Sunday, September 30, 2012

Gorgeous Days

 I live in this state of denial that it is still summer for as long as I can and then all of a sudden I realize that it really is fall. It is only starting to hit me this year...tomorrow is October and we are still wearing shorts. I haven't changed over the wardrobes yet. Only a week or so and I'll have to, I guess.

These days make it so hard to keep Aliza inside doing school. We complete school every day, but recently there has been some left to do after dark. I'm ok with that. These days make me a little fearful of how I will ever get Josiah to do school work next year when he is in kindergarten.

So in honor of the last day of September...
I babysit my nieces one day a week. Aliza and Josiah convinced Renee to join them on top of the van. She thought she was something!

Anna wanted to be something too! That's as far as she went.

Making bird nests. Anna is busy coloring.

Anna is big enough now to walk on our walks. *sigh*

 The sandbox is getting all kinds of good use recently. After a rain the children realized they could make sandcastles. That was fun--until Anna knocked them over as fast as they filled the bucket. I entertained Anna...

Can you tell that Anna has a big brother who loves tractors? She was driving like a pro!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

This Is My Father's World

Part of Aliza's Bible class is learning to sing a hymn over the course of the unit. For the first unit the song was This Is My Father's World. There are a lot of words in that hymn! Aliza's teacher tells the student to stand up straight and tall...Aliza took this very seriously.

I think singing hymns is almost as good as reciting poetry. I'm very happy that Aliza has the opportunity to learn some of the old songs of the church. I took this video on the last day they practiced this song. As you'll see she doesn't get nearly all the words, but you'll see how much she loves singing too!

Monday, September 24, 2012

All On A Sunday Morning

The children had 3 things that they wanted to do Sunday morning before we left for home--play mini golf, play on the playground and go swimming again. So that's what we did!

We had the mini golf course to ourselves which made the experience that much more fun. The children took off at their own pace and Jeremy and I played. Jeremy and I may have done more laughing than playing. For some reason Jeremy stopped keeping score the last couple holes--I think it was because I was beating him!

 This was the scene for most of the time. Anna would randomly pick up our balls. I always encouraged her to "go put Mommy's ball in the hole." Usually she found Daddy's ball on the way to the hole and dropped my ball to pick up Daddy's ball.
 Aliza played one round and then decided she wanted to keep score. So she played another round and called out her score to Daddy.
 I think Grandpa asked Josiah to pose for this picture. Josiah let out a loud "Oooohhhh yeeeahhh" every time his ball went in the hole. He loved the last hole where the ball went in a hole on top and dropped out the bottom and usually right into the second hole. He'd say he got a hole in one and when that got old he'd announce that he was going to get a hole in 100 or a hole in 400.
 Then it was off to the swimming pool. The outdoor pool was cold. I was a bad sport in the outdoor pool. But inside we had a lot of fun. Aliza did really well on Sunday. Saturday we still had to go through her feeling safe in the water.
 Josiah is quite the little swimmer with his float on.
Anna still loves the water and has little fear. She needs swimming lessons.

We had some tired kiddos on the way home. Everyone slept which made for a much more enjoyable ride home. Aliza accused us of getting lost on the way to Williamsburg because it took so much longer to get there than to get home. We did have a lot of fun and it went by too fast!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Jamestown Settlement

 We spent the weekend in Williamsburg with Grandma and Grandpa. We decided to take advantage of home school days in Williamsburg, and an upcoming history unit, and purchased tickets to Jamestown Settlement.

One thing that Aliza has already this year in history is map directions--north, south, east, west. She enjoys showing off her knowledge--the directions she gives are always like she is looking at a paper. So when she was trying to tell her Daddy which direction he was driving he opened up the compass on his ipad. Aliza LOVED it! She told us every 3.2 seconds which direction we were driving and Josiah took great delight in countering her direction with the exact opposite. I admit it was one of those proud home school parent moments. Jeremy and I were grinning.

And since I can say whatever I want to here... It is our opinion that if Aliza was in traditional school she really wouldn't give a care about a compass and using one, especially on the weekend when we were on "vacation". We also doubted if we would have even known that Aliza learned map directions to encourage her new found knowledge.

 Welcome to Jamestown Settlement! I was learning right along with the rest of family on this trip. There was so much interesting information. We only barely scratched the surface.
 The artillery demonstration was about to start when we arrived so we headed straight to the dock. This was a very interesting presentation. Of course the children were scared to death of the impending BOOM so I ended up taking them a distance away.
 We toured the biggest boat. Aliza and Josiah were both excited to look in every space.
 Because it was home school days, there were a few period games set up for the children to try.
 In the game below, a feather was attached to a corn cob and you try to throw it through the grape vine ring. This would have been an Indian game--for boys as young as 3 to learn aim.
 Here we are in the English fort. The lady in red was so knowledgeable. She did a great job of asking Aliza questions. She is showing us a well that was filled with garbage. They used bad wells for garbage disposals and now we can learn a lot about the settlers from what they threw away. 
 Trying on armor!

 We had to stop for lunch and then visited the Indian village. This lady is a tour guide, but Aliza was thoroughly convinced that she was a princess. Plus Aliza's favorite American girl doll is Kaya, an Indian.
 As soon as Grandma took the picture Aliza jumped up and said, "Ewww. I was sitting on animal skins!" There were more than a few animal skins in every hut. The contrast between the Indian village and English fort was stark and made quite an impression on me.
 Making corn meal.
 We met the "Indian Princess" again. She tried to engage Aliza in helping her carve a fish hook from the bone of a deer toe, but Aliza thought that was too gross to do. So, instead, Aliza and Anna worked on smoothing a stone for an arrowhead on sandstone. Aliza really enjoyed that.

Another "Indian" was melting deer hooves over a hot embers to make glue. Aliza helped fan the embers with a fan made of feathers.
 By then we had three very tired children and 4 pretty tired adults! That was enough for one day. Only the history portion of our day was over...there was plenty more fun to be had!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Morning Surprise

 It was a surprise, but not a happy one! Anna woke up crying. I let her alone for a bit before I went in and when I did she was laying in her crib. I started talking to her and she said "ouch" and pointed to her ear. My baby woke up with an ear infection. It was so sad! I picked her up and she clung to me and said ouch over and over and pointed at the same ear. It was unmistakeable.

I made a call to the doctor and an hour later all of us were at the office.Nothing like a trip to the doctor and pharmacy to change the tone of the day! Anna cried really hard when the doctor looked in her ears. That was so sad because at her well check she was Miss Social and didn't even sit on my lap or flinch when the Dr. listened to her heart and looked in her ears.

I thought I would be a supportive businessman's wife and had the prescription called in to a pharmacy that is one of Jeremy's clients. There was no drive through so me and ALL the children went inside and waited at least 15 minutes. There were all kinds of candy and gift displays. As I was rounding up the crew to leave the store I heard a drop and a crash. It was Anna. She had dropped a Pilgrim man figurine and the hat broke. We were on our way OUT of the store! I picked it up and looked at the price tag--set of 2--$42.99. I felt horrible. They didn't make me pay which was very nice, but I still felt horrible. All I could think was that I cost Jeremy a client. I called him right away and he said he would apply a "Pilgrim Discount" on their next bill. From now on I think I'll be a supportive wife by staying far away from clients!!
We came home and Anna laid pretty low for a little while. She did play and complained about her ear on and off. Overall, it could have been far worse for her.

My Mom saved my day. She came up and stayed with me. I could give Aliza extra attention for school and Anna could be held whenever she wanted to be. It was a day that I would have just survived and Mom allowed me to survive with sanity left at the end of the day. Jeremy was very happy that Mom could come since he was gone overnight.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

It's a Good Thing...

 It's a good thing God is sovereign.

It's a good thing I had that figured out before I left the house for our first Community Bible Study this morning. Otherwise I would have turned around and come home OR I may not have even made it out of the driveway at all.

It's a good thing we were leaving the house before Jeremy this morning because the battery in my car was dead. I had planned plenty of time for us to arrive at the church early so I could get the children settled in their classes before going to mine. Jeremy jumped us and we arrived only a few minutes late. I don't like being late in new situations!

It's a good thing that we were turning into the church parking lot when I realized that Aliza was in the car WITHOUT her shoes! I only hoped that there was not a rule about bare feet because I did not want to be sent home. Yes, I did feel the need to tell her teachers, who I had never met before, that, indeed, the child DOES have shoes she just neglected to put them on her feet when her Mother (that would be me!) told her to.

And it sure was a good thing that I was already parked in the church parking lot when I opened the car door and a glass bowl fell out at shattered. At that point the only thing to do was just get inside the building...that is...after I informed Aliza that she must get out HER door, instead of Anna's, to avoid stepping on the glass with the aforementioned bare feet.
It was a good thing that Josiah waited until the moment that we walked inside the door and the first person greeted us, to break down into a frantic "oh no Mommy is going to leave me" screaming fit. That continued through Anna's drop off. Anna didn't cry and so got a quick drop off and barely a kiss. Josiah felt a little better when he saw Caleb in his class and in the end he did have a good time.
It's a good thing Anna had a nap this afternoon. This is how she looked after she woke up from her nap. She was worn out. While I was making lunch she laid down on the kitchen floor and then she let me cradle her in my arms before I laid her down for a nap. I should have held her all afternoon...she never lets me hold her like that!

It's a good thing that everyone had a good time this morning because we will be doing it again on a regular basis.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sneaky Cauliflower and Zucchini

This is another really easy sneaky tactic from The Sneaky Chef. So far I have used fresh cauliflower because there was no frozen cauliflower at the store, but I intend to use frozen when I can to save on cost. I cook the cauliflower and peel the uncooked zucchini and toss it into the food processor.

So far I have used this is mashed potatoes and box macaroni and cheese. In the macaroni it makes the consistency a little creamier. I really thought Josiah and Anna would figure this one out, but it didn't slow their consumption of macaroni in the least.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Grandma and Grandpa Weekend!

 We had a fun weekend with Grandma and Grandpa. Late nights, lots of hugs and kisses and a trip to the beach on a very windy day.

Anna and Grandpa doing whatever they do on iphones. Anna has just learned how to swipe.

"Grandma, take a picture of me running!"

I have never seen waves, much less whitecaps, at the Cove.

Everybody got in on the sand castle building. Everything was made by hand--we did not bring any beach toys this time. Except for the one loader that Josiah brought.

My Aliza girl. She's growing up so much.

Grandma got Anna to pose for a few minutes, er, seconds!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


I think it was last year that I read a book by Corrie ten Boom titled The Silent Years. She wrote it later in life and what I still remember from that book was how Corrie ten Boom was convinced beyond a doubt that God is sovereign. If Corrie ten Boom, who was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp, can be convinced that God is sovereign I think I better listen up!

If I believe that God is sovereign, I believe that He has absolute authority and is the supreme ruler.

This is my story.

Earlier this spring I decided that Aliza needed an out-of-home activity this fall. I considered several options--home school PE at our local university and dance classes. Both of those options left me with 2 younger children to figure out how to entertain and Aliza was not at all interested in a dance recital. Then I heard about Community Bible Study (CBS). They were offering nursery, preschool, and primary grade classes along with the women's Bible study. It was perfect! Something for all of us and the a structured, more classroom like setting, for Aliza. I figured she would meet some other children (hopefully girls) her age who would also have to be homeschooled if they were coming to a Bible study during the day. I registered us.

Last week I got a phone call from the Children's Director for CBS. She told me that no one volunteered to teach the primary grade class so Aliza would be welcome to participate in the preschool class. I was super disappointed. I didn't want her to be in a class with 3 and 4 year olds who are learning their alphabet while she can read and write. It seemed like it completely defeated my purpose in attending the Bible study. But I had gone through a decision making process and this is what fit our family...

I called the person who contacted me because I was assigned to her Core Group. It turns out that Nancy had met me at a home school encouragement night last year and some how remembered me. She is a more experienced home school Mom than I am so I thought she may have some wisdom for me. We talked and in our conversation she mentioned several times that God is sovereign.

My mind was busy the rest of the day. My grand plan for Aliza had crumbled. I wasn't sure how to change my course or how to put the pieces back together. Sometimes it helps to just cry because you are disappointed and I did. I started praying that night and the word that sat in my mind and heart was "sovereign."

Sovereign. In his sovereignty God led me to register for CBS. In his sovereignty He knew there wasn't going to be a primary grade class. In his sovereignty He picked out the teachers for the preschool class. And because He is sovereign we are going to participate in CBS.

I'm looking forward to what we will learn--all 4 of us!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Anna has learned to color! She loves to color while Aliza is doing school work.

I love watching Josiah play. Here has a road and is clearing moss from the work site. He has a load and is driving it down the road... the dump site. He has a decent pile of moss there!

"Look, Mom! This loader has a huge load!"

Anna could hardly stand it that I wasn't taking a picture of her. This is her Cheeeeese! smile.

This was a moment I just wanted to remember. Anna was pushing the tractor, running all over the place. Her blonde curls were bouncing. So carefree and happy. Then she ran over to her Great Grandad to say HI and be picked up. Anna says HI to everyone--multiple times!

This week I finished reading Mary Beth Chapman's (singer Steven Curtis Chapman's wife) book about losing their 5 year old daughter in an accident. I have hung on to a lot more little moments with my kiddos. Books like that can mess with your brain!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Sneaky Blueberries and Spinach

Brownies laced with blueberries and spinach--who would have thought?!

The first experiment was a from scratch recipe from The Sneaky Chef. It was good. The recipe called for ground quick oats which added a bit of a crunchy texture to the brownie. Jeremy didn't think they were fudgey enough so tonight I tried the Quick Fix for Brownie Mix recipe. I added the blueberry and spinach puree to a Triple Chocolate Chunk Brownie Mix. The additions were completely undetectable in the brownie mix.

I'm going to try the from scratch recipe again. I think I should be able to make it work with a smaller pan so they are thicker and maybe a few more chocolate chips.