Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Joy Dare::April

 247. Admonishment from the pediatrician to change eating habits
248. Forward progress in composition.
249. Jeremy won a giveaway at the golf tournament--one that I will enjoy too
250. Boz DVDs
251. Flowers from my boy

 252. A sick child slows life down
253. A better afternoon than morning
254. Heard: You're the best Mom. I'm always going to look up to you.
255. Hearing rain on the roof
256. 11am Everyone is happy!
257. Watercolor painters
 258. Friday night pizza
259. Jeremy found a way to get Anna to take her medicine without a fight
260. Children sick over the weekend when Jeremy can be home
261. Lots of hugs and snuggles
262. Encouragement from Moms and sisters
263. Feeling good enough to play Legos
 264. I have sick children, but I also have clean floors.
265. Our sick week did not include bodily excretions.
266. All of us healthy and around the table for supper
267. Weather made for being outside as much as possible.
268. Dad's surgery was smooth and he's home
269. Hot sun and a cooling breeze
 270. Character training (of my children)
271. Hand massages (for Aliza with aquaphor)
272. Visiting with my cousin and her family who live far away
273. This was the only big mess of the day.
 274. My Mama texted me from work to ask how my day was going.
275. Teeny tiny leaves
276. Yellow!
 277. Content--right where I am right now
278. Enough food for spontaneous supper guests
279. Warm spring rain
280. Playing outside until well after dark
281. Bright sun
282. A generous husband
283. A day to scrapbook with a friend
284. Beautiful flowers
285. Sunday dinner--Mennonite style
286. Finding my sister-in-law at the grocery store
287. Picking up sticks
 288. Remaining consistent through temper tantrums
289. The hammering of a woodpecker
290. Pigtails and flip flops
291. Baseball in the backyard
292. Scheming and dreaming
293. Helping and learning
294. Planting
295. Talking to Mom and watching cousins play and interact
296. Smell of honeysuckle while we walked
297. A break from school
298. Watching Josiah be the first to welcome Jan with a hug
299. God has the whole world in His hands.
300. Josiah took me outside to show me the blossoms, little leaves and dead tree he discovered while driving his gator around the yard
301. Making time to go to the park and still finishing the work I needed to get done
302. Blowing dandelions
 303. The girls woke up at 6:30 but fell back to sleep until 8:30!
304. Aliza sat on my lap during the Alice in Wonderland ballet
305. The grass is mowed and trimmed
306. My father-in-law working on containing our brush pile
307. Josiah fell asleep at 5pm which rebooted his attitude
308. A friend offered to give us bedroom linens. Much needed.
309. Took time to sit and talk with Gramma
310. A logical idea and I'm no longer borrowing worry from tomorrow
311. A stuffy nose means Josiah falls asleep in my lap
312. Gave communicating a second chance
313. Hearing my littlest niece call me Mama Carla
314. Visiting with my friend's young daughters
315. Saying yes to a request for help after a day of babysitting and being ok
316. Helping in Josiah's class
317. A carb-laden treat
318. Chai this morning
319. A few extra minutes at Mom's house
320. Divine appointment
321. Sermon illustration from Genesis. Olive branch represents hope. Share hope from our own experiences
322. A heart at peace
323. A husband who is dependable and trustworthy and a teammate
324. A quick trip to Target with Mom and Linda and Phil
325. Bright pink azaleas
326. Words
327. Heard: Mom, it's a good things it's raining today to help the leaves grow.
328. Found: a note-- I love you Mommy. I love your cooking.
329. After a hard evening of school work Aliza still offered me our traditional high five
330. Babysat my friend's sweet little girl
331. Listening between the words

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Some Happy Things

I wanted to support a couple doing an adoption fundraiser. I picked out this expression from Uppercase Living. There are few things that I think I just have to have, but this one called my name. It's in the living room and I love it.

Great Grandad's peas are growing!

I think Renee loved her birthday party today. She said, "Anna! I want my shoe off!" And Anna says "Otay" and walks over and removes Renee's shoe for her. My Mom watched the exchange with me and said, "I think Anna will be a nurse some day."

Anna pushed and pushed Lydia on the swing. She was so serious! Anna said she pushed Lydia "all the way to the sky."

These two. You never know what will happen out by the swings. We've had some memorable discussions out there.
Pink azaleas. The bushes around our house are covered in pink, white and red flowers.
There is so much to enjoy and be thankful for. I'm looking forward to a happy week!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

2 Things I Know for Sure

 1) There are 19 days of school left

2) Parenting is hard work. I thought having just one baby was hard. I thought having a 1 year old and 3 year old was hard (it was!). And now I think managing 3 little personalities,  their emotional swings, and teaching them to be obedient, respectful human beings is the hardest. Some ladies in my life keep me honest, they say it is harder yet to have adult children and letting them go and keeping your mouth shut. I guess choosing to be a parent is signing up for the hardest, lowest paying job around! And one that, despite all the hardness, I would never exchange for an "easier" life.

In spite of the hard, I took a few pictures today.

Josiah and the boy next to him in Community Bible Study thought it was just hilarious to put smile face stickers on each side of their nose.
Playing house on the porch. Josiah is under the blanket. Aliza must have been the mom because everyone was calling me Grandma.
 There is more than one way to accomplish school!
 We took some friends to Bible Study with us today and they brought a tablet with games on it. Of course, Aliza and Josiah thought they just HAD to have Temple Run 2--some game with gorillas. Josiah could hardly contain himself until Daddy came home to approve the game. Here they are looking over him anxiously awaiting the verdict. It was approved!
We've held on pretty well to our screen time boundaries. Some areas have slipped. Right now I'm just hanging on for summer vacation.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Weekend Moments

I bought frozen wild blueberries for Jeremy to use for smoothies. Anna got into them and found that she LOVES blueberries. She greeted Grandma and Grandpa looking like this.

Blowing dandelions

Josiah really enjoys when Daddy builds cars with him.

A literal tree hugger. Aliza heard us talking about this tree dying and needing to be cut down. She was so upset. She's named the tree Abigail.

Crooked, fake smile and all. I think he's a cutie.

Learning to catch.

I heard so much laughter and giggling while they were playing catch with Daddy.

Hymnal for the digital age?! The computer used to project song words was forgotten so Jeremy emailed the list to my phone and Grandad scrolled through. It made me giggle. I can see it though--worship leaders emailing song lists to congregation.

Grandma Karen managed to get them to smell the crab apple blossoms for a picture.

Waiting for the Alice in Wonderland Ballet to start.

This is where Aliza sat during the entire ballet. She doesn't like the fold up chairs. She is sure they will fold up on her and squish her. I was tempted to be annoyed and then I remembered there are only so many more ballets that she will want to sit on my lap.

It was a colorful, fast moving story. I really enjoyed it.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Planting and Oil Changes

 There is nothing like a spring day to be at my parent's house watching Josiah enjoy the company of his Great Grandad and Grandad. I looked out at the garden and shop so many times today thinking how lucky Josiah is...and how lucky his Great Grandad is.

First order of business this morning was planting the garden. Potatoes first.

Josiah wanted so badly to break off those "hairs". It completely mystified him that those are roots and will grow.
 Long rows...

After the potatoes were covered, Josiah walked beside Great Grandad while he used the seeder to plant carrots, beets, and green beans, I think. They also worked together to put stakes in at the end of each row.

Later, Grandad was ready to change the oil is the cars. This was a first experience for Josiah since Jeremy doesn't change oil. Dad showed them the dip stick.

 Then how to read the oil level on the dip stick.
Josiah laid under the car to watch the old oil drain into the pan.
Josiah came into the house telling my Mom that the old oil exploded on his pants. He had oil spots all over his pants. Josiah told me it went kapoosh! I'm not sure what acutally happened. I had to giggle though...Mom told me to use Shout generously on the pants. My Gramma told me to throw them away or at least to wash them alone so they wouldn't ruin other clothes. Me? I would have just thrown them in with the regular wash. Nevertheless, they have a generous amount of Shout stain remover on them. We'll see what happens.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Here's a Little Random

 Since two people have asked me when I'm blogging in the last half hour, I figured I should come up with something!

We have been outside this week enjoying the warm weather. Sorry Mideast and West Coast friends. You should all come visit me! =)

It was very exciting to have my cousin and her family for dinner on Wednesday. They live in Arizona so, obviously, we don't see them often.

If I put Josiah in the car between 4 and 6pm he falls asleep just about instantly. A friend of Aliza's was quite put out that Josiah uses a pink car seat. He has never minded. I remember my weak moment when Aliza desperately wanted the pink car seat and common sense said to go with a neutral color.
I read a memoir (I really enjoy memoirs) this week by Jaycee Dugard. She was abducted at age 11 and held captive in the abductors backyard for 18 years. I can't wrap my head around how long 18 years is in a situation like that. That was a book I had to read fast.

This morning we attended the Mennonite church that my family moved to Maryland for. It was 11 years since I had been to the church on a Sunday morning. I felt like I was entering a time machine. I kept telling my children that this was a fancy church and they had to be really quiet. The church my children are used to is very informal. After church I was given the beautiful flowers that graced the front of the church this morning. All from this lady's yard. As long as I can stand the pollen, I'm going to really enjoy this on our dining room table.
We have 5 or 6 weeks of school left. I'm keeping us moving because summer is in sight and I'm going to be ready for the change of pace. Now that the nicer weather is here to stay (mostly) I need to keep school as priority. It was pretty hard to have school in the evening or after dark last week.

How's that for a little bit of random?!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Communicating with Signs

 At the beginning of the school year Aliza was really interested in learning Spanish. She has done well in Spanish this year and we will continue learning Spanish next year. Recently her interest has turned towards learning Sign Language. I think my daughter just likes to communicate. I KNOW she likes to communicate...with anyone and everyone who will look at her and listen!

I'm not sure how sign language was brought to her attention recently. I know she has heard of it, but last week she started asking me to look up specific signs...on my phone. It wasn't working well. I tried to find some youtube tutorials, but most were advertisements to buy teaching DVDs. Anyway, I told Aliza that we would look for a book and DVD next time we went to the library. (I had a moment when I thought that a "good" home school Mom would drop everything and run to the library to capitalize on an interest, but I nixed that thinking! I figured if the interest and anticipation lasted a few days it would be a good for her.) As it turned out the children were sick the day we planned to go to the library. I planned an escape and went to the library on Saturday, by myself, and I got to pick out the DVD and book.

I did a good job too! Aliza finally felt good enough yesterday to pick up the book and watch the DVD--twice in a row. The DVD has catchy songs and teaches very useful signs. It really built her confidence.

The book--Aliza carries it around--as one might carry around a Spanish-English dictionary in a Spanish speaking country. Aliza signs to me her requests and feelings. This is has added an interesting twist to my day. For one, I must stop and look at her. She may or may not let me know that she is "speaking" to me. Secondly, she improvises her signs. This is good because it's like playing charades. It helps me fill in the blanks.  Third, once she has learned a sign, she expects me to remember it! I must learn as fast and thoroughly as she does!
 I'm not complaining. It's awesome that she wants to learn and can read and study the signs to figure them out.
 The most satisfying part to me is that when she thinks of a word that she needs a sign for she turns to glossary to look it up. This means that she is applying all of the dictionary, reading, spelling and alphabetical order skills that have been drilled all year. Now she plans to check out another sign language DVD next time we visit the library.

We are loving the few days of hot (spring? summer?) weather we are having this week. Josiah wanted to get Daddy soda at the grocery store this week and he convinced me to buy him some small bottles (must stop taking him to the store with me!!) for himself. He carried that bottle around outside and drank it like he was one cool dude.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Heslop Family Headlines

 As reported and photographed by Aliza. Tuesday, April 2.
Abandoned Bird Feeder

Clothes-less Boy

Gentle Mom. Mom is trying to get Josiah a midnight snack.

Mommy is trying to get the camera back from me. Bossy Boots.

Flarp. EXCUSE YOU!!!
 Wednesday, April 3.
Gnarly hair, Dude!

Messy Room

Awwww. Anna is sick in bed.


Mommy Princess. Getting ready for the day.

Book Stop. Daddy puts his work folder beside the bed at night.

Messy Desk. Mom has too much stuff on her desk.

Data hog. I put too much stuff on my own calendar.

Sugarplum. I like to put snowflakes and fairies in my room.

Monster! Anna touched the camera lens.