Thursday, February 28, 2013

Josiah is 5!

I'm pretty sure I've been more excited about Josiah's birthday--and HE was pretty excited! Josiah has wanted a John Deere Gator battery powered ride on for a looong time. Long as in I tried to get one for his last birthday. Josiah has talked about saving his money for this toy that retails at Wal-Mart for a whopping $350! He has asked how many monies it would take to buy it. He has been convinced that his Grandad would buy it for him. I have told him that it just costs too much money. He has seen said Gator in Wal-Mart and admires it every time. My Mommy heart has wanted to just buy it for him because he has pulled on my heart strings so many times. I gave it another try earlier this month as his 5th birthday approached. I put an "in search of" on a FB page called Second Hand Sweetness. There was no response, but maybe a week later someone commented that they saw a Gator listed on another FB page called Eastern Shore Trash N Treasure. I got so excited I could hardly think straight. It was less than half an hour before the I had the deal secured. $75 for a working Gator that Dad only had to make a few adjustments on. My Dad picked it up for us, stored it at his house, fixed it up and delivered it today.

Here's how it happened! Josiah has had a child's confidence that he would get a Gator. He didn't know when but he was convinced beyond a doubt that he would get it.
When he looked around Dad's truck and saw it, he couldn't tear his eyes away, but he didn't say anything. That was the biggest smile we got.
Then he grabbed my leg and hung on. Really tight.
We walked over together.
It looked like he was going to cry. He wouldn't talk and wouldn't touch it. I thought I was brilliant to make Aliza the videographer. Kept her busy and made her feel important!
Grandad showed him how everything worked.
Finally we asked Josiah if he could move the Gator because it was in the way of Grandad being able to get out of the driveway.
And he was off. Like a pro. No problem steering. Even used reverse perfectly.
And then I started crying. Rivers streaming down my face. I was feeling so thankful that we had this opportunity to make our boy's dream come true.

"Look! I have a big John Deere tractor on my shirt too!" (Yup! Mama made sure of that, my boy.)
We finally were able to coax a few smiles.

And he was off with his sister. They played and played.

Several hours later, Josiah tripped on a step and hurt his lip and gum. There was some blood and he was really crying. I scooped him up in my lap, snuggled him in, and wrapped usup in a blanket (it was a little chilly today!). It was only a few minutes until he fell asleep. In my arms!! He was just tuckered out. Anna was napping and you better believe that I wasn't moving. I held him a good 45 minutes. And I loved every single second of it. =)
When he woke up and had regained his energy he was back out on his Gator until the battery died. 

Josiah saw this fruit pizza on the cover of Life:Beautiful magazine. He thought it looked so yummy! He was right--it was really really decadent. Brownie crust with cream cheese frosting and fruit. 

When I put him to bed tonight I rocked him and listened to him talk. He talked about his Gator--a lot. He told me again that he knew he would get a Gator one day. He said today was a "great day." I asked him how he felt when he saw the Gator. He said happy. He told me that even though he was quiet he was feeling happy. He told me that he knew how to drive it because Grandad told him how. He said even though he was quiet he was listening. Josiah explained to me every detail of driving it and how the bed tips up and how to steer...on and on. He plans to drive his Gator first thing in the morning. I told him that we can recharge the battery at lunch time and during rest time so that he can drive it in the afternoon again. I have a very very happy boy. I am a very very happy Mama with a grateful heart that has been about to burst all day!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Show and Tell

 I've been laying with my girls at night and I've found that that leaves me feeling like I have a lot less time to myself in the evening. That means I blog the "big things" which sort of defeats my purpose of this blog. So here's a conglomeration of some "little things" that are going on around here.

In a recent weather themed phonics unit, Aliza learned to make snowflakes. Her teacher showed them how to fold and cut coffee filters, then for every correct answer they got to make a cut in their snowflake. Mrs. Walker was making fancy snowflakes! She had trees and hats and other fancy shapes cut in them--I never learned to do that! Aliza LOVED cutting out snowflakes. She cut an entire winter wonderland. Every snowflake was named and was lovingly hung in her room. I believe the snowflake on the left is an attempt at cutting trees.
These two may fight at times, but they are the best of friends and play mates.
 Anna cutting her fingernails--just like Daddy.
 Only a short time ago I could not wrap my head around fitting recycling into my life. It was just one more thing and I just couldn't manage it. I started with recycling only the apple juice bottles and now I recycle all of the our plastic, cardboard, tin and glass. I'm quite proud of myself. About once a month we load up the recycling and take it to the transfer station. I have some good helpers.
I'm not sure that ring toss with the plastic is the most efficient help, but it's help nonetheless.

This is birthday week and it happened that I had to take all 3 kiddos grocery shopping with me. I told them they could pick out a toy since it's birthday week. They totally scored. Their Mother was a complete pushover. Yes, I felt guilty afterwards. Josiah picked out a Lego set. (He still needs help to follow the directions.) We got home. I unloaded a large shopping trip. He opened the legos. Janell dropped off her girls for the afternoon. I put Josiah up on the counter to protect his legos from small girls. I made lunch. I helped Josiah with the first part. I served lunch. I helped Josiah with the 2nd part. I told him to eat lunch. He couldn't. Too excited. I put the girls down for naps. I came back and Aliza and I helped Josiah with the 3rd part. Renee came down and I put her back in bed. Soon after Renee and Anna got out of bed. No nap. I turned Dora on. I thought I was Super Mom. Then it was after supper and there was school to get done. I lost my temper. Severely. I realized that I wasn't Super Mom. I gave myself a time out.

Cleaning up today I found this gem. American Girl doll napping in a tool box. Bed complete with blanket and pillow. Best of play mates for sure. It's great how they integrate boy and girl concepts into their play.
Renee brought this toy with her today. Aliza got hold of it and learned that you can write messages to one of the princesses and they "respond". She was "texting" all day. I was about to get annoyed when I realized that she was working on spelling all by herself--something she has not initiated very often. So I let it go. She thought we were horribly unfair when we told her that the thing was staying downstairs tonight.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Project Weekend

 Last summer when we went out to Michigan a couple of my aunts and cousins dreamed up the idea of a Project Weekend. A weekend when the ladies of the family would be invited to get together to work on whatever project they wanted to or to just relax and visit. This was the weekend our dream came true!

The morning I left Aliza made me an emergency kit based on what she had learned the previous day about a hurricane preparedness kit. She gathered up so many things including band aids, cotton balls, cloths pins (in case there was a bad smell!), craft sticks for tongue depressors (in case our throat hurt), candy (nonperishable food), a water bottle, and her Spanish flashcards (the best thing she could think of for entertainment). She also wrote me a card and drew pictures of me doing something with each person in the family--complete with a heart on each paper and XOXO. There were lots and lots of hugs and tears when it was time for me to leave.

There was a lot of scrapbooking, but there were also some sewing projects and other paper projects. Katelyn was the youngest attendee and she was also the photographer. Aliza will love it when she is old enough to come along. The criteria for attendance is that one must be able to entertain themselves with a project for a period of time with minimal supervision.

 It was really fun to spend that much time with some of my aunts and cousins. We drove 6 hours and another aunt and cousin came from Michigan--a 9 hour drive! That's the effort it takes when we live far away. This is only a fraction of my aunts and cousins! My Mom and sisters and I stayed in a (very nice) hunting cabin. It was fun to be with Linda since she lives out of state now.  I enjoyed being away, but I was ready to see my family when I got home!
After running out, barefoot, in the cold to greet me Aliza, Josiah and Anna wanted to see what I had added to their scrapbook. All 3 of them carefully looked at every page. That was the icing on a great weekend.

Monday, February 18, 2013


 I've known for quite a while that when it was time to move Anna out of the crib I wanted a trundle bed for the girls room. About a month ago I inquired about one on craigslist that my sister had shown me in December. It was still available so I got a great deal on the wicker day bed, the trundle bed and 2 mattresses. I wasn't especially looking for even a day bed and wicker isn't exactly my first choice, but the price was right so I just went with it.

Yesterday was the big day. I began prepping Aliza for the change from the moment we bought it. It was stored at my parents so when we picked it up we also dropped off the children for the afternoon. Aliza had planned to come home with us to "help" ,er, "supervise", but she decided to stay with Grandma and that made me practically giddy!

Jeremy and I worked very well together and the whole process of moving dressers and putting together beds went very smoothly. I even thought, "we will be just fine alone when our children grow up." 
Aliza sleeps on the trundle bed since Anna still takes an afternoon nap. But Anna tried out Aliza's bed. She looks awful little on such a big bed!

After we had everything arranged, Jeremy and I took a video to show Aliza. That was a brilliant idea. She watched the video over and over and was excited by the time we got home. There were no tears or drama.

The drama was at bedtime. Oh heavens! It was 10:45 until the girls fell asleep! I had a massive headache by that time. Anna slept late this morning (I woke her up at 9:00) and at nap time she was utterly exhausted. It took a couple re-directions, but she did get to sleep on her own. Now tonight...they are still awake, but it is a lot quieter. Jeremy has himself stationed in their room. Me? I'm hiding. I want no part in it tonight. My patience level is below zero!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Doughnuts and Hearts

 We sure had a fun-filled day of hearts and love and doughnuts. The morning started with a surprise in the mailboxes which they ate for breakfast, to my dismay. Then it was off to Bible study. There was a treat bag for each of the children which they promptly opened and devoured. I had the noble plan of packing sandwiches to eat on our way to my Mom's house, however we were out of bread so I bought McDonalds. I have no idea how we survived yesterday...our diets were terrible!!

The agenda at Mom's included making doughnuts. This was my Mom's first attempt at doughnut making. They turned out well and the children had fun glazing and sprinkling them!
Grandad made valentine hearts for the children. I thought it was cute that Ezra's heart was as big as he is, however Ezra was not the least bit interested in picture taking.

 Josiah approved.

 This was a fast and furious process!
 Josiah took it very seriously.

 Renee enjoyed playing IN the sprinkles. She also deliberately refused to smile.
 Then it was home for our traiditional heart supper. Josiah spent the meal putting his Lego car together.
Anna ate some and then was back to the candy! Tomorrow I'm hiding all the candy!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pretty Near Perfect

 If only every day could be like yesterday. The sun was warm. The breeze was chilly, but there wasn't much breeze at all. Everyone was so excited to be outside and comfortable that we were outside almost all day. Today it was rainy and cold...

The morning started off with Janell and I swapping babysitting. She had a breakfast with her employees and I got a coffee break and a second to sit by Jeremy in Starbucks. (We said, Happy Valentines Day to us.)

 Aliza has a favorite Little Golden Books called Little Mommy. She uses it as a guide on how to care for her dolls and yesterday was a day that she wanted to complete the task on every page. While I was home she got to the washing clothes page and wanted a laundry line. I blew her off. Then it was Aunt Janell's turn for child care...
...and when I came home there was a laundry line on my front porch with dolls clothes hanging out to dry that Aliza had hand washed in a basin of water.
 A picnic lunch had also been set in motion. After lunch we took a walk. I had some caffeine in me and it was just lovely. I think I may need to include caffeine as a regular part of my diet.
 After quiet time my children headed back out. Now it was time for Aliza's "children" to have tea on the front porch. Josiah soon got in on the fun with mud pies for his trucks. I was quite thrilled to have them outside as I could move freely around the house picking up in relative peace and quiet. Granted, they came dashing in every few minutes wanting some other something for their tea parties.
 Josiah's plates kept blowing so he soon moved up on the porch. By this time they needed pink lemonade and Aliza joined Josiah's party. I must say he was an excellent host.
 Anna took care of her doll too. Aliza and Josiah were busy keeping Anna busy so that she didn't infringe on their play.
 Josiah's trucks got cold.
 By now, Aliza and Josiah were ready for raspberry sherbet and Anna got the mud pie. That kept her busy!
 Aliza's tea party was quite proper.
 Josiah and his guests rested.
Then they carried everything in and I washed all the blankets! Aliza had school in the evening and we called it a day.