Monday, December 11, 2017

Trimming that Tree

After the second half of the family recovered from the stomach nonsense, I was ready to get the tree decorated and really kick off the Christmas season. We got a very late start on a Monday evening. School drug on and supper was late, but I was determined to get that tree up! It was 9:30 or so when we finished. Unfortunately, that made the whole process feel a bit like a chore instead of a party. Aliza, however, declared that she loved every party of it.  Pretzel treats and Puppy Chow are must have snacks while decorating the tree and it was nice that everyone could enjoy them.
The pile of decorations grew this year as I added some that I found in Gramma's treasures. With so many helpers, though, it didn't take very long to get them hung.

The children like to hang the decorations that are theirs so I separate them into piles. Anna was very aggressive about picking out allll the other decorations that she wanted to hang. All of "hers" went into a box that she promptly hid so that no one would "steal" them.

Isaiah was a very busy helper. I think every picture we took had some type of blurry movement in it.


We added a new ornament this year. Janell found this sometime last summer and called me to see if I wanted it. I said yes! Jeremy makes eggs and bacon for breakfast several times a week. He takes pictures of his smiley bacon and egg face and posts it on instagram. One of the morning television shows contacted him a couple years ago asking if they could use his pictures for a breakfast photo montage they were doing for a segment.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Joy Dare::November

4874. Josiah got some Daddy time
4875. Anna showed me she has the ability to clean up
4876. My girls love Wednesday night club so much
4877. Aliza had her first experience as an official childcare helper
4878. Aunts to love on their neices
4879. The children so excited to watch Daddy unbox his new phone
4880. Seeing family from Texas
4881. Harper's Ferry was so pretty even with gray skies and sprinkling rain
4882. The TV in the restaurant was on a show that didn't scare my children
4883. Late night watching This Is Us with Brandi
4884. A couple surprise finds at Target
4885. Christmas craft with Aunt Sarah before we left
4886. The official family dinner--Thanksgiving style
4887. An unexpected picnic lunch
4888. Quiet house and our own bed
4889. A really enjoyable visit this morning
4890. A big question
4891. The first rainy, cold day of the season
4892. Survived an almost embarrassing situation
4893. Aliza beyond excited after finding out what one of her recital songs is
4894. A day to just focus on school
4895. Breakfast for supper
4896. All the falling leaves
4897. Birds at our new feeders
4898. Taking care of nieces and nephews
4899. Text messaging that allows me to have day to day conversation with faraway friends
4900. Celebrating Grandad's 90th birthday
4901. Spending time with my parents and family
4902. The sting of missing Gramma
4903. A clean bathroom is really good for my self-esteem
4904. A little scrapbooking this weekend
4905. Phone call with Grandad
4906. Had Mom to sit with during Magi practice
4907. 4 dentist appointments and no cavities
4908. A wreath on my door that I love
4909. Everybody played outside for a long time
4910. The empty house while they were outside so I could get some cleaning done
4911. Another super exciting dance class for Aliza
4912. Being able to enjoy pushing Isaiah in the swing
4913. The text that said she changed her mind
4914. Listening to discussion of people who have studied Scripture longer than I have
4915. Dropping everything to take Anna shopping for her birthday party supplies
4916. Now that Josiah is finished with choir, I hear him singing all the songs
4917. A knock on the door that was my mom
4918. Heard "I am so thankful for you Mom, in multiple ways."
4919. An afternoon with Chrissy
4920. Aliza's concert went so much better than she expected (her own answer to prayer)
4921. Time with Anna this evening
4922. A nap and a scrapbook page is so rejuvenating
4923. When Jeremy makes breakfast
4924. Enjoyed Aliza's concert
4925. Josiah woke up very happy
4926. Shower ideas are usually the best
4927. Isaiah added a lot of goofy joy to our visit with Andy and Judy
4928. No plans this evening
4929. Everyone helping frost Anna's cupcakes
4930. Bowling!
4931. Spending the evening with Janell
4932. Anna loving her birthday present
4933. Laughter around the table
4934. Visiting with Mom, Dad and Grandad
4935. Making pies
4936. A wonderful Thanksgiving Day meal and dessert table
4937. Grandad and Dad looking at old pictures
4938. Self-control to not spend $$ on spending day
4939. Truffles
4940. Brothers playing together in the leaves
4941. Sisters playing princesses together
4942. One more Thanksgiving feast
4943. A very quick, smooth trip home
4944. Time to get organized for the week
4945. Family bedtime snacktime
4946. Caught the mouse!
4947. Warm sun and lovely to be outside
4948. Looking my daughter in they eye and speaking truth
4949. Aliza and Anna had Aunt time
4950. Connecting with a dance Mom who is practically my neighbor
4951. All of us together for supper
4952. Worship was the best yet!
4953. Good that I got all the errands done
4954. Grace to take care of 2 sick kids
4955. Friend to check on me while I was sick
4956. Sickness passed reasonable quickly
4957. Isaiah started potty training essentially on his own

Friday, December 1, 2017

Lollipop Motivation

Out of the blue on Wednesday afternoon Josiah got sick. Two hours later, Anna got sick. And 4 hours after Anna, I got sick. Needless to say, yesterday (Thursday) was a sick day at our house. From my nest on the couch Thursday morning, I could see that Isaiah's diaper was past needing to be changed. I didn't feel up to walking upstairs for a new one, so I took it off and pulled his pajama pants up and told him to pee in the potty when he needed to.

Now there has been a bag of lollipops on top of the pantry for several weeks waiting for Isaiah to earn them by using the potty. He has really wanted a lollipop, but not bad enough to use the potty. Yesterday was the magic day--he used the potty! After one lollipop he wanted more and he tried over and over to use the potty until he was successful again! Even being sick I couldn't help laughing when he was standing at the potty hitting his butt "to get the pee to come out." There were no accidents yesterday.

This morning I was much better--back to normal really--and I changed Isaiah's diaper right away. To my astonishment, his diaper was dry! Isaiah was not impressed about not having a diaper on, but I stuck to it and after a while he was doing a victory run out of the bathroom. He had an accident this morning, but after his nap his diaper was dry again and no more accidents.

I'm not claiming any great victory here. It's only day 2 and seeing as how this is my 4th child, I know that this journey generally has ups and downs, twists and turns. But for day 2, I'm pretty tickled and, for just a moment here, I'll think that maybe--maybe?!--the 4th time is a charm! lol

A side effect of Isaiah getting lollipops is that everyone else wants them too. It's almost hilarious how Josiah and Anna will do school happily for a lollipop or get off the computer without complaining for a lollipop. Aliza pretty much does those things already so she gets a lollipop when she finishes school.

The moral of this story is that lollipops are apparently a very effective tool for motivation.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Dance News by Aliza

This year I am taking a jazz and lyrical dance class. Lyrical is a new dance style for me. I have gone to this dance studio for five years and when you go for five years you get a trophy during the recital! That is very special to me because I have never had a trophy before. Anna is also taking dance lessons at the same studio. So I knew at the beginning of the year this recital was going to be very memorable, but I never saw this awesome news coming!

One week I arrived at the dance studio as normal and every thing went smoothly. In the middle of class my teacher called us into a huddle. She explained that she did a big "thing" every recital. She was talking about how she was doing Moana for our lyrical piece and she wants US to be the one and only Moana! I am very very very excited, but a little nervous at the same time. Because we are the stars of the whole recital. This now leads to another story.

One week my teacher and friends were talking and my friend said she had a whole list of songs we could do for our recital. My teacher said we could bring in the songs and artists on paper next week, but we shouldn't be sad if she doesn't pick our song. After she said that I decided not to bring one in. The next week my friends brought there lists. At the end of class I told my teacher I had a song I would like to request because what is the least that would happen? She pulled out a piece of paper out of no where and a pen out of no where because my teacher can do that. And wrote down my favorite song, Girlz by L2M. The next week I asked about it and she said that she was just looking at possibilities. So I kind of forgot about it. Then we found out we are going to be Moana so then I totally forgot about it. The week after we found out we were Moana my teacher called us to a huddle again. She told us we were going to hear our jazz song. She added not to judge the song for the first few seconds and then turned it off. I wasn't too crazy about it, but then she said to listen to this second song. I was very excited because I have never had a choice. She turned on the song which was Girlz! My teacher kept on winking at me. I was sooooo excited! After the song was over some girls asked when the decision was going to be made. My teacher said "It's done. Its the second one.". I was overjoyed. My favorite song ,that I've dreamed of dancing to, is the one we are dancing to for the recital.

This is the recital that I will never, ever, ever forget.
   

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Celebrating Anna

Sometimes it's a little tricky to celebrate a birthday right before a holiday. This year Anna's birthday was the day before Thanksgiving and we had several smaller celebrations for her.

Anna went to the store with me to pick out her plates and desserts. There was a lot of pink! She wanted to decorate her own cupcakes.
Anna chose bowling for her birthday outing with Renee and Lydia. Bowling with 6 kids kept Janell and I busy!

Then we went to Janell's house for pizza and play. Renee and Lydia gave Anna a Jojo bow. It's a huge sparkly bow that a young singer has made popular. Anna was  pretty thrilled!
Birthday morning with her bow in her hair and another one around her wrist!
Grandma, Grandad and Great Grandad came for supper and dessert. We had a fun evening with them. The children were so excited. It was a bit of a circus!

After Thanksgiving she had one more celebration with her Heslop family!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy 7th Birthday Anna!
There are moments when I think Anna is going on 14. She loves her clothes, shoes, make up parties with Grandma Karen and now her JoJo hair bows. Thankfully, though, Anna will only be 7 today! 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Breathing Again

For the past several weeks I feel like I have been chasing life and getting farther behind every day. Yesterday I was almost in tears. I didn't know where to start and so I started by dropping everything and taking Anna to the store to pick out her birthday plates and napkins. It seems like a minor detail, but getting her birthday settled in her mind was a huge relief to me. Aliza took the day in stride and let me help her figure out how to fit school and play into her day. She was much happier throughout the day. At 4:00 all 4 children went outside to play. They played happily for about an hour and it was the hour I needed. The house was quiet and empty! I got some cleaning done and some extra cleaning and supper started. When Isaiah came in and asked me to push him on the swing, I said yes. That was a magical moment--I said yes! And I smiled and we went outside. He said, "Mommy, I run so fast to swing and be a rocket." He chattered away and I pushed him like a rocket.
And I took a picture because is was a little moment and I wanted to remember how much my perspective can change in a hour and with a yes.