hidden Layers

After living in this house for 14 years with no move in sight, it was time to find the bottom of closets and the back of cupboards. Over the summer I moved from space to space and, for now, I have crossed the last space off my mental list. I have some aspirations for making our home for visually appealing, but first, I needed to get rid of some of the excess. I have some pride so there are no before pictures! =) And I can report that all of these areas continue to look very similar to the pictures.

The dryer is a very natural "catch all" space when we walk in the door.
It's very easy to throw things on top of the refrigerator to keep them out of reach of children. There are a few craft supplies that remain on the back corner of the fridge for exactly that reason.
The cookbook shelf is what you are looking at below. That shelf was threatening to explode every time I opened the pantry door. Now I look at that shelf for relief when I open the pantry door!
Cupboards that were very full have been pared down to size. There are more cupboards and I chine cupboard that are not pictured. =)
This is the closet under the stairs. Another explosion that was waiting to happen. My goal was to get the board games in there. I did--with plenty of room leftover! You can actually step in to the closet, see what coats are hanging there and find what you are looking for. Another door I can now open for fun.
It's hard for me to believe, but we have painted the entire house since we bought the house. The girls have a closet that goes under the eaves and turns under the eaves. In the logic of our youth, we stored the unused paint under the eaves. Including the little ones, 27 cans of paint are now stored neatly in the garage. Yay for children who are helpful and who want commission!! I didn't carry all those can out myself. =)
That closet also had a bunch of baby stuff thrown back there. I completely cleared it out. Now there are 2 tubs of girl clothes waiting for Anna to grow in to them.
And when I came down to enlist Jeremy's help with another organizing project I found this! He had gotten in to the spirit of things and decided to clean under the stove. This is my one before picture! If you ever wondered about the quality of my kitchen cabinets, yes, that is 2 pieces of raw board nailed up to be the end of the cabinet.
In between all of this the going through things I started scrubbing walls and door. When I start, it is hard to stop because I keep seeing more and more and more that needs to be done. Even as I'm ending this post more spaces are popping up in my mind begging to be reduced and organized. I'm satisfied for now.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Family Dinner Book Club--Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

This month's book selection was Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. Aliza particularly enjoyed this book and is anxious to check out more Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books.
The menu suggestion didn't strike our fancy this time so I left the meal planning to Aliza. I should have known... Excuse the awkward picture below!
Each menu item was inspired by a chapter in the book. I won't give away the details of the book, but I'll tell you the menu item and chapter name--in no particular order.

Ham: The Slow-Eater-Tiny-Bite-Taker Cure
Fruit: The Selfishness Cure
Crackers: The Answer-Backer Cure
Cheese: The Never-Want-To-Go-To-Bedders Cure
Radishes: The Radish Cure
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches: The Won't-Pick-Up-Toys Cure
Pumpkin Pie: The Figher-Quarrelers Cure
Hot Tea: Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Herself
(I rounded out the meal with mashed potatoes and green beans.)
The house sure smelled good when the pumpkin pie was baking!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Getting in to the Swing of Things

The first few weeks of school were a struggle for me watching all my nieces and nephews going to school. My sister in law even has an empty house a couple mornings every week. I can't even imagine! I don't wish for that on a regular basis, but when given a moment to daydream it does sound pretty nice. Good thing I enjoy delayed gratification!

I stayed very close to home to get in to our morning school routine. That is going very well so I took some liberties this week. A few outings on gorgeous days reminded me exactly what the advantages of this home education thing are and I remembered that I do love it and we are all thriving.

Pemberton Park has some nice trails to walk and places to explore. They had most of their school work done so after Isaiah's morning nap I threw some sandwiches together and we left almost at noon for a hike.
I carried Isaiah in the b'jorn. Everyone wanted to do another trail, but I couldn't. All of the baby's weight is on my shoulders and lower back, but it was good to get exercise and fresh air. We will go again this fall. There is a letterbox waiting for us there too!
Another day we got an invitation for one last swim at the pool. I dropped everything and they swam. I didn't even take my bathing suit because I have very low tolerance for cold water! I was perfectly happy to sit and watch and entertain Isaiah. The children swam---and shivered. I pretty sure I heard Josiah's teeth chattering. lol.
Just for the record--Aliza and Josiah had dentist appointments this week. Neither of them had any cavities. Just sayin'!!! :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Music and Culture

I had the great idea to bring some music and cultural education in to Aliza and Josiah's life by taking them to hear the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

The musicians were absolutely phenomenal. There was a flutist that I could have listened to all night. They sang in English, Russian and Ukraine. During the concert a slideshow was looping of pictures of the outreach work the group does and different scenes from Ukraine. Have you forgotten, like me, that Ukraine is fighting a war? That Russia is still invading Ukraine? It was rather sobering to see the men and women dressed in lovely black dresses and suits and being told that some of them lived in war zones and others have been separated from the families because of the war.

Fifteen minutes into the concert, Aliza has tears streaming down her face and wanted to go home. The combination of the pictures and the emotion filled music was too much for her to process. She buried her head in my shoulder and continued to cry for the next 45 minutes until intermission.

At about 40 minutes into the concert Josiah starts crying. He just wanted to go home!

Needless to say, we left at intermission. It was all we could handle! Aliza was pretty surprised when I told her that I had no regrets about her seeing those pictures because not every one in the world lives like we do. We kept talking about her feelings in the car and we got to the point where she could say she felt sad for the people and we talked about compassion, caring and empathy.

I had another Mom lesson: Intense emotions are labeled "terrifying" when a growing up girl doesn't know how to describe what she is feeling or how to process what she is feeling.

In the kids defense we had already had a big day before the concert started!