Tuesday, October 30, 2012

From My Window

On the day that Jeremy left for New Mexico last week I learned that Hurricane Sandy was heading our way. I quickly realized that I needed to prepare for said storm before he got home. 

There is a seasonal migration of boy toys at our house. They head outside in the spring and then need to be retrieved, cleaned and assimilated with the house toys in the winter. I knew this storm was my perfect excuse to get this done. You would not believe how many trucks, tractors and other junk we lined up on the deck. Thankfully, 1) Grandma and Grandpa were here to help and 2) Josiah was very reasonable in what he chose for the house and what he chose to leave in the shed.

We picked Jeremy up at the airport Saturday night and it was raining by the time we woke up Sunday morning. It did not stop raining until this afternoon (Tuesday). It got lighter for sure, but it was still raining. I'm a sunshine girl and I'll be happy to see it streaming through the windows one of these mornings.

This storm was long. With so much rain ahead of the actual storm it seemed like it went on and on and on. For all the wind and rain we did not have any damage to speak of.

A large branch is down in the back.
This afternoon I sent Aliza and Josiah out for some fresh air. Today is our 3rd full day in the house and we are starting to feel it. Yes, it was still raining, but I sent them out anyway. Josiah's pit was full of water.
Then they headed over to the main attraction. They stopped and thought about it.
Then they went in.
Josiah come in for hot chocolate, changed into shorts and headed back out barefoot. This was a cold hurricane! That water and the air is cold! He kept his coat on.
When they came in they headed up for a warm bath and are no worse for wear. I'm pretty sure fresh, chilly air and splashing in huge puddles is good for the soul.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

More Fun

 We sure made the most of those last few nice days last week. How quickly weather can change! It's rainy and blustery now from Hurricane Sandy. We are supposed to get the worst tomorrow afternoon into the night, from what I understand.

Painting on the picnic table. Anna got hold of Aliza's paper. She was quite the work of art when she was done. You should have seen her shirt before it came off! The table was well painted too. It's washable...no harm done.

 Aliza and Josiah decided to play a prank on me. They talked in whispers and were sneaking around the house. What they wanted to do was call me on my cell phone from the house phone. What happened is that they got on the house phone while I was talking to Meghan and hijacked the conversation. They thought it was so so so funny.

After that Josiah discovered that he really liked talking on the phone. He called his Grandma, then Grandma and Grandpa and then Grandad. The next day he called Great Gramma. From the reports, he is quite a well mannered, good conversationalist.
 It is fun to see Aliza want to read more and more. She is reading her to cousin, Lydia, here.
 Anna turns 2 in November. I can't believe it. Most days she does something new to remind me that she isn't a baby anymore. But once in a while I can walk in during her nap and she is sleeping so peacefully that I can think she is still a baby for just a moment.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Heaps of Fun

 The other day Josiah, Aliza and I worked together to rake a pile of leaves. They had fun for a little while, but I remember there being more whining and bickering than fun.


 This is what started the war. It was an all out leaf fight and no one was happy!
 Today was another super gorgeous day and I started raking leaves. We have so many leaves on the ground it take no time at all to make a huge pile. Today I made 2 piles and they were divided as the "boy" pile and the "girls" pile.

 Anna got in to the jumping too!
 It was pretty cute that Anna got very concerned every time Josiah put his head down in the leaves.

I ended up making 2 more piles elsewhere in the yard. One being at the bottom of the slide...that's been a favorite for a couple years now. My reward for all this raking? I already feel my shoulders this evening.

As for this weather? I'd have no problem if it stayed all year. But there is some weather craziness making its way up the East Coast so I'm sure this is short lived. We'll make the most of it for as long as we can!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fall Colors

 We took a trip into the hills of Pennsylvania to visit some good friends this weekend.

On the way we were able to meet my aunt and uncle at an *awesome* church coffee house. It was huge! It seated 100 people and had a separate, but equally furnished, eating area for parents and glassed in play *awesome* play area for children. We stayed for over 2 hours and no one was bored. Dan and Laurie had a very animated conversation with Aliza about school and I got to visit with my aunt which I thoroughly enjoyed. I also drank a caffeinated beverage which left me quite wound up until late that night!

I'm not sure that Billy, Diana and Braydon were quite ready for the energy that is the Heslop's to hit their house! We had a great time though. Braydon enjoyed being the oldest and he, Aliza and Josiah played really well together. Diana and I took the children to a Farm Market while the men finished a round a golf and met us for lunch. Of course, Josiah could hardly contain himself until we went on the hayride.
 In a moment of complete creepiness, I played the Mennonite game...and won! I was pretty sure I recognized this sweet lady. It is a connection that dates back to Oregon. She is a Neuschwander and Jeremy was second photographer at both of her girls' weddings in PA with the photographer (from Oregon) who shot our wedding.
 In the afternoon we went up a "mountain" to a place where the church has placed a cross that can be seen from the highway. It was a neat drive and the view was lovely.

Billy, Diana and Braydon

 We also went to Sunday School and church in a traditional Methodist Church where Billy is the pastor. I was very pleased with their behavior. You know, one of those moments when you can see some growth in your children. It was most lovely! Now that doesn't mean that I heard much of the sermon... =)

The children were super travelers this weekend!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Chalkboard Pumpkins

 I thought this project was a great idea, but I was nervous enough about pulling it off that I had Jeremy supervise. See, chalkboard paint is real paint. Not kid paint that is washable and non-toxic and stuff.

First order of business was to rid the oldest children of clothing except for art aprons and contain Anna. Next was for me to go wash dishes and fold laundry. The painting went smoothly.

 And after the painting was done everyone went straight upstairs to the bathtub and could not return downstairs until morning when the pumpkins were, for the most part, dry. It worked out great and I think the pumpkins look pretty neat too.
 This one is Josiah's. The paint chipped in some places with hard pressure. A second coat would have helped that, I'm sure.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

More Cousin Love

 Aliza held Ezra again and this time Anna wanted to hold him too. It makes her look so BIG!

I did get to take my time out to go hold Ezra. It's so much fun to be an aunt! I think I'll go over again before he grows up and has to have a bedtime. =)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Family Fun at the Market

 Today was our annual outing to a local market for pumpkins and fun. We went to Adkins Market this time and we did have fun! There was lots of space and lots to do. We started with a hay ride.

While we waited in line an older couple stepped aside because there were obviously more people than space on the wagon. Anna took one look at the lady and took her hand. Anna didn't let go and pretty soon she wanted the lady to pick her up. After the hayride Anna got off the wagon and turned around and waited for her new friend who's hand she promptly took. In fact Anna led her to the giant slide and insisted that she go down with her. I was more than happy to take my own daughter down the slide, but Anna wanted nothing to do with that little plan. I can only figure that her new friend reminded Anna of my Mom. I can think of no other explanation!!
 The slide really was a lot of fun. All three of the children went down multiple times.
 The corn maze was long! We had our fearless leaders who checked out every dead end for us! This was a 10 acre corn maze. I'm glad there was a short cut because Josiah got bored and was ready to be done.

 Aliza and Josiah figured out the hay maze together.

They had already picked pumpkins spread out in a "field." Josiah was so happy to pull the wagon around to pick his pumpkins.

As we were driving to the market I told Jeremy that I hoped that everyone could cooperate and be happy so that we could just have a good family time. They did and it was fun to be with them!

Later in the afternoon we needed to go to my parents house. Josiah and Aliza both fell asleep on the way and they continued to sleep for almost half an hour. I'd say they had a good day.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cousins Meet

 My newest nephew, Ezra, is 2 weeks old today! He is so sweet and tiny. I hadn't held him since the hospital and I could hardly wait to hold him again. He is so so so sweet! =) I have no idea what I would do with such a tiny baby. He weighed 5lbs 13oz at birth and he is over 6 pounds now.

I would like to know how in the world I have such ginormous babies!? I hold the record by almost a pound for the 3 biggest babies of the 8 grandchildren. But that is off the subject...

Aliza couldn't wait to hold Ezra. She's a pro at holding babies. Didn't even need a pillow to rest her arm on. And she gently handed him back to me when she was done.

Josiah, on the other hand, walked through the living room, pointed at Ezra as he continued to walk and said, "She's really cute."

Anna wanted to look and touch repeatedly through the evening. We were doing pretty good keeping her to touching his hair and toes until the very end...she went straight for a kiss on the lips.

One of these evenings I'm going to sneak over to Ezra's house and hold him--not for too long!--if his Mommy lets me!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Around Here

 Around here we are cruising right along in first grade. Recently there has been as much drawing being done as listening. Or maybe she is just a really good multi-tasker because she can still do her worktexts with no problem.
 Around here we frequently have a princess in our midst. This newly acquired outfit is a prized possession right now.
 Around here it is much cooler and rainy. That doesn't keep these children indoors and it doesn't keep shoes on their feet!

 Around here we also have a policeman in our midst. Josiah communicated to us in a very mature way that he really, really wanted a costume to play with because he didn't have one. His wish was granted.

Around here I frequently hear "Papa Koalas!" used as an exclamation of surprise or delight.

Around here "poopy" is a commonly--over used-- adjective.

Around here the word "hate" is not tolerated. Josiah has a particular affinity for the word and as soon as he says it, I hear, "Sorry Mom. I said hate."
Around here we have a batch of sneaky chocolate chip cookies. They have white bean puree in them. They also have the combination of white flour, wheat flour, wheat germ and rolled oats. I'm having the most trouble adjusting to the wheat germ and rolled oats texture. You'd never know there are beans in them.

I'd say we are all doing pretty good around here!