Friday, November 27, 2015

Seasonally Confused

I think we hit 68 degrees yesterday--Thanksgiving Day. We could have almost had a Thanksgiving picnic! There were just 18 around my parent's table. I was sitting next to Dad and as we sat down with our full plates of delicious foods he commented on how abundantly blessed we are. And then I thought of how we sit down to a meal that is supposed to be rooted in gratitude and how I (along with many others, I suspect) believe I am entitled to this extravagant meal. Could I still have a "Thanksgiving dinner" if it was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because that was the blessing at that time?
Pumpkin pie is ok, but this Pumpkin Spice Smith Island Cake was the perfect ending to my meal.
The outrageously gorgeous weather continued today and we soaked in all the sunshine we could!

Between outside time we made our tree decorating pretzel treats and I prepared from Advent. Those activities just didn't jive with the rest of the day! So we set up the tree tonight and enjoyed the first lesson of Advent. (We need a head start!) Isaiah went to bed early. It will be fun to see what he thinks of the tree and lights in the morning.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

So Much Happened in a Weekend!

Let's start with Friday! I woke up pretty overwhelmed by all that was going to transpire in the day let alone the weekend! Once we got school finished, I felt better. I drove us to WV and we had supper with Jeremy's family. The main purpose of this trip was to visit with Jeremy's brother's family from Texas. Jeremy got to meet his niece, Evelyn, for the first time. She is 10 months old.
Evenlyn and Isaiah are very close in height, weight and developmental milestones. They were pretty cute to see side by side. Friday night Isaiah was eating some mac n cheese and Evelyn reached up on the tray and helped herself! Isaiah didn't fuss at all (he's used to being messed with!).
We stayed with Joel and Brandi, which doesn't happen often, so was pretty exciting for the children to take over the Aunt and Uncle's basement. Saturday--The men and Aliza and Josiah did the coffee run. Josiah came back with a hot chocolate which he loved. He drank it like quite a little man sitting beside Joel. Meanwhile, Brandi took Anna to Target to pick out her birthday present. (I got to just hang out with Isaiah for a bit. It was quiet and quite lovely.)
Anna came home with a Barbie toy, Frozen earmuffs, fancy Frozen nightgown and a skirt and shirt. I wasn't the least bit surprised. I knew Aunt Brandi and Anna in Target was going to mean a few extra things! ;) We just visited at Jeremy's parents for the afternoon and had Thanksgiving dinner in the evening. That night Anna was so tired, but pretty excited that her birthday was the next morning. She fell asleep holding those Frozen earmuffs and sucking her fingers and for one more night she was my little 4 year old.
Sunday morning dawned bright and early with Anna asking, "Am I 5 today?" I confirmed that yes, she was 5 and she got a huge smile and pumped her fist with a "YES!!" She got to open her present from Mommy and Daddy and then we headed off to church. By the time we got to church, Anna was announcing that she is "almost 7!" Let's enjoy 5 for a day, little girl!! After church she was given more Frozen stuff and she was thrilled.
Brandi made her chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel cream cheese frosting. I've enjoyed them immensely!!! Anna blew her candles out before we could even start
singing. =)
After she put on her new outfit Anna wanted to do a makeover with Grandma. One of her most favorite things to do at Grandma's house.
We grabbed a couple pictures after church--the 5 Heslop grandchildren.
The Van Heslop family.
I had forgotten that Joel and Brandi have a hot tub so Sunday night Brandi found appropriate t shirt attire for Aliza and Anna and Joel took Josiah to buy a pair of shorts so they could "swim" in the hot tub. They thought it was the greatest thing ever.
Monday morning we drove home!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Happy 5th Birthday Anna!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Family Dinner Book Club--The Hundred Dresses

I really thought that this dinner would be an epic fail. My children are not keen on trying new foods and when they found out this was a Polish themed dinner they were not at all impressed. But when they tried Kielbasa they thought it was pretty good. I chose not to dig myself into an impossible hole by serving the Kielbasa with sauerkraut! The pirogies didn't go over as well; however, I found them to do quite yummy.

We tried to make oragami dresses following a youtube tutorial. That didn't go so well. I thought I had a better chance watching an English speaking tutorial than following graphics with directions written Japanese. lol. Mine remotely resembled a dress. Aliza crumpled hers up less than 2 minutes into the video. Josiah stuck with it to the end--his could have passed for something like a strapless dress. (Art class only requires your best effort!! ;) )
The Hundred Dresses gave us a great platform to talk about discrimination and how we should respond when we are treated unkindly by our peers. Good meal, good discussion, attempted art--I guess it was a success!

Sunday, November 15, 2015


The kids raked a big pile of leaves and had some fun the other day. They LOVED having me outside with them--I have got to do that more often. It's possible that I LOVE the quiet in the house while they are outside! ;) Josiah gave me a huge hug and said it was the "best day ever" when I was outside so I think that outweighs a moment of peace and quiet!

Isaiah watched from a distance. He eventually made his way over to the bikes to play with the wheels.

They take a long running start and jump in the leaves.

Anna dresses for fashion--not the weather or season! Random story: This child has no lack of self esteem. At church tonight she threw open the door and said, "Hi Renee! Don't I look fabulous!!?" She had on her new maxi skirt which does look darling on her. In her defense, Anna is also very generous in telling Aliza and I when we look fabulous also. Thankfully at almost 5 years old, I still regularly meet her definition of looking fabulous. haha.

All my children in one picture. It melts my heart.
The next morning Isaiah was ready to check out the leaves.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Cookie Lovin' Kid

I made chocolate chip cookies this week and now I want to make them every day because it is just beyond cute to watch Isaiah spot the cookie, point his finger, smile, squeal, and kick his legs until he gets a cookie. And then he holds the cookie and continues to squeal and giggle..and then he eats it. Of course this process involves constant movement so it is next to impossible to get a picture that is not blurry.

On the day of his 13th month, Isaiah took his first step. They have been few and pretty far between until today. I saw the most today and I think it was 4 or 5. =)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

It's a Messy Life

I have this struggle between being happy with who I am and having higher expectations for myself. I struggle with wanting to walk in humility without feeling humiliated. Those feelings came together in one classic moment of life.

It was about 5:15pm. The hour that puts fear in every Mom's heart. Kids are a little crazy and a whole bunch of things need to come together for supper to be cooked and put on the table. Lucky for me, I had a roast in the crockpot when a car pulled in our driveway. The kids were excitedly announcing that someone, "who looked a little bit like Grandma" had arrived. I continued folding the basket of laundry in the dining room while trying to figure out who I was expecting. Right about then the phone rang..."Hi Carla! I'm in your driveway. I'm meeting Jeremy to get some help with my computer and I think I'm a bit ahead of him." And I heard myself say, "Come on in! I'll welcome you in to my mess."

And I really meant it. I wanted her to come in and visit. But my mess! I quickly picked up socks, shoes and coats so that she could walk in without stepping over things. There were papers all over the counter along with cookies just out of the oven. Half a basket of laundry was on the dining room table. Toys all over the living room floor along with all the throw pillows from the couch. Isaiah had a stinky diaper. It was simply family life in all of its messy glory.

She came in and we visited and nothing bothered her. I've known her a long time. It was all fine. BUT, I'm still bothered 12 hours later. She was a professional when her children were young. Here I am at home all day and I can't (don't?) keep up. Interestingly, I had just done some reading and had purposed, yesterday, to be more present with the children. On the floor with Isaiah. Not running in circles doing housework when they need help with schoolwork. In one sense it all backfired.

But, you know what, nothing about that visit would have changed if the house had been company ready. I would have just been more stressed and less available for the children. So, just call me from the driveway, I'll welcome you in to our home and my mess for a visit. I'll sit and talk with you and I'll enjoy every second of it. Just know that it is one happy, joy filled, intentional mess that I welcome you in to!