Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fall Decoration

Can you tell the children were really into pumpkin carving? Somehow I managed to have to clean up 2 drink spills and 1 broken glass jar in the 15 minutes it took Jeremy to scoop out 2 pumpkins.

I saw this idea in a magazine (I can't remember which one) and again on TV this morning. I put a mum in one pumpkin and fresh cut flowers in the other pumpkin. I wanted to get a couple bumpy gourds to put with them on the table, but when I looked for them at the grocery store last week there were none to be found. I'm happy though. I love the extra color in my house.

A New Hallelujah!

I am totally out of the music loop. I listen primarily to Sunday School songs and nursery rhymes. When the children go to bed and I could listen to music I love the sound of quiet and don't turn music on. But I love to sing and there are a few artists that I know and keep up with. So when I heard that Michael W. Smith was coming to town on his A New Hallelujah! tour, I really wanted to go.

Michael W. Smith--he's been around forever! When I was in 8th grade I purchased my first music cassette. It was a stretch for my parents. Hosanna! Music was ok with them, but contemporary Christian wasn't what they were particularly comfortable with. I bought Michael W. Smith's Change Your World album and DC Talk's Free at Last album. They toured together that year and I went to their concert in Portland, OR. Jeremy and I can still sing all the songs from both of those albums.

I didn't think I'd get to go to this concert because I didn't have a babysitter and I wasn't so sure we should shell out the money given how this month has gone. I got a call from a friend that had 200 tickets that he needed to give away. Would I want one? Well, yes, I told him. I'll take two and I'll find a babysitter! Linda was willing to babysit for us. So we got to go and we had a great time!

I wonder if Michael W. Smith ever regrets writing Friends? He still sings it.

His son played keyboard in his band and Jeremy and I figure he is about old enough to be our dad. But he said he is working on album number 22 so maybe I'll get to see him again some day!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cardboard Train Tunnel

Every once in a while our house becomes a computer hardware warehouse. These boxes are all of the computer equipment for a local lawyer's office. One Fedex delivery dropped off 12 boxes. Thankfully Jeremy was home for that one! So I carefully ask how many of these boxes are going to be opened in my house--knowing that all of the packaging would be left in my house too. The answer: all of them! The boxes and packaging would obviously not fit in Jeremy's little car. Soooo...a Mom must come up with a bright idea. New play equipment!

We currently have a cardboard train stretching through the toy room and into the living room. Aliza said it was not a train, it was a tunnel. Then it was a train tunnel. This morning she wanted me to create a bird with the boxes and tonight she wanted Jeremy to create an airplane. She served her Little People tea in the tunnel and I could hardly tear her away from her play to go to the post office.
Tonight Jeremy had them diving head first through the openings. It was pretty funny to see Aliza's feet sticking up from the hole to alert Jeremy that she wanted to be pulled up through the hole by her feet.

I don't know if I can do this story justice with words, but it was just too ingenious to forget. My Dad stopped by for a few minutes this evening. He was sitting in Jeremy's desk chair holding Josiah between Josiah's dives into the boxes. Josiah alerted Dad that he wanted to dive in and Dad got up to put him in the hole. As soon as Dad got up from his chair Josiah dashed over to the study chair and climbed up--grinning from ear to ear. Dad ticked him and called him "snicklefritz" and then picked Josiah up and sat down. A few seconds later Josiah jumped down and ran over the box seemingly wanting to be dived in, Dad got up and Josiah went running for the chair.... He did that about 5 times. All his idea and it worked perfectly. Apparently he wanted the chair more than the boxes.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall Family Vacation

What a fun weekend we had in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This was our family vacation for the year and I have so many memories stored away in my heart. We had the perfect place to stay and chose activities that Aliza and Josiah really seemed to enjoy. As Jeremy and I said, "If the children are having fun then we are having fun too!"

Friday: We were not able to go to the pumpkin patch last weekend since it was pouring rain so we stopped by Oakley's Market on our way out of town. Aliza wasn't sure about going down the pipe slide by herself.

It was a long and bumpy slide!
The corn pit was a hit.

Josiah could hardly tear his eyes away from the tractor. It was inevitable. We had to go on the hayride.
We then drove to Landis Farms where we stayed in the guesthouse. It is the small house on the left of the picture below. We had stayed with some friends here when Aliza was a baby and knew we wanted to come back some day. The house has two bedrooms, living area and kitchen. Mrs. Landis puts fresh eggs, bacon and orange juice in the refrigerator. I also figured out that I was in YES training with the Landis' son. Very random connection...
Saturday: It was a very rainy day, but Mr. Landis got out his train. He pulls three "cars" behind his lawn mower.
Then we went to the Hands On House, a children's museum. Aliza, especially, had a ball. She spent most of her time at the grocery story. First she chose a list and gathered the items.
Then she had to make a sandwich.
Finally she paid for her groceries (well, she became the cashier and I paid her) and she put the groceries in the bag and then put them back on the shelf. We probably did that routine 10 times.
Josiah found the tractors.
Sunday: It was a beautiful day and we played outside all morning. The farm used to be a dairy farm. They no longer milk cows and instead have converted the milking barn to a place to ride bikes and tricycles. It is perfect--rain or shine.

Aliza loved this swing.

Josiah was in his element getting to sit on a John Deere tractor.
As I was putting lunch on the table Josiah came to me crying. I looked down and his hand was covered in blood. I have no idea how he cut himself, but he had a decent slice on the tip of his pinky finger and it was bleeding profusely. After going through 3 paper towels trying to stop the bleeding I started getting pretty nervous. Thankfully the Landis' arrived home from church and were able to assist us with some band-aids and a calm assessment of the situation. (They have 4 children and 18 grandchildren.) We've had a hard time keeping a band-aid on it, but it is ok now. It was very borderline of whether it should/could have gotten stitches.

Saturday and Sunday evening we spent with my Great Aunt and Uncle. Sunday we were able to walk to a park and play. After playing at the park we ate supper at a little restaurant where you actually have to order and wait for your food. I cannot remember when the last was that we took the children to a sit down restaurant. We all survived quite nicely!

And I have to mention that the farm did not have wireless internet access. This was a most lovely feature. Did I mention that we had a great time?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Happy, Silly Children

Because I certainly don't post enough pictures of my children, here are a few random pictures from the week.

I heard "Look, Mom, my people are swimming!" I looked and saw that indeed they were swimming---in lotion! And notice that each person has their very own puddle of lotion. That took some planning. She looks awful proud. She got the lotion off of the back of her tall dresser--by climbing the handles!

This time he is on my desk. He particularly likes to pull the adhesive I use for scrapbooking out of the dispenser.

The sun is back!!!!! For a few days anyway! We went to the park today.
Josiah put his boots on by himself this morning. He can do all kinds of things with that sippy cup in his hand or hanging from his mouth.
Slide races! Dolly went everywhere with Aliza today. It is so nice to watch her be nurturing to the baby doll and, at times, to her brother.

He is saying, "CHEESE" and pointing to the camera. Music to my ears!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I just looked up "Nor'easter" on Wikipedia because I wasn't sure what it really meant. That's the word that is being thrown around this week in our area. It means it has been pouring rain for 3 days and more to come tomorrow. For me, that means I'm making cookies, eating cookies and feeling like crying. I can only take so much gloomy weather. Well, I can really only take one day of no sun and then I'm starting to feel it.

The beginning of the week was just gorgeous. Those sunny days I was feeling almost giddy. I was ready to conquer the world! We played outside and I was perfectly fine hanging out at home.

Aliza had a "too cute" moment this week. On the second rainy day we were going to make sugar cookies, but we only had one egg. We needed two eggs. Aliza thought it would be a good idea to call Aunt Meghan to see if we could borrow an egg. Aliza called. I'm not even sure she said hi before asking if we could borrow an egg. Meghan was able to get the gist enough to confirm that they did have an egg we could use. So we drive to their house and on the way Aliza says, "Mommy you stay in the car with Josiah. I go in and get the egg." I figure this is a perfectly safe place for her to be independent so I let her out of the car. She hesitates a bit and then slowly walked up to the house and rang the door bell. Brian gave her the egg. Brian told her to be careful. She said, "Why?" He said because if you drop the egg, it will break. And she walked back to the car--very proud of herself. (Then Brian invited us in and we played for a bit!) I was really proud of her too!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Secure Driveway

Theoretically it is secure, anyway. The fence is complete and it looks great. Jeremy did a great job! Thanks to Brian, Dad and Jeff for helping!

Digging holes--through tree roots in some places

Aliza cleaned the cement out of the wheelbarrow.

Jeff is really great at giving the children jobs. He keeps them busy and feeling super important. He was the one who delegated the wheelbarrow cleaning to Aliza.

Too much help at times?

And the finished product.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Just Sayin'...

...If a child is "big" enough to dress themselves shouldn't they also be "big" enough to poop in the potty?

Aliza is proudly dressing herself now. This morning she picked out her clothes and put them on while I was in the shower. So very wonderful!

But she also pooped in her underwear this week. I CANNOT believe I am still battling this. I started in January and it is now October. I'm not sure if potty training success or lack of success says more about the parent or the child.

I keep telling her that if she is "big" enough to dress herself then she is "big" enough to poop in the potty. Hopefully that doesn't back fire. Tonight she told Jeremy and I that she would poop in the potty when she got thiiiiiiissss big (picture arms extended above her head). We assured her that she was that big. She ran to the nearest mirror to check.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dad, I think Aliza liked the balloons!!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hike for Hope 2009

I put up a new link on the right for Hike for Hope 2009. A guy I went to high school and church with just finished (as of today) the Pacific Crest Trail. This trail starts at the Mexico-US border and ends at the US-Canada border. It is over 2,600 miles long.

Ryan battled cancer 4 years ago and did this hike to raise funds for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

It's a good cause and a good blog!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Phases of Life

I've been thinking this week that I'm so happy that life is made of different phases and stages. When things are tough, it is a matter of time until they get better. When life is a bit easier it is nice to enjoy the reprieve and be extra thankful before the next bump hits.

I'm in one of those seemingly easier times right now. The times when I need to discipline are spread out enough that I feel like I can think and discipline effectively instead of feeling like I am ineffectively disciplining constantly.

Josiah is finally making his language breakthrough. Of course most of his words are probably only clear to his Mommy and Daddy. But that's how it starts! I heard a clear "juice" at least three times this evening. He has a consistent word for "Aliza" too. I also hear "yes", "that," "Mom," "Dad." Josiah also consistently points to his eyes, nose, mouth, hair and sometimes his ears.

It is starting to get dark earlier and I'm wondering how we are going to fill the long winter evenings when we can't go outside.