Sunday, September 15, 2019

A Chincoteague Afternoon

September 7, last Saturday, was 2 years since Gramma died and we made plans with some of my family to have ice cream together. Jeremy and I decided to make an afternoon of it and take the children to the beach. We arrived at the beach only to find out that most of the parking area was washed out by the tropical storm conditions the day before. People were parking way down the road. 

It was about the time of day when a lot of people leave the beach so we decided to do the lighthouse trail and then go back to see if we could find a parking space.
That day the lighthouse was open for tours. I had never been to the top. Anna did NOT want to go to the top so we split up and went in shifts. Jeremy took Aliza and Isaiah first. It's 175 steps in a spiral and going up you can see through the stairs. Isaiah got scared and Jeremy carried him all the way up and all the way down.

While we were waiting, Josiah decided that even though he is scared of heights he was going to go to the top. He did! And Aliza decided to go to the top again with us. Josiah's hands were cold and he held on to the rail for dear life, but he made it to the top and back down.
That's Aliza at the rail! And, oh yes, I was the one with very sore legs the next day. Going down was harder on my legs than going up.
There was a parking space when we went back to the beach! We had less than an hour and there were WAY more people than I am comfortable around on the beach. But we were at the beach with Daddy and the children loved every second of him being there. The beach just isn't what we often choose to do on weekends.
A quick clean up was required and then we met Janell's family, my Dad and my Grandad at Island Creamery for ice cream. I love that Grandad lives here and we can surround him on days like today.
My current favorite at Island Creamery is Snickers Cheesecake in a waffle cone.
This dude chose a chocolate milkshake. How does anyone, even a 4 year old, get a milkshake--with a straw--ALL over their shirt, face, hands and ear??!!
These simple outings and times together and ones that I hold close to my heart.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

The First Week of School

Wow. What a week. That was hard. These days are long. Those are the thoughts that I had pretty much all week last week. On the second day of school I was texting Jeremy saying "this homeschooling gig is not for the faint of heart." By Friday evening I had my head on the table telling Jeremy how discouraged I was at the length of our school days and different antics I dealt with and how tired I was. Later that evening, I talked to one of my customers, with children similar ages to my oldest ones, and her days had been going about the same. I felt more encouraged after I talked to her. I think it's just all of us settling back into the routine and work load. There were some tears the first day but none after that. The challenges are pretty much what I expected. I'm being stricter about some things to develop character--in me and the children as it turns out!

Let's talk about kindergarten for a minute. My youngest child is in kindergarten! It didn't really hit me until he did the first Snack of the Week that all of the children did. Cupcakes. (Next week is the most memorable snack of the week.) He got his first reading book on Friday. Granted, it didn't have any words in it, but still!

Isaiah is a super willing learner. I have to remind him to get back to work and stick with it just like the others, but he hasn't fought me about going back to his table. Isaiah is really good about following his teacher's directions and he worked SO hard to make his "t"s. Since he is a young kindergartner, I  can see that he has to work extra in fine motor skills. But, then again, he holds his pencil correctly! He's ready, he's doing great and I'm cheering him on with a smile on my face and maybe a twinge in my heart here and there!

Joy Dare::August

6615. Morning bike ride before a day in the car
6616. Safe trip
6617. Motel excitement
6618. Totally different kind of adventure
6619. Golf cart transportation
6620. Arriving at Grandma's house
6621. Double teaming with Janell
6622. Changing plans on the fly
6623. Grandma's chocolate chip cookies
6624. All of the children enjoyed everything we did
6625. The home we have to stay at in Ohio
6626. Really enjoyed our day at Sauder's Village
6627. Visiting with Grandma
6628. Life is so much better with grace
6629. A great waitress at Eat n Park
6630. Hotel slumber party with my children
6631. Grandma Karen could meet us for lunch
6632. Home
6633. Jeremy
6634. Slept 10.5 hours
6635. Grocery shopping alone
6636. A new winning supper recipe
6637. Spruced up yard
6638. Menno Tea on the porch
6639. Listening to Aliza and Josiah by the fire pit
6640. YouTube plug in to block recommended videos
6641. The feeling that maybe we did something right
6642. All the new textbooks
6643. New favorite Starbucks drink--Blueberry Black Tea Lemonade
6644. School shopping with the girls
6645. Isaiah truly thrilled with his school supplies
6646. Made Lydia talk to me on the drive home
6647. Finally saw Andy and Judy again
6648. Crafting time
6649. Teaching the teen girls again
6650. Trampoline fun
6651. Anna's Dutch Blitz winning streak
6652. Mostly unplugged weekend
6653. Tubing in the stream
6654. Little League World Series
6655. Time with my aunt
6656. Just watching my children
6657. Late night drive home = quiet car
6658. Mexican sunflower
6659. So. Many. Hummingbirds.
6660. Catching up with Mom
6661. Favorite mugs
6662. Advanced copies of books
6663. Daytime thunderstorm
6664. Renee told me how much she loves coming to my house
6665. Josiah made cookies
6666. A little bit of schoolwork
6667. Choosing not to worry
6668. Chincoteague date
6669. Pool party and fellowship
6670. Flexible enough schedule to pick up food boxes
6671. Connecting with Betsy
6672. Birthday party fun
6673. Sabbath rest
6674. Sunday porch sitting
6675. Watched LLWS Championship game
6676. Good test results
6677. Aliza's amazing attitude
6678. Slumber party
6679. Dance shoes ordered = excited girls
6680. Nice time at a new beach with friends
6681. Jeremy can pick up forgotten supper ingredients
6682. Overheard Isaiah: "Me and you are brothers. That means we stay close together."
6683. Picking pumpkins was so much fun
6684. Jeremy bailed me out on supper making for the 2nd time this week
6685. My mighty Grandad
6686. A new park with new friends
6687. End of summer ice cream
6688. An afternoon with Aliza
6689. When the last section of weeks pulls out in one big clump
6690. Evening shopping with the girls

Friday, August 30, 2019

First Ever Pumpkin Harvest

This spring I bought a packet of seeds from Floret Flowers and gave them to Grandad to plant since he has plenty of room. I promptly forgot about them until last week when he told me that I had a lot of pumpkins growing. Then this week Grandad and Mom told me it was time to pick them. 

Yesterday the children and I headed down to pick pumpkins. I had no idea how fun it would be to discover pumpkins hidden among vines.
 I had enthusiastic helpers!

 Josiah and I found this one. The biggest one in the field.

 Mom had to keep going back to the shop to find more wheelbarrows!
 And then we realized how heavy the wheelbarrows were!
 This was not my wheelbarrow (lol) but one did tip over. It was really hard to balance the weight.
 Grandad declared he had a lot more experience balancing wheelbarrows than me and so he pushed that wheelbarrow out of the field. He is mighty! He did admit that his heart was pumping pretty hard at the end.

 I love all the colors. I'm sure some could have kept on growing, but this time we decided to just pick them all. It hasn't rained in a few days so all the pumpkins were dry and not rotting. 48 pumpkins!

 We wiped off the bugs and loose dirt and I brought them home. Now they are on the porch waiting to be given away.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

One More Summer Adventure

Every once in a while I get to go to my Aunt and Uncle's house and experience what my children do with their aunts and uncles. I feel really lucky to have an aunt and uncle who open their home and hearts to me, Jeremy and our children.

It was a hot, beautiful weekend for swimming in the stream...

...and jumping off rocks. Isaiah probably had the most fun jumping off the rock over and over. He also figured out how to swim this weekend.
And tubing. The root system of the tree that Aliza is floating past below was removed from the stream by Dan and Jeremy because it was disrupting the tubing course. It involved hand saws, a pulley system, chain, a 4 wheeler and quite a bit of determination.

Our reason for visiting this weekend was to attend Little League World Series. What a fun international experience! Below is the field for the American teams' tournament.
We sat at the top of a very steep hill and, as you can barely see in the picture, families bring pieces of cardboard and then children slide down the hill--over and over.

It was really hot that day. Isaiah used the cardboard for shade when we made him take a break from sliding and walking back up the hill.
Later, we started watching an international game between Canada and Italy. At the end of the first inning a storm rolled in and the game was delayed for weather. We went home and watched the rest of the game on TV.
Both ways our travel time was extended by traffic and accidents. Thankfully the children are pretty great travelers and Jeremy and I are pretty good at tuning out crazy amounts of noise and silliness. On the way home we got to meet my cousin and her family for supper. Eventually the children fell asleep and we drove home the rest of the way in peace. =)

Monday, August 19, 2019

Ohio Trip--3

This is currently my favorite picture of Janell and I. Our first stop in Sauder Village was the coffee shop. The children were super excited and Janell and I were feeling the effects of a bigger-than-planned-on-day yesterday. 
 Sauder Village is almost a magical place for us. It's peaceful and slow paced and almost feels like we are in a difference place altogether.
 We started in the Indian settlement and immediately learned that there is a significant difference between a wigwam and a teepee. This is a wigwam. I'm sure you are dying of curiosity now so I'll tell you the difference! A wigwam was used by the Woodland Indians. It was a smaller temporary shelter. It takes more tree trunks to make a wigwam than a teepee. A wigwam would be abandoned when the Indians moved on since the long poles could not be drug through the forest. A teepee was used by the Plains Indians. Fewer, thicker poles were cut down in the foothills before entering the Plains. Teepees were dismantled when the Indians moved and were lashed together and used to carry their supplies.
 At the covered wagon camp Josiah carried the water buckets.
 This must be the cutest teacher ever in an early pioneer schoolhouse.
 Every year we get a picture of Anna in front of "Anna's Spinning Shop"
 The afternoon requires ice cream or popcorn from the ice cream shop!
 I highly recommend the Buckeye ice cream.
 One of the highlights was watching the potter form canisters. We watched him knead the clay (there were 6 lumps under that towel), put a formless lump on the wheel and in a matter of minutes he had the shape of the canister.
 We took Subway to Grandma's house for supper and our evening activity was driving the Barn Quilt Trail.
 I had the children in my car--minus the oldest and the youngest! Renee had the map and read the descriptions of each quilt and Josiah was the photographer. There were 10 stops and it took about an hour. My car had fun until number 7 and skipped number 10!
 We had the windows rolled down to enjoy the fresh air and country smells!
 Before we headed toward home the next morning, we spend some more time with Grandma. There was Dutch Blitz happening and Janell and I told Grandma about our flower gardens and showed her pictures.
 And, of course, the good bye pictures!

I failed in the hotel planning for that night. I had the right hotel in my mind (we've stayed there before), but the wrong town. That added 30 minutes to our drive that night when we were more than ready to be done driving! And then the hotel person refused to give us adjoining rooms so we didn't get to have the big slumber party we were hoping for. AND when we finally got the children to the pool there was thunder and lightening. So we swam in the morning before we left. I dare say we were all happy to see our house and Daddy (Jeremy) and sleep in our own beds!