Sunday, September 16, 2018


There are a couple projects started in my house, but this one was pretty easy to finish. It still took the motivation of my Mom bringing up a few tools (and herself!) to help me to get it finished!
This wooden piece is from a desk chair that we had for Jeremy. That chair served it's purpose and a wheel was broken so it was broken down into pieces and put on the burn pile.

Probably last fall my mother in law was out at the burn pile with the children and came back to the house with this piece. She said it needed to be reclaimed ad repurposed. So she took it home and eventually painted it and added the knobs.

I brought it home with me in July and planned to finish it. We used sandpaper to give it a distressed look and attached chicken wire the back. It's hanging right inside the back door.

I decided that I liked using small clothes pins to add pictures. I used a couple of my Grandma that I already had. I might make it season with little garlands from the knobs.

I didn't think I would be that crazy about this piece, but it ended up making me very happy!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Sept. 7 Ice Cream

I knew that I wanted to do something to remember Gramma on the day that she passed away. I wanted it to included Grandad and be something that she really enjoyed. I decided on ice cream at Chesapeake Dairy. Mom was off work and Dad was available so all of us met there and enjoyed ice cream and remembering Gramma. Gramma took pictures every single time she went to Chesapeake Dairy--usually of everyone sitting on the cow benches. And then she would get multiple reprints of the photo and send them to the 10 or so friends that she sent pictures to! I was cheap and didn't order the photos, but I did post the picture on facebook so that my friends--and very casual acquaintances (lol)--could see the picture.

After ice cream we went to Mom and Dad's house and I sat with Grandad and visited. The children played in his house which hasn't happened much this past year. All of them say they feel sad when they are in his house because it makes them miss Gramma. I totally get it. I do too! It was good to just be with Grandad.

I have two grandparents and they are in their 90s. What I've learned this year is that no matter how much time you have with someone, in this case grandparents, it is never enough time. In light of that, I'll make the most of every opportunity I have for a conversation or a visit.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Joy Dare::August

5650. Hummingbirds in my flowers
5651. Dreaming up ideas with a friend
5652. Delivering supper and meeting a new baby
5653. Josiah scored a goal at sports camp
5654. All the excitement for a slumber party
5655. Friend time
5656. Talking way too late at Dairy Queen
5657. New friends for the kids and me
5658. Got done what I needed to get done
5659. Aliza said I was super Mom
5660. Jeremy got to play soccer
5661. Cooking for Mom's birthday supper
5662. The girls enjoying Mega Sports church service
5663. Hiding for a while in the afternoon
5664. Family movie night--God's Not Dead 2
5665. Talking flowers
5666. Becoming more comfortable with hospitality
5667. Anna and Lydia loved gymnastics
5668. A good friend caring about me
5669. Giving a bouquet away
5670. Gearing up for the trip
5671. On the road!
5672. Pool time
5673. Flight 93 Memorial
5674. Seeing Grandma
5675. A wonderful place to stay
5676. Caffeine
5677. Learning a lot at Sauder Village
5678. Beautiful evening at the park
5679. Note in my kindle
5680. Wooden toys
5681. Train ride and horse and carriage ride
5682. All of the children got along so well
5683. We finished our picnic before the rain
5684. Having the thought to check the oil
5685. Grandma
5686. So many hours with my sister
5687. Sunflower and foxglove

 5688. Hearing Jeremy's stories
5689. Aliza and a friend can babysit together
5690. Checking out all the new school books
5691. Walking
5692. Aliza's negotiation skills
5693. Back to no morning screen time
5694. All inclusive lab kit
 5695. Organizing for school
5696. Lovely morning at the cove
 5697. Finding some great deals
5698. Anna over the moon excited about shoes
 5699. Shopping alone with each child
5700. Early bedtime amazingness
5701. Jeremy and Josiah got to golf
5702. Birthday party afternoon
5703. The sound system fried from a power surge, but Dad had brought a boom box for the children's story, Jeremy had an fm transmitter in his car (we had driven separately) and Janell had AAA batteries in her car sowe could play the music list through the *very old* boom box.
5704. Heart to heart with Josiah
5705. Aliza had a perfect start in 7th grade
5706. Anna has gained confidence in reading
5707. The humidity broke and it's a wonderful temperature
5708. Two goldfinches among the flowers
5709. An answer I've been looking for
5710. Sharing about gifts
5711. My 6 children listening quietly
5712. Calm enough to hold the boundary
5713. Isaiah's drawing
 5714. Playing at the park
5715. Lovely afternoon at the cove
5716. More sunflowers
5717. Visiting with Grandad
5718. Bikes the right size for all the children
5719. Another step toward the kitchen painted
 5720. Ice cream date with Josiah
5721. Grandma Friendly's
5722. Found egg "art"
 5723. These last days of summer...
5724. Anna loves every piece of clothing I buy for her
5725. Someone secretly paid for my book
5726. Surprise mail
5727. Belly laughs
5728. Aliza's diligence
5729. Exercising
5730. Dahlia bloom
 5731. Complete cooperation for family pictures
5732. A special lunch

5733. Window shopping
5734. Josiah catching a fish and trying out the excavator

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Welcome to Junior High!

My sweet girl has started 7th grade. If the first five days are any indication of how the year is going to go, it's going to be a great year for Aliza. Every day she has worked hard and independently to get her work done. All summer she waited for the first day of school! This year she is taking Fundamentals of Math, Life Science, World History, Writing & Grammar, Explorations in Literature and Bible.

This year has a learning curve for me as I record grades and grade papers in preparation for high school. I told Aliza today that by the end of the year she and I are going to be great communicators with each other. We've definitely had our struggles in the first week! She and I are trying to figure out what works for both of us and what the distance learning teachers are expecting.

Aliza, I could not be more proud of your work ethic, independence, determination and attitude. You've got this!!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Real Reason for This Trip

Finally getting back to this story...
The real reason for this trip was to see Grandma. Mom spent the days with her while Janell and I kept the children busy and then we had supper and spent the evening with Grandma.
Pizza was perfect before playing at this amazing park. There was a pavilion where we could eat and Grandma, Mom, Janell and I could visit and watch the children play. Aliza went with Mom to take Grandma home and got to spend some more time with her Grandma Rhoda. That was very special for her.
The next night we had a picnic in the courtyard where Grandma lives. It was a perfect setting, however we started eating quickly as the clouds gathered and darkened. Our time was more rushed than we envisioned but we ate and made it inside before the rain started.
Pictures are always in order when it is time to say good bye.

I loved getting to hug Grandma and spend a little time with her. There's nothing quite like going to Grandma's house no matter how old I get!

Monday, August 20, 2018

2 Days in the Village

The amazing gem of Sauder Village is a country block from where my Grandma lives. Janell and I and our siblings remember going here as children when we visited Grandma and Grandpa. It sure was fun to go back together as adults and experience it again through adult eyes and with our children. This was my children's second time and they loved it just as much as the first. In fact, we spent 2 days here.
 Anna's very own spinning shop and it it building number 7 and Anna is 7 years old! She was super excited.
 Singing Amazing Grace with accompaniment from the pump organ.
 Renee grabbed a picture of Anna at the weaving shop. Weaving an intense skill! I couldn't keep up with the lady explaining the pedals and wires! It's amazing how much we learn each time we go. With different artisans in the shops they each bring out unique perspectives on the history.

 I should have dug out the picture of Janell and I in the double seater outhouse from when we were preteen(ish). This one is recreated. Our photographer was a bit challenged in the attitude department and this was the best we got.
 The first day we spent a lot of time at the glass blowing building. Burlington Glass Works is amazing. You should follow that link and to see some of his glass works.
 He was making these glass spheres with colors in the afternoon. It takes about 4 hours to make a series of 3 spheres so throughout the afternoon we kept stopping back in to see what was happening.
 Our timing was really on point because we got to see him pick up the colored rods to add to the clear glass. And then later we saw him actually finish the piece and drop it and put it in the 997 degree oven as opposed to the almost 1400 degree furnace. Our children entertained the assistant with their antics and songs about "cooking the (glass) sausage".
 Afternoon ice cream is required!
 We really loved the artisans who took it upon themselves to keep the children entertained and teach them. At the grist mill the man lined the children up by height and walked in front of them while he told them about the grist mill. He had them file past the window to see the water wheel when he started it and then in front on the mill to see the corn meal come down the chute.
Day 2! Everyone was ready to go back. I was a little worried that the kids would wake up and not want to go back. But there was a whole other section of the village that we had not explored. The first stop was the toy maker's shop. The counters are covered with wooden toys that they make. All of the children played for at least 20 minutes.
 It was off to a train ride.

 And a short walk to the Indian village.
 Popcorn stew and something else was cooking over the first. She was also drying squash.
 At the covered wagon settlement Aliza carried water again.
 In the early pioneer settlements we went to school...
 ...and kneaded bread. The lady was actually making bread. She had the dough in a rising box outside and the brick outdoor oven was heating. She also introduced the children to ground cherries and anise.
 This afternoon called from more ice cream--or popcorn.
We also took a horse drawn carriage ride which Lydia especially adored. Finally, it was time to navigate the gift shops and souvenirs. That got a little dicey, but Janell and I survived. I may have spoiled the children this time. Good memories...

Thursday, August 16, 2018

A Beautiful Memorial

The Flight 93 National Memorial turned out to be a most worthwhile side trip on our way to Ohio to visit my Grandma. As we drove in, I told my older children about my memories of the morning of Sept. 11 and the stories we learned about Flight 93. I almost became emotional thinking about the people on the flight deciding to crash in the field instead of into a building in Washington DC.

From the parking lot you follow the flight route to the visitor center and an overlook of the crash site. The visitor center has all sorts of information about the crash, the events leading up to the crash and the people on the flight.

I was watching a video of various newscasts from the morning of Sept 11 and the woman beside me mentioned that she remembered where she was on Sept 11. (Don't we all!?) I bit and asked her where she was. She said she was homeschooling her children and her oldest was in college just 20 minutes from the crash site. She told me that at 20 minutes away he felt the actual impact of the crash.
From the visitor center there are 2 trails that go to closer to the crash site and the memorial wall. You can drive also.
There is a quarter mile walk to the wall.
The wall is individual pieces to represent each person's sacrifice, but from a distance it appears to be one wall to represent the unified effort of the flight to avoid more casualties. Each wall is engraved with a name.
And from the wall you can see the crash site and the sandstone boulder that marks it.
A 93 foot wind chime is being constructed at the entrance to the memorial. It will have 30 pipes to represent each individual voice that was lost. It will be the largest wind chime in the world.

I know Aliza was impacted by this stop. I was too. Not just because I remember the day it happened, but because of the thought and detail the architect put into each piece of the memorial.