Thursday, May 31, 2012

Spring Review

I had our spring review with the Board of Education this week. I took Aliza with me and she was awesome--with a capital A!! All positive comments with exclamation points and comments like "I enjoyed talking with Aliza." And "I look forward to seeing you next time." I left with a completely different feeling than the first time.

Aliza was proud to show the reviewer all of her work. She answered all of her questions...counted by 5's, read a page of one of her books, and counted to 10 in Spanish. The reviewer told Aliza that she has done a lot of work and should be proud of herself. She told me that it is clear that Aliza is at or above grade level.

It was nice to hear. (Not that she could really evaluate that in the brief time she was with us, but it was nice to hear just the same!)

Aliza made me laugh today. Someone asked her how old she was. She said I'm 6 and I'm in vacation grade. Now it's time to pack away kindergarten and enjoy summer!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


 Aliza took care of all the treasures she picked out at the yard sale. There are so many. In the end I'm glad I let her pick out a bunch. Several have broken in the process...not from transportation, but from children being children.

First, Aliza washed each one.
Then they dried on the counter.
 Finally, she told me where to place each one on the shelf--that I also picked up at the yard sale especially for her treasures.
 And a few more on another shelf!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Sale

 It was another weekend full of traveling, memories and family time. This trip was a little bittersweet. The time had come for a yard sale of Jeremy's grandfather's earthly possessions in preparation for selling the family home. All 5 of the children grew up in this home and now that Pop lives in an assisted living facility it was time to say good bye.



 The yard sale was a success. Pop was there for several hours. I find it easy to "put myself in someone else's shoes." I can imagine how they are feeling and frequently my imaginings are accurate. I was thinking about how Pop must feel watching all of his things be sold and his house empty. This time I could only imagine from a 32 year old perspective and what I felt caused me to choke up and beg time to stop. That was the bitter part. I won't expound of my feelings about aging right now!

I had explained Aliza what was happening and at breakfast that morning she said, "Daddy I need to ask you a question. How do you feel about this being probably the last time you see your Grandpa's house?" Jeremy answered that he was feeling a little bit sad, but it was ok.

Aliza had a ball finding treasures at the sale. I let her take what she wanted. I'm regretting it at the moment, but she was occupied and having fun and the family was glad to see things taken..enthusiastically.

There were lots of tools and things for Josiah to look at.

 Aliza picked up every porcelain figurine she found. More on that at a later date...
 Anna wondered around.

Just look at this picture!! Josiah and his Great Uncle Darryl. Josiah followes him around everywhere. The picture was not posed. This morning when Josiah heard Darryl tell Patti that she was staying home from church with us, Josiah let out a big, "Yesss!"
 Darryl, Phil, Donna, Pop, Karen and Bob.
 Aliza showing (some) of her treasures to Betsy.
As we were leaving we picked up this hand drill and bit set for Josiah. He had looked at it off and on all day. I was surprised it hadn't been bought. On a complete emotional decision I wanted this for Josiah. He is very proud of this set. He doesn't use it properly by any stretch of the imagination, but some day we will be able to tell him whose it was and, I suspect, when Darryl's name is attached to it he will treasure it. teach him that it is sharp....and that it stays outside....etc. etc.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Today In Our House

 Aliza wanted to make rainbow salad. She saw the idea on a PBS show, but it was a rainbow lettuce salad. I knew there was no way these children were going to eat salad so we compromised on a rainbow fruit salad. I went grocery shopping last night and first thing this morning we were making rainbow salad. Josiah made his in a bowl and Aliza made her in a rainbow.
 Anna is 18 months old today. She is so big and so little all at the same time. I'm glad she still has those wonderfully kissable baby cheeks. It is fun that she has learned to nod her head "yes"--that really increases the level of communication. Aliza and Josiah taught her to say (very loudly) HEY, YOU GUYS! In a very drawn our manner. From the Electric Company show on PBS. In Anna talk it sounds like, "A, OO, EYES"
 And tonight, for the first time, Aliza initiated reading a book outside of her school readers. It was the three books in the picture. I was ready for her to go to bed, but I hated to stop the reading when she wanted so badly to continue. I let her and she was yawning and exhausted when I tucked her in. I have to say that I was very proud of her. My Mommy teacher heart was skipping a beat. I did it! I taught my daughter to read (with the help of her distance learning teachers, of course)!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Circle Skirts

 I did it! I made circle skirts for me and my girls. I followed a tutorial and they were super easy to make. Thankfully the hem is a mile long so it hides an awful lot of imperfections!

Aliza wanted her picture taken with the cows. That's what she got! And since she wasn't cooperating I told her to twirl! Aliza refuses to allow any skirt or pants to touch her belly button. So this skirt that is intended to be worn at the waist, is just on the top of her hip.
 Anna was not at all impressed about taking pictures either.

You get the idea! My sisters are making skirts there is a good chance that all my sisters and nieces will show up at an event wearing our skirts. Fun stuff!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Garden Tour

My mother-in-law, sister-in-law and I did the Back Alley Garden Tour and Tea in Shephardstown, WV this weekend. Every year the gardens are amazing. My favorite gardens are ones that are hidden until you walk through the gate. Then you walk through the gate to a hidden little world that takes your breath away for a moment. Karen is good at remembering the gardens from year to year. I lose track of them and they are all brand new to me!

I knew you could plant the tops of pineapples. This one is reproducing!

 Oregon Grape Holly. We saw this plant several times during the tour. We wondered if the grapes are edible.
 A mirror in the garden. This particular garden had mirrors hidden throughout. The owner feels that mirrors add an additional dimension to the garden because when you look in the mirror you see different things. I had Jeremy's camera today. No blurry pictures!
 I should make this.
It was a most perfect day for a walk. Once again I very much enjoyed the tour...and the lovely ladies I was with!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The "Great" Visit

 For many years I lived many states away from my Grandparents and cousins. I still live many states away from cousins, but now I have the privilege of being able to visit my grandparents. This was one of those days. A picnic was planned. A Gramma picnic! We moved the table into the shop because it was pretty windy, but it was sunny and warm.

Gramma's idea of "roughing it" is using towels for tableclothes and folding chairs! As you can see there was no lack of food...there was even jello in individual glass dishes. Anna carried one of those around the yard and it didn't break. (That was lucky!)
The boys ate in the wagon.
 The girls ate under the princess umbrella.
 A big attraction that day was the equipment working on the road in front of the house. My Dad walked out to the road with the boys so they could watch the steam roller work. Renee and Anna took off after them. Aliza caught up with Renee and took her hand.
Four generations living in such close proximity is such an amazing gift. Family is so very important.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Fabric Dolls

 This is how the day started! Clearly, I forgot to put away the Cheerios before going upstairs. Yes, I picked up each one...and put them back in the box.

Bedtime was early tonight and even though I wanted to just lay down I also really wanted to make something. I bought this fabric in a kit from a long time ago. Aliza has been after me to finish the project so tonight was the night.

First I adhered iron on backing to the fabric and then cut each piece out. I put velcro on the girl pieces, but need to buy some more before I can add it to the boys.

They are cute and I'll have one excited little girl tomorrow. I did a quick search on pinterest for more fabric, but came up empty. If anyone comes across fabric, let me know!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Daytime Camping

 Mother's Day=Family Time. I had the realization this week that if I could choose anything to do on Mother's Day I would want to be with my children. Of course, that makes logical sense, but for a Mom who is always with her children, it was a little surprising for me. I did have a bit of time alone this morning--enough to do a scrapbook page--while Jeremy took the children shopping. They came home to proudly present me with Littlest Pet Shop toys that, ahem, they were very excited to open!!! Before that my day started with breakfast in bed. Aliza and Josiah snuggled right in with me. Aliza wanted the bacon. Josiah wanted the eggs and some milk to drink. =)

Camping has been a frequent topic of conversation. Aliza has made lists of supplies needed for a camping trip. We do not have camping equipment. Anna is not at an age where she is going to sleep well in a tent. And I'm pretty sure that as soon as night hits the older ones aren't going to be very excited about camping. So I had the bright idea to have a day time camping trip in our backyard. We set up the small tent we have. We would have had a camp fire if it wasn't so breezy. We had a picnic lunch and took naps in the tent.

I should say Josiah took a nap in the tent. We put 4 people in a 2 person tent. It was hot. Aliza was wiggly. When she started complaining I excitedly told her we were camping! It was a lovely day and we had fun, however; I'm not ready to take this family camping!
We ate supper at Friendly's. The biggest mistake we've made recently. I thought ice cream would be good for a camping day. Let's just say that an hour and a half to get food and ice cream is just too long. And after telling Josiah way too many times to sit down, I was losing my cool. I couldn't keep a straight face, though, when, during one of those many reminders to sit down, Josiah told his Dad that "my sitter is broken."

Then I got to go see my Mom. That always makes me happy. Aliza was offended that I was the one driving home because Mommy was not supposed to do any work. Josiah declared he loves Mother's Day and he's ready for Kid's Day now. It's all about the presents!

I'm a very blessed Mama.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Big Messes

Some moments in time just beg to be recorded for posterity. All of the following escapades happened within less than 20 minutes.

I've had a really good week. I have kept up with housework, done some extra house work, finished school and cared for a baby in addition to my children a couple afternoons. I just felt good about what I accomplished. Then this evening happened...

Jeremy played in a golf tournament this afternoon. It started a 2pm. He didn't get home until 9:30pm. I was making supper. Anna was throwing a temper tantrum. Over what I have no idea she seemed to have trouble keeping her temper in check this afternoon. Josiah was coughing incessantly. He needed allergy medicine. I turn to the kitchen sink and there is water leaking from the ceiling.

I run upstairs, calling to Aliza to turn off the water. She was washing the frosting off the toys she put on her cake yesterday. In the excitement of whatever story she was imagining she forgot to turn off the water. The sink was overflowing. There was water everywhere. Truly, she was utterly clueless as to what was happening.

Our sink vanity has a drawer in the bottom. When I pulled it out to realize it was filled with water I called Jeremy. What I wanted him to say was, "It's ok, Babe, I'll throw my golf clubs in the car, let my team down and come rescue you!" That doesn't happen in real life... He says, "Use as many towels as you need to mop of the water. " No rescue happening. He was an hour away anyway. I got the bathroom dried up.

Aliza told me well, Mom, the good news is that the kitchen is only dripping in one place now. That statement didn't sink in until I looked at the sink trying to figure out what all the containers were for. Aliza had done her best to catch the drips. Bless her heart.

I started looking a little closer and realized that my phone was sitting in a puddle on water in the cabinet. I had cabinets to dry out also. I told Aliza and Josiah to play Mario Kart. They agreed with out question. Hmmm.  I made the pizza and got it in the over. Gave Anna a snack. Josiah had to poop. Wiped him and mopped the floor (bad aim). It was then I decided that I needed to just go upstairs and look at facebook. Just a quick moment of silence and a breather.

All seemed well until I went downstairs to find Anna playing in the dish that I drain meat grease into. What a stinky, messy mess. I couldn't believe it. I was ready to curl up in a ball.

Of course, I didn't. I cleaned Anna up. Got supper on the table. Ate supper. Cleaned up the kitchen. Took a walk with the children. Called my Mom. Gave the children baths and tucked them in.

All those good feelings about being on top of home and housework? Out the window.

Good night.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Kindergarten Graduation

 Aliza and I have been counting down to the last day of school for a couple weeks now. Today was the day! Aliza woke up ready to start school. I held her off until 7:50am and we were finished at 9:20am. By far, our earliest and most efficient day of school! The last lesson was meant to be special. The teachers had a poem party and a "graduation" for the kindergarten mascot, Hopscotch. There were two segment of clips of activities from the year that brought back a lot of memories for Aliza. At the end of the lesson she cried...they were happy and sad tears. She will miss her teachers and her kindergarten character friends. Feelings very normal for a kindergartener.

My parents came over for a celebration supper and we decided to show 2 parts of the DVD lesson tonight. Aliza was very proud of her herself tonight.

Aliza was excited to read her chapter book to Grandad. It was called "The Fishing Trip." Her Grandad loves to fish. Aliza thought the book was pretty funny because no one caught a fish!
We had tacos for supper and cake for dessert. I had the cake decorated and then Aliza added her touch... I can't really explain this. It was a bunch of Lalaloopsy dolls, pets and accessories. Each person was supposed to pick what doll they wanted and they received the piece of cake under that doll. Some had very small pieces of cake! The whole thing just made me laugh.
 I laid out all of Aliza's work for the year. It was really fun to see how proud she was to read and show Grandma and Grandad her work.
 Aliza learned 35 service/sight words. She knows them very well. Her pattern is to say the word and use the word in a sentence.
 My Kindergarten Graduate with her diploma.

 Finally, Aliza wanted to graduation picture of her holding her littlest pet shop bunnies.
When we showed the DVD this evening and gave Aliza her diploma we were able to use Face Time so that Grandma and Grandpa could be with us. That was a special bonus memory to add to our evening.

I'm super proud of Aliza. She is prepared for first grade. I shed some tears today, but we'll save my reflections on the school year for another post!