Thursday, November 29, 2012

West Virginia Fun

 My grandparents were so kind (and brave) to let us use their minivan to travel to WV over Thanksgiving. We fit, sortof, in our Accord, but that would have been a looong trip! We figured out what a cassette tape deck is good for--as long as you have a small iphone case.

Karen worked Thursday night so we spent some time at Joel and Brandi's house on Friday so she could sleep. It was so fun to see their new house. They commented that it was the most their whole house had been used at one time. Haha. There is no containing our family in one room! Brandi got some cuddles from Anna.
 There was a day of warmish weather. Josiah spent some time outside. He drew roads with chalk on the driveway.
 He played hopscotch. He also tried out skateboarding! And he helped Grandma trim some bushes.
 Aliza gave Grandma a narrated tour of the American Girl catalog.

 Anna started calling Joel "man" while we were at their house. She called him all the time. "Man, come." "Man, sit." "Where Man?" And as soon as she woke up she was calling for "Man" and saying "Hi Man."
 Brandi and I had our first ever chance for sister time. It did my heart good to have a hot drink and a long talk. We got to walk around a few stores which was fun too!
 The ipad. I was ready to throw that thing out the window. Anna was constantly asking for the "ah pahd." If Anna didn't have it, Aliza did.
 Aliza was obsessed with a My Little Pony game where you set up a city and then take care of it to earn coins to buy more things to build up the city. The game occurs in real time so it is slooow. She explained that game in detail to Brandi (who patiently listened and even asked intelligent questions). Jeremy finally hacked the game to speed up the process.
Grandpa said our visit was too short. We'll visit again soon!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


 30 things I'm thankful the top of my head:
 1. The view from my seat at the Sheats family Thanksgiving table. I'm thankful for every person around that table and all the little ones who had already run off to play.
2. My 3 children

3. Car insurance. Our minivan is not totaled. The 3 littles ones who are crammed in the back of our Accord can't want for it to be fixed!

4. Jeremy. I can't think of an adequate way to put into words how thankful I am for him so I'll just leave it at that!

5. That moment when I was loading the dishwasher way back in 1999 and I turned around and my eyes met Jeremy's and I knew he wasn't just a "friend." 

6. My Heslop family. I love them and would not be complete without them.
7. Educating at home. It is a privilege and responsibility I do not take lightly.

8. Grocery shopping in the evening--alone.

9. Texting. It was invented for Mom's--I'm convinced.

10. My voice. It was 8 years ago that I did not have a voice and did not know if I would ever have a voice again.

11. In that same vein, I'm so thankful for synthetic thryoid!

12. Scrapbook Saturdays!!!

13. Loyal and long lasting friendships

14. Getting to take my Gramma to do her Christmas shopping

(This is getting hard...and it's getting late!)
15. It's still safe to burn a candle on the stove. That makes me happy.

16. Books. In this phase of my life reading makes me feel intelligent. lol.

17. That I am becoming increasingly confident and secure in who I am

18. I have friends who are completely different than me. That makes my life so much richer.

19. The many ministries and organizations that my helped to shape my faith today.

20. I have 3 living grandparents. What a privilege!

21. I'm thankful that I figured out (quite a while ago) that my Dad and Mom are the smartest people on the planet!

22. My children sleep every night. Thank you God!!!

23. And I smile every morning when I see them--an even bigger miracle!

24.Hugs and kisses and cuddles and reading books

25. AND "patience development" (for me)

26. My little sister is going out with a guy who is a goldsmith. He can expand my wedding set that I have not been able to wear since I was pregnant with Anna!! So excited!

The top of my head has become the bottom of my brain. I can't think of another remotely interesting thing! So we'll leave it at 26. Good night!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Celebrating Anna

Anna's birthday was on Thanksgiving Day this year. I decided not to have a formal party, but just celebrate at our Thanksgiving dinners. It was easy for me and Jeremy's family didn't have to travel. We took the party to them!

Anna got to open her present from Mommy and Daddy in the morning before we left for Grandma and Grandpa's house.

Grandma made a yummy butterfinger ice cream sandwich cake. Uncle Josh was on skype to sing Happy Birthday and Anna was a pro at blowing out candles.

She got books and a dolls. She promptly undressed the doll.

Finally we celebrated Anna with my family on Sunday. Aliza was the designated helper. She brought Anna's gifts to her. I believe Josiah was too busy with Legos to even notice that Anna was opening presents. Anna got her sleeping bag from Grandma and Grandad, but was not at all sure about the puppy face looking at her. She finally petted the face, but she was not laying in the sleeping bag. Aliza laid down saying, "I'll give Anna an example."
It wasn't much of a theme birthday party, but I bought Little Golden Book plates and napkins. The cake was in the shape of a book and I gave each of the children a Little Golden Book as a favor. Anna does love books!

Hugs from Aliza.
A hug and a kiss from Josiah.

Anna is such a happy little girl. She is friendly and charming and independent and curious and can still make the biggest messes I've ever seen! It seemed like her vocabulary doubled this weekend. Tonight while we watched a Christmas parade we heard her saying Merry Christmas. I'm so so so happy that she is still a cuddlebug.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Projects with Grandad

While we stayed with my parents when Jeremy was in Florida, Josiah and Aliza went out to the shop with Grandad. They were out for a very long time. I was starting to wonder what they were up to. When they came in Josiah brought this garage for his equipment that he made. It's big. And the design was all his idea. There are also lots of nails on every edge because Josiah wanted to pound nails. He did!

Aliza wanted to make something too. A dollhouse, of course. Not just any dollhouse. A house for her 18" inch doll. This is something that she has dreamed about. She has talked about her Grandad, Great Grandad and Grandpa all working together to make this dollhouse for her. We have measured the space in her closet and she has drawn plans. I never really encouraged it because I didn't think it was a very realistic dream. Well, on this particular day, her Grandad caught her vision. Out of scrap wood that was in the shop, he built a doll house for her. Aliza stayed out for a while to watch, but eventually she came in. Grandad did not. He worked through supper and all evening. And then he finished it the next day.
The doll house arrived at our house on Tuesday. Aliza is waiting for the unveiling here with her doll, Jenny.
I really thought she was going to cry when she saw it. Josiah exclaimed, "That's a beaut!"
Aliza ran to Grandad and gave him a big hug. Aliza said it was better than she imagined! She had written Grandad a thank you note before the doll house ever arrived at our house and she gave it to him before she saw the finished doll house.
It's taller than Aliza, but the doll fits perfectly!

Dad and I carried it in the house and up the stairs. It fits perfectly in the closet. The exact spot that Aliza planned for it.
We decided to leave it unfinished right now. I imagine that it will go through several redecorations in the next years. For now I told Aliza that she can decorate it with crayons. She is now hoping for some furniture accessories for Christmas.

It's so so fun to watch a kid's dream come true! It's also really fun to watch a Grandad get so excited about a doll house project!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday Anna!

Last night Anna wanted to be held after she was tucked in. I couldn't resist. I picked her up and she snuggled in. She fell asleep after just a couple minutes. I tried to memorize the feeling. It was a moment that I didn't want to end. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

He Golfed In Florida!

 Remember that golf bag that could hold 3 children? Jeremy bought it for his golf trip to Florida. You read that right, my husband played golf for 3 days in Florida in the National Fellowship of Christian Athletes Golf Scramble.

When I found out it was actually going to happen I cried. Not tears of joy. During that evening I had to make a choice if I was going to be resentful and ugly or if I was going to be an awesome wife and a fun Mom. Thankfully I chose the latter and stuck to it. I did remind Jeremy frequently that he has an awesome wife.

He left early last Thursday morning and upon arrival at his hotel I received this picture:
 I had to take a deep breath. It was a little hard to take. My husband was on vacation and I was not.

I only melted down the 2nd morning after Anna drew on my keyboard. The 3rd morning when Anna cracked 5 eggs on the floor while I was in the shower, I just calmly cleaned them up. We spent the night at Mom's on Saturday night and spent the day there on Sunday.

Jeremy had a great time. They played 3 amazing courses. One of them being Sawgrass Stadium Course (it's a course where one of the Major tournaments is held every year). The disappointment was that it was rainy, cold and windy.

There were 90 teams of 4 in the scramble. 30 teams played one of the three courses each day.

The Clubhouse at Sawgrass
 Then on the last hole on the last day the sun made it's grand appearance.
 Jeremy got home just after midnight on Sunday. I tried so hard to stay up for him. Anna got a cold so for 2 nights I felt like I had a newborn. She was up so many times. Aliza got in on the waking up action both nights too. I received Jeremy's text that he was coming into town and less than 20 minutes away, but alas, I didn't hear him drive in or come in the house or even feel him crawl in bed! Apparently I was OUT! Anna continued to wake up that night so it was good I got sleep when I could.

I am so glad he's home! I promptly struck a deer his first evening home. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Deer From Nowhere

 It was just a normal trip to the grocery store at 6:30pm when I heard a thump and saw a deer on my hood and then the thump, thump of driving over a deer. I screamed and gasped--a couple times--and then realized that I was fine and the car was running without any funny noises. A couple dummy lights were on. We needed groceries and I figured if all was well I might as well keep on going. Leave it to me to let the end goal dictate my actions! By the time I got to the parking lot smoke was coming from the hood. The car was over heating. I got out and was more than a little shocked to see the front of my car.

I started making phone calls. Jeremy was reading with Aliza when I left for school so when the phone was "answered" I spent a minute and 21 seconds on the line calmly telling Anna to take the phone to Daddy. She didn't. I kept trying and did finally get him. A kind man stopped and stayed with me until I got hold of Jeremy. He was able to tell me that it was radiator fluid all over the ground so at least I could tell Jeremy something intelligent! Of course Jeremy told me not to drive it home, but he couldn't come get me because I had all the car seats. Brother to the rescue! I'm so thankful to have a sibling live just a couple miles from me!

So I buy groceries, call the insurance company, find someone at the store to let them know my car will be there overnight, take out the car seats and gather up all the shoes and other stuff that was in the car until Brian could come. By this time the parking lot had emptied and there were no other cars around me. I was in and out of the car and whatnot when another car pulled up beside me. The lady rolled down the window and said she didn't have any money for gas could I spare a few dollars. I got my wallet and gave her what I had. I don't know why. Hopefully she really did need it for gas. If not, oh well.

Brian came and I decided that I wanted to see the deer. I knew it had to be right by the road. It was. I was taking a picture for good measure when Brian said I should hold its head up like a good hunting photo. I couldn't touch it. That's as close as I would get.

And tomorrow we will see what will become of our van. I so hope that it won't be totaled. Life will be different as a one car family for a while!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Bad and The Good

 This is the bad:

While I was in the shower this morning someone got hold of my scrapbook pens and drew on the keyboard. The same someone or a different someone ruined the same pen by pressing too hard. Because of my life this week I was reduced to tears over this. It was only 9am and I wanted to just curl back up in bed and call it a day. Actually I just wanted to fast forward to Monday.

This is the good:
My big boy still wants to cuddle. He didn't want his picture taken. These days Josiah doesn't take a nap and he gets so so tired by 4:30. He pushes through and falls into bed at 8:00...or soon thereafter.

All in all the good outweighs the bad even on hard days.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Shoebox Theater

 I've come to the end of today and have no idea how we accomplished everything plus more that we set out to do. It was another beautiful day so we took a walk this morning. Then Aliza pulled out the craft book that I dread seeing. This time, though, it looked doable and I encouraged her to go for it. She did--wholeheartedly.

The project was a shoebox theatre. Aliza's vision was to create a show based on a My Little Pony ipad game she is playing. She drew two backgrounds and drew the Pony characters. They all have names but I can't remember them! She started at 3:00 and by 5:00 I was really feeling the need for her to work on other subjects. I knew she was doing something productive and educational but I didn't want to set the precedent that if she worked on a project she could get out of other work that she doesn't enjoy as much.

Pretty soon I received this note:
The characters are on kabob skewers. There are holes in the side of the shoebox for the sticks to fit through. Aliza stood directly in front of the box to preform the show. =)
 I think she did a great job all by herself. She can tell you all about the picture. It is various shops for the ponies to work in. The other one has houses and trees.
 There are 3 ponies that aren't very distinguishable in the picture.
Now I need to catch my breath, go to sleep and be ready for another day tomorrow!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Warm Sunshine

 It was one of those outrageously gorgeous fall days. One of those days when I was so happy that we go to church on Saturday evening so that we can be outside all morning on a Sunday. Yesterday was very relaxing so I didn't feel guilty about doing some work. Sometimes it feels good to be productive on a sunshiney day.
 We have accumulated a large number of cardboard boxes in our garage. Jeremy and Josiah helped me to break them down to recycle. We took one load today and we have another load ready to recycle tomorrow.

Josiah got a haircut this weekend. He wanted a mohawk just like his cousin's. Jeremy did a very subtle mohawk. Tonight Jeremy put gel in it so the front was spiked. It was cute. He was proud. And people won't notice it just walking by.
 This is a suitcase for golf clubs. It holds 3 children comfortably. It is serving a purpose but that's all I can say about it right now.
Tonight we celebrated my Grandfather's 85th birthday. Brian refereed a serious game of Don't Break the Ice.

Can the weekend continue? It's been a most lovely weekend.