Sunday, September 25, 2016

Breathless

This was one of those weeks that left me feeling breathless and not very amazing. Every day flew by at break neck speed and several days we were scurrying to finish schoolwork after supper.

We had not been to the zoo in a very long time so this week we went and had a ball. Isaiah walked and it was just really fun to tag along with the kids while they ran from habitat to habitat exclaiming over whatever they saw.
Aliza and Josiah were the photographers (except for these two). They wanted to capture every animal in a picture. It was cute--as long as they weren't fighting over whose turn it was to use the camera.
On this particular day I also got to visit with a friend from out of town and take supper and chat for a bit with some other friends. This weekend felt busy too. It's a good, healthy busy!  For the next couple hours I'm going to exhale before the next week starts!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

No More Pain!

My Gramma gave me permission to share what she wrote when she was too excited to sleep on Labor Day, September 5.

The background to this story is that Gramma has had some kind of muscle spasms in her back for several years. The spasms are painful to the point where she cannot get comfortable and do the things that she enjoys doing. Here's her story:

"Jesus healed my back--no more pain! I have prayed for a miracle for a long time. My back hurt so badly. Tonight, after our family picnic supper; Pansy, Janell, Carla, and Aliza came over to my living room to pray with me and for me. After a short time of praying in a circle; holding hands: I didn't feel any pain in my back!! Jesus answered our prayers! We were faithful in seeking Jesus' request to 'ask whatever your need is, and He will answer' Matthew 7:7 He did--and we praised Him and thanked Him for His faithfulness to our humble request.

I stood up--bent my back in different directions and leaned down towards the floor! Then I lifted both arms up high and thanked and praised God! No pain!! Gone! Such a blessing! Thank you Lord for your goodness to us.

Aliza was so thrilled to see Jesus heal. His power is awesome. We serve an awesome God. We all praised Him and thanked Him and gave Him glory. 'As you have believed, so be it done to thee.' Matthew 8:13"
If you know my Gramma, you know she LOVES pictures so I couldn't help taking this one when we realized the pain was gone!    

Carla's thoughts:
It is so humbling to be a participant when God moves in a tangible way. When I arrived at Mom's house that evening, I went over to Gramma's house for something and found her bent over the sink moaning as she was trying to slice a tomato for the picnic. This was the worst back pain I had seen her in. I told Mom. Mom went over a bit later and then Mom told me that she felt like we should pray for Gramma. When we were headed to Gramma's house to pray, I saw Aliza and told her what we were doing and asked her if she wanted to come along. She agreed and, boy, was she ever glad she took that opportunity!

Like Gramma said, we just sat in a simple little circle, holding hands, and praying for God to touch Gramma. We prayed for a little while and then kinda wrapped it up and didn't really think anything happened. But when we said "Amen" Gramma  said, "My pain is gone." And she threw up her hands. I can tell you that she was definitely not lifting up her hands earlier! I was still trying to wrap my head around what happened when Gramma stood up quickly and stood there standing straight up and bending from side to side and forward. When she declared she wanted to vacuum I knew she was good to go! We were laughing and crying. You know what happens when you see God? You get a bitty glimpse of how much HE loves you. Gramma KNEW that God loves her and it changed her. Sure, her pain was gone, but her soul knows his love in a new way.

Back to Aliza, she was incredibly humbled that God would use her as a participant in healing. She said, "Mom, I could have said no and gone and played and I would have missed it. I'm so glad I said yes." Aliza was the one to run outside and tell the men what happened. Aliza said to me later that night, "Great Gramma is always pretty but when the Spirit of God was inside of her she was beautiful."

Since Labor Day Gramma has had some back pain here and there, but the pain has not been debilitating for which we are very thankful and continue to ask God to restore the strength in those muscles so that she can live without great pain.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Beach Days Continue

I told the children we could go to the beach once a week until we froze one day. So far we have had beautiful beach days!
We've been going to the cove so the water is shallow and smooth. Isaiah has become quite confident in the water even going out up to his waist. Keeps me--and Aliza--on our toes.


We just stay for an hour or so and still get our schoolwork done. It's been really nice. I particularly enjoy empty beaches.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

We did not labor on Labor Day

*Aliza thinks I blog every night. It's always funny when the children guess what Mommy does in those mysterious hours (minutes??) after they go to sleep.*

Our Labor Day was filled with family and we enjoyed every minute. We started with Aunt Laura teaching the children how to makes gummy candy. She had a VERY busy kitchen! 
You mix together jello and gelatin and let it sit and then put it in the microwave. Then you (slowly and carefully) pour it into molds and pop it in the freezer.
Meanwhile, Isaiah wears a necklace and drinks Uncle John's cold vanilla chamomile tea out of a *fancy* glass.

It doesn't take long in the freezer and then they can be popped out of the mold. They were mostly consumed as quickly as they came out of the molds!
In the evening we had a picnic at my parents house. It was a most beautiful evening to be outside. Uncle Jeremy put a puzzle together with Lydia. Uncle Jeff was playing soccer with Josiah and Isaiah. You really should see Isaiah kick balls. It's pretty cute!



Aunt Laura spent the evening going page by page through a cupcake recipe book with Aliza. Aliza love every single second of that! She and Laura made quite a list of cupcake recipes they plan to try.
Mom, Janell and I love visiting while we are doing something with our hands. This time we prepared cereal boxes to send to Haiti. A group called Apparent Project uses the cereal boxes to make jewelry that they sell. Now I need to figure out the next step for shipping them!
The rest of the week has been super hot and humid. We've had school, but in my mind, I'm still telling myself it is technically summer. I don't want to rush the change of seasons!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Joy Dare::August

3634. Ombre sky
3635. Unexpected McDonald's delivery
3636. Me and my boy
3637. Loved having my nephews running around my house this morning
3638. Jeremy sent me to the bedroom for a break this evening. I laid on the the bed and fell asleep.
3639. A little one on one chat with Lydia
3640. Aliza, Josiah and Anna made so much swimming progress
3641. My favorite 10 kiddos in the pool all together
3642. Scrapbooking and chatting with Maria
3643. Looking Josiah in the eye and listening. I found out he has a lot to  tell me.
3644. Listening to the waves crash
3645. Olympics starting tonight
3646. Aliza easily naming 10 things she's thankful for at night
3647. Making salsa with helpers--Gramma peeled tomatoes and Aliza diced the green peppers and onions
3648. First curriculum order
3649. Extra ice cream treat for the last pool day
3650. Morning Lydia snuggles
3651. Grace to clean up the hugest mess yet
3652. I opened my mouth and out popped an invitation for my grandparents to come over for lunch
3653. Watching Olympics also means watching children's antics which left me laughing more than once this evening
3654. Josiah had a great day with Caleb
3655. Daddy handled his daughter's heart so well
3656. How easy it is for the girls to rattle off 10 gifts at night
3657. Meals in the freezer
3658. Time together
3659. Jeremy got to golf
3660. By the end, everyone had fun at the beach
3661. Sharing my kitchen with my daughter
3662. Submitting to the wisdom of my husband
3663. Sunday relaxing
3664. Jeremy taught Sunday School for me
3665. Ice cream after church
3666. Snuggling with a sick Isaiah
3667. Josiah volunteered without knowing it and didn't hesitate to go on stage
3668. Enthusiastic chef in training
3669. Gorgeous moon
3670. Holding the girls off on starting school for a few more days
3671. Got to read during Sports Camp.
3672. Grabbed a conversation with a homeschooling mom friend--we covered a lot of ground in a short time
3673. Thunderstorm snuggles--a king size bed would come in handy!
3674. Playing ball with Isaiah
3675. "It's not what you do that matters. It's how you do it. Do what you love and while you do it, make much of Jesus." Kristen Welch
3676. A little pre-party fun with our neighbor
3677. Driving down the road with "Uni" the unicorn in the front seat
3678. Introducing a group of women to Trades of Hope
3679. Having my Anna girl for my sidekick
3680. Supper ready when I got home
3681. First day of school--started off rocky but we made it through
3682. Did not expect the first day of kindergarten to make her fall asleep at rest time. (It's nice to know she's still a little girl.)
3683. My head and throat felt so much better this morning
3684. The morning you walk outside and are greeted with cool morning air without heavy humidity
3685. They are building forts, climbing trees and living in a pretend world
3686. Dad's mower was really fun to use
3687. Neighbors that I care about
3688. Renee and Lydia's last summer day with us was a fun one
3689. Sweet moments
3690. Jeremy stopped in at home for lunch
3691. Aliza is being very diligent with her schoolwork
3692. The guy that always wants to sit beside me. =) (Jeremy)
3693. A gas station f'real milkshake and I'm ready to drive the rest of the way to WV
3694. Talking fast to make the most of my little time with Brandi
3695. Decided to make memories at Greenbriar State Park
3696. Aliza and I enjoyed walking part way around the lake
3697. Beautiful story of new life found in Christ
3698. Fun at the park and visiting with Matt and Chrissy
3699. Isaiah is such a good sport even when he is tired
3700. Anna did a little better than last time at the dentist
3701. Ordering pictures for Gramma. She loves her pictures and it is fun to make her happy.
3702. Somehow we got the schoolwork, chores and household duties done that needed to get done today
3703. The first kindergarten snack of the week is always so exciting
3704. Snuggly morning with a not-quite-feeling-good little guy
3705.  I love dreaming with my Mom
3706. Being aware that I needed an adult conversation
3707. Aliza and Anna having some great sister friend time
3708. Isaiah being the first one to hold hands when we pray before our meal

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

My 3rd Kindergartener

Anna could hardly wait to start school. She was counting down the days.
She may have been mostly counting down the days to Day 4 of school when she got to make her first Snack of the Week--cupcakes. There is little more exciting than Snacks of the Week when we have a kindergartener here. =)
Anna will do great this year.

Aliza is taking on 5th grade like pro. She has initiated taking notes for History and Science and she loves to tell me everything that she wrote down for the day. Her most favorite teacher teaches 5th grade History so that is a huge plus for her. English is her least favorite subject--maybe I should say grammar is her least favorite. Writing is no problem for her.  The other new thing this year is that I'm making her slow way down on Math to make sure that she gets everything. So far we've had no drama with Math and I'd like to keep it that way through high school!

Josiah. Bless his heart. I love that boy dearly. He would prefer to do anything besides school. He has taken on a renewed interest in Legos. He loves his design based computer games (Minecraft and Roblox). When he does his schoolwork he has no problem producing correct answers--which amazes me every day because it does not appear that he is paying the least bit of attention. There have been tears just about every day, but we press on. The kid can read, write, and do math--he's going to be just fine!

We are off to a good start!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Some Summer Days

A big part of my summer story is adding my nieces to our family life a couple days every week. I love them dearly, but taking care of 6 children is---taking care of 6 children! When everyone is happy and playing and getting along it's great. When any one of the little girls was unhappy, feeling left out or mad about something, it wasn't so great! I took a few pictures along the way of some of our days.

Some days I thought I had lots of snacks on the counter for the afternoon.
Every day the snacks were empty and something else was added to the counter!
Some days I took 3 girls to dance camp. Other days I took 5 children to swimming lessons.
Some days they had water balloon fights.
Some days we took walks and bike rides.
Some days I took in the sweet moments of quiet and peace.
One day was Lydia's birthday and she brought her ginormous unicorn birthday present.
That afternoon I had to take the ginormous unicorn home and she rode in the front seat.
Some days everyone played happily outside for hours building a village and pretending.
One day our neighbors were getting ready for a birthday party and invited us over to try out the bouncy house water slide.
I think it all added up to a pretty great summer for everyone!