Thursday, April 23, 2015

Spring's Here!

The season change has happened. I can feel it! The sliding door stands open as much as it is closed and there is sand on the kitchen floor and I don't mind a bit because I LOVE it. I'm happier. The children are happier. I can send the craziness our neighbors can hear it, of course!

We started on a walk and before I even got out of the driveway Josiah can to me with tears. The chain had fallen off his bike. We walked right over to our wonderful retired neighbors and they were home and more than willing to help a boy with his bike. Plus the kids got snacks...right before lunch...which always thrills them.

We took school outside one afternoon.
And Isaiah is sitting just about by himself. Of course right after I took this picture he went straight backwards and hit his head...and screamed.
These two. Their smiles. Anna still wants to hold Isaiah, but he's getting big for her lap!

Friday, April 17, 2015

My Girl--Growing Up

Aliza. I haven't talked about her in a while. She reads well now so I have to be careful what I say! Actually she is very much enjoying reading. Currently she is reading a 300 page (junior fiction) book and she's halfway through. She says the book is at a "boring" part and she's having trouble getting to the next exciting part.

I picked up the Project Life app for free on St. Patrick's Day and just let it sit on my phone. Aliza opened it the other day and asked if she could make a layout. I told her to go for it and she did! She had absolutely no trouble figuring it out and making a page in minutes. Not that I was really surprised. The difference between Aliza and I with technology is that I rely heavily on Jeremy when I'm trying something "new" and Aliza is perfectly comfortable to play around with any app and figure it out. She wanted to do a layout about Isaiah...

Was learning long division a significant memory of elementary math for anyone else? It is for me because I didn't get it and missed just about every problem. I'm not sure what my hangup with math was--I think I missed getting some foundation stuff early. I think I bought in to some of my teacher's math anxieties and the effect of a few influential classmates who decided that they didn't like math. So, like every parent does, I've taken my own education experience and tried to make it better for my kids. As far as math...I make each new concept "no big deal." If they get it, they don't have to watch the 30 minute lesson. If I need help in teaching, say, long division, Aliza watches the new material segment and does the practice problems with the teacher.

Basic division was first introduced in October soon after Isaiah was born and it didn't go smoothly. We got through it, but I was dreading when it would come up again. I saw the long division unit coming and feared that it would be our "math wall". I took the no-big-deal approach. Aliza took the this-looks-outrageously-scary-so-I-will-whine approach. She watched the lesson and we sat down together and knocked it out. She gets it! A few days later when the concept of remainders was introduced, she watched the lesson again and sat down and did her work. No big deal. The truth of the matter is probably that my math anxiety is decreasing and I'll be ready for 4th grade math (except for anything in the area of geometry)!!! haha.

And, oh my, do I ever see myself in Aliza. It scares me and amazes me all at the same time. Sometimes it's hard to have patience with myself in her. It's not easy to come face to face my own weaknesses seemingly multiple times every day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

First Taste of Food

 Our little man's first taste of food was squash frozen from his Great Grandad's garden. He ate about three bites before he completely refused, but he had this worried expression on his face the whole time.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Easter--in Pictures

 (On an unrelated to Easter note, I want to say that I can't believe how much better I feel. I can't get my thyroid tested until May, but I just feel so much better.)

Besides that, I don't feel like using many words...but here's peek at our Easter with my family.

This was the best we could do for a family picture. lol.

Waiting to be let loose to find eggs.

It was quite a herd of cousins barreling out the door.

The boys comparing their finds.


Monday, April 6, 2015

Isaiah::6 months

And just like that, Isaiah is half a year old!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Joy Dare::March

2217. Fishtail Braids

2218. A lovely birthday outing with Aliza
2219. An evening to sit on the couch
2220. Hearing my sister speak at an event and sitting with her all evening
2221. Another sister got a job!
2222. Someone (Aliza) was rooting for me and couldn't wait to hear about my evening
2223. Aliza was sick today--her birthday. But she had a good attitude and did her best to enjoy the day
2224. Extra time at home
2225. An email from Jeremy's Aunt offering to bake for us this weekend
2226. When I think I've run out of patience I'm given the opportunity to develop that character quality even more
2227. Taking a little extra time to read
2228. Telling a couple ladies I needed prayer
2229. Jeremy coming home
2230. Keeping my mouth shut and removing myself from the situation
2231. Schedule cleared enough to get everything done
2232. Family all arrived safely
2233. Rolled from back to tummy
2234. At the end of his birthday party day when he had a fever and guests couldn't come, I asked him what the best part of the day was, he said, "Everything!"
2235. An evening to visit with my Heslop Mom and sister
2236. Aliza just genuinely excited about her birthday party
2237. A hint of spring in the air. I took a walk.
2238. Steak dinner for Jeremy
2239. Sunlight after dinner means playing outside
2240. A long evening that even allowed for a scrapbook page to be finished
2241. Sister playing with dolls and planning a slumber party
2242. Enough energy in spite of multiple nighttime interruptions
2243. Coming across the blog post that is encouraging
2244. Aliza looking out for me when I cough because of vocal cord spasm
2245. Giggling with Anna
2246. Smooth sailing school day
2247. Coming home to find the girls looking at scrapbooks
2248. I couldn't bring myself to drag the children in from outside to do schoolwork this afternoon
2249. A few hours at Grandma's house
2250. Lunch on the deck
2251. Took a risk and opened a conversation
2252. Drove Mom home
2253. I can count on my mother-in-law being awake to talk when I'm driving home late
2254. Taking Anna out with me this morning
2255. Family time
2256. Aliza practically begging me to scrapbook with her
2257. Making the time to visit Gramma in the hospital
2258. Blue sky, bald eagle, and deer
2259. This moment: Oldest three playing outside while I'm reading beside a happy baby

2260. New library books
2261. Having enough peace in the house to talk to a friend
2262. Jumping on the trampoline with my girls
2263. Sitting on the floor watching Isaiah kick and talk to Meghan
2264. Tacos for supper that I didn't cook and ice cream for dessert
2265. A group of women to gather around me in prayer
2266. Another mom to take Isaiah and walk him to sleep
2267. Watching Aliza dance
2268. Seeing how much Andy and Judy enjoyed our visit
2269. A walk this afternoon
2270. Seeing some evidence that spring is coming
2271. My children being able to understand
2272. Aliza starting to be able to see things from another's point of view
2273. New tires for my car
2274. Janell and Betsy were awesome partners at the conference
2275. Worshiping with a large group of women
2276. That moment when I see my family after I've been away all day
2277. This moment:
2278. Unexpected play date this afternoon--play conversation, youtube, chai, wet and muddy clothes
2279. After supper light for cousins to play outside. Makes for enjoyable adult conversation
2280. Aliza and Josiah had evening plans that gave them motivation to get school done
2281. Spending the evening with Aliza and leaving the work for tomorrow.
2282. Anna and Josiah so excited to go on a simple errand with Daddy
2283. A really great day at home
2284. Spending time with a friend by phone
2285. How Josiah loves loving on Isaiah. Today Josiah declared Isaiah his best friend
2286. Selfies from nieces
2287. Making mistakes and being able to laugh at myself
2288. Wrestling with life and how quickly it passes
2289. Time with my Mom
2290. Kids trying on clothes in fitting rooms and coming out with very high self esteem
2291. Meghan and the boys visiting
2292. Anna and these boots (I know it's a horrible picture...)
2293. Having Anna for my sidekick at a Trades of Hope party
2294. Aliza and Josiah had an evening together
2295. Sunday morning smells of coffee and bacon
2296. Another area cleaned out
2297. Movie night
2298. Learning that every moment is a gift not to be taken for granted
2299. "The hard that God has for me is better than the easy and comfortable I have for myself"
2300. A beautiful weather day
2301. Praying with my husband
2302. A huge painting project--Josiah and Anna
2303. Friends checking on me
2304. Haircuts for us girls (9 less inches of hair in our house)
2305. Cousin and sister time this afternoon
2306. Practicing Aliza's most recent play

Monday, March 30, 2015

Here's What's Happening

I am starting to feel hopeful that school will end this year. The books are getting thinner. The lesson numbers are getting higher. Some of the shorter subjects are getting finished.

It's a good thing I see a few daffodils blooming and the grass getting green because the sky and temperatures are not giving me much indication that it's spring!

I've been trying to patiently wait for my thyroid to adjust again. It was still high after my last adjustment which means I have basically had high thyroid since Isaiah has been born. Since that is 5 months it probably explains the underlying feeling of anxiety I'd been having and the complete panic meltdown I had a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately that happened on a Bible study day and my group saw me at a very low point. But they were gracious and held my baby and prayed for me. Then the next week, that same group of gracious women, saw me come in very late because I was sitting in opening and realized I had no bottle for my baby. I had to go home to get bottles and come back. I hope I've been sufficiently humbled.

I didn't follow the story of Kara Tippetts closely until she passed away. Then I couldn't help myself. I was so intrigued by her story and how she lived largely and loved deeply and showed kindness even as she was suffering and dying. Now I keep thinking about her with Jesus and her family here and how every moment we are given with our loved ones is grace. So I stay in each moment a little longer, hug my children and husband a little harder and grumble about the annoyances a little less. I have a lot to learn.

I love reading books about people. I recently read Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. Of course I only read in small bits, but I didn't want to put this one down. If you want to understand Islam, this is a great book. If you want an intellectual, systematic approach to defending the Quran or the Bible this is a great read. I wish I was as eloquent as the author. It's just a really really great book.

While I'm laying with the children until they fall asleep, I've been reading As We Forgive on my kindle. This is a book of stories of reconciliation from Rwanda after the genocide in the 1990s. I feel much more educated on the genocide in general. The stories are extremely heart wrenching, but the stories of reconciliation and forgiveness are compelling. Forgiveness is powerful. It's time for some lighter reading!

There are legos all over the floor...all the time. Josiah loves his little brother, but he knows that Isaiah is going to be mobile in the near future so he is making plans for his legos. Josiah wants me to clear out his closet (it's very deep and his a light in it) so he can play with legos in there. Josiah also wants me to box up books that on the built in bookcases in his room so that he can store legos on the bookshelf. Smart boy.