Sunday, June 30, 2013

VBS and The Storm

 This week was Vacation Bible School. VBS is a big deal in our house, especially when you're 5, because you have to go to your class all by yourself. Josiah was not happy about this. He cried the for 2 minutes the first and second night. After that he was just fine and didn't even noticed me when we passed in the hall. He participated and made friends. This year was Anna's first year. I was with her in the preschool class. I'm pretty sure I'm going to set the record for the most years spent in the preschool class!

Friday night was the program and Josiah wanted no part of singing with his class. I decided it would do him no good to sit and watch his class so I stood beside him. He had quiet tears running down his face through the whole song. 

Aliza, on the other hand, was the singer in her class. She did the motions and we could hear her voice loud and clear! She was nervous, but she did great.
 Jeremy had left on Wednesday morning for business in New Mexico. Jeremy's parents arrived for a visit on Wednesday afternoon. They were such a big help to me this week. We were expecting Jeremy to land at 5:30 Friday evening in time to make it to the VBS program. I got several phone calls from the airline telling me of delays and time changes. Jeremy texted me at 6:20 that he was boarding the airplane for the commuter flight of 25 minutes. There was a storm during the program but it seemed to have passed and when I hadn't heard from him at 7:30 I started getting nervous. We headed home where my Mom and Dad were waiting to visit and see the children's crafts from the week.

Instead...soon after we got home it started pouring rain and the wind started blowing. I really can't describe the wind and the rain. All I know is that I looked out the sliding door and the wind was doing some kind of swirly thing in the tops of the trees and the rain was going sideways. And then limbs started falling. I walked to the front windows and saw this--
 and then this--
 and then this--
 and I got scared. And Aliza was scared. And I realized Jeremy was circling somewhere between here and Philly and I was worried about him. And Aliza started wondering is Daddy was going to come home. And then it started to hail and all I could think was "tornado" and I couldn't get the word out to ask Mom and I held Aliza and Anna on the floor and Mom prayed. In a few minutes the wind and rain calmed.

Karen shared a little later that earlier in the week she had felt a heavy negative feeling that led her to praying for protection over her family.  I'm so thankful she did pray. Jeremy landed safely about 8:30.

Saturday morning it was time to start cleaning up. Chore charts aren't really my thing, but when there's a job to do I expect everyone to participate and I'll teach by example. Josiah helped Jeremy fix the chainsaw and us girls started hauling limbs to the brush pile. (The brush pile that was very recently just about completely cleared!!) The girls weren't exactly willing helpers, but we stuck with it. Josiah hauled loads on his Gator.

 This Gator has paid for itself several times over!
 Aliza decided she wanted no part in dragging branches. (She much preferred to make her case for an outdoor cat.) Anna wanted to be carried. So I got out the stroller and Aliza's job was to push Anna while I dragged limbs and then I pushed Anna back. Aliza had no idea how hard she worked! It was HOT and HUMID!
 By the end Aliza figured out that if she entertained Anna she could just sit in the shade. Smart girl! And Aliza had the camera...

 We have had a wet summer. The ground is saturated. During the storm we had puddles all over the yard and when we had another hard rain this morning (Sunday), the ditch immediately filled with water. It became the swimming pool.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

This is the House that was Built Before Our Eyes

 My sister and her husband were gracious enough to allow us to share in the excitement of watching their house, built by Regent Builders, be set on the foundation. There was a crane involved which was super exciting for Josiah. Watching the Amish crew work was also quite entertaining. They were so very efficient and a few times Mom, Janell and I looked at each other and decided we wouldn't tell Brian (my construction brother) about their antics.

We arrived at 9:30. The sun room had already been set. The other pieces are lined up down the road.

Back half of the house being swung around to the foundation. As the house is turned around Janell is exclaiming about her kitchen cabinets and counter top and then says "oh look, there's the dining room chandelier!"
 And set.
 Janell was taking video. I took pictures. She was absolutely thrilled!
 Josiah wanted to build too.
 Gramma had a front row seat in the *air conditioned* car. The girls enjoyed being in the car with her.
 Renee was pretty happy about her house.
 A whole bunch of work happened after the back was set. I have never heard such rapid fire of nail guns! The the roof was raised.

 And the interior upstairs wall was lifted and secured.
 Lydia. It was getting hot by now.
 The roof on the front half of the house was raised and the interior wall secured.
 And the front  half of the house was lifted into place.

 It was pretty amazing to watch them maneuver that house so smoothly into the exact place on the foundation.
 The upstairs shower was lifted in through the dormer window opening.
 1st dormer window.
 2nd dormer window.
 There it is! Except for the porch roof and the end gables.
 And I couldn't help myself I had to say: WELCOME HOME HALE FAMILY!!! WELCOME HOME!
We left at noon. Jeff and Janell got some lunch and when they got back they got to walk through their house. So amazing.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Let's start with this quote from Josiah: "Mommy, when I marry you I'm going to buy this bulldozer (shows me picture in library book) so we can dig in our forest." Explanation follows of clearing trees and brush etc.

Jeremy took the children to Bible School tonight so I had two glorious hours in my house--alone. This happens exactly once a year during the week of Bible School. The first hour I cleaned and the second hour I did a scrapbook layout. Apron Strings, the monthly kit club I subscribe to, posts daily challenges on the blog. Daily??!! The person who can scrapbook every day is a lucky person indeed! Anyway...I did one tonight. =) This is for Anna's album. I do one layout every month for the children from ages 1 to 5. I title them simply by the name of the month.

This layout was based on a sketch that I can't figure out how to copy. The techy husband is still laying with the 2 year old who is still keeping herself awake.

Tomorrow is another big day which should have adventures worth writing about!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Dancer

 We entered a new phase of life. Aliza went to Dance Camp last week and LOVED it. She was so nervous the first day about trying something new, but after that there was no looking back. She will be in the dance class offered for home schoolers this fall. The big plus of this class is that it is during the day. I'm so hesitant to start giving up evenings when we are home as a family.

There's a window so parents and siblings can watch. I need to say that Josiah and Anna were golden. No running around craziness. Anna watched a lot. Josiah, well, he had my phone at his disposal.

I mentioned last week that we have swimming pool. The pool is a lot of fun, but I've decided that it is a lot like snow. It's very exciting and lots of fun, but the fun only last a relatively short amount of time and then there are wet footprints through the kitchen and piles of wet clothes and towels. And then I just get everything cleaned up and they want to go back out to swim again!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


We've had a rainy and cloudy week. Monday was nice in the afternoon and evening so we blew up and filled a small swimming pool. Everyone thought that was really fun so when Tuesday afternoon was only pouring rain they didn't get to swim, but they still had some water play. Since there were only happy sounds I just went with it. We may or may not have heard some thunder...

It started with the dolls eating a snack on the porch.

And then progressed to the yard in a hard down pour. I'm not sure why Josiah tried to stay dry in the rain. He wanted a coat and I guess the hard hat was a pretty good idea!
The toys of choice: Lalaloopsy Littles. They each have one and it was quite a game!
Anna wasn't sure about walking out into the rain. I assured her that I was not going into the rain. I know...I'm no fun at all!

A Lalaloopsy Little in the tree!
Anna made it off the porch and she walked around the whole time with her hands on her head--trying to stay dry.
The fun was well worth the wet!

Friday, June 14, 2013

A No Electricity Morning

 Some days it's good to wake up and not know what the day holds. Our electricity went out at 7:50am and did not come back on until 11:20am. On a normal day this would have been one situation but today I was babysitting my nieces so I had 5 children who were not very happy. It was a beautiful day so we played outside. I have so idea why they were so grumpy but they were. I was grumpy too, to be honest. I blew it at least once--big time. I had to ask Aliza to forgive me. That's life.

We had some happy moments. When Josiah wanted to climb a tree and the others wanted to follow suit, I knew I had a captive audience for some pictures. Well, at least they couldn't run away.

I want them to grow up because that is how life works and something would be horribly wrong if they didn't grow up, so I'm happy, but, man, they are cute and I love them so much and I always want to be able to snuggle and give them hugs and kisses. Sigh. 
May she always have reason to smile so big that her eyes squint closed.
 This little one. I'm pretty sure I'm going to cry when she turns three.

 This is the face I get when I say, "Say cheeeese." I should have learned by now!
 Janell's daughter, Lydia. What a sweetie...and a climber! She talking, but she's quiet. Like if I turn my back she'll quietly go do something and I'll have no clue where to find her. Just like her Mama--who could get away with a lot more cause she went about it opposed to me who had to announce everything that I was doing! Lydia's a sweetie...she lets me rock her at nap time and I don't want to lay her down.
After being outside for hours, I decided we might as well have an ice cream snack since it was in the freezer melting anyway! That suited the children just fine. Electricity came on as they were finishing ice cream and they all went outside and played happily in the sand box.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Feeling Loved

 Our bedroom was one of my big projects for the summer. A friend is redecorating her master bedroom and offered to give me her comforter set, headboard, and draperies. Sight unseen, well, she told me the basic colors, I said yes. My stipulation was that she couldn't bring them over until school was over and I had CLEANED our room.

Cleaning was what I worked on this week. I washed the 4 sets of mini blinds and windows. I did lots of normal cleaning too, but the funny thing is when you start cleaning you just keep finding more and more to clean.

By the time Mom arrived today I wasn't sure this project was even worth the effort. She helped me get it done though. She washed the light globes and unscrewed and screwed in (by hand) curtain rods. I did one set of curtain rods too--by hand as in without anything electric--and I already have sore muscles to show for it! Then she gave me the final push... cleaning under the bed. It wasn't THAT bad, but I just wanted to ignore it. I have old photo albums stashed under the bed. Like my 8th grade graduation and our road trip when we moved from Oregon to Maryland and my high school graduation. Good thing Mom was there to keep me on track. I could have gotten very distracted. =)

So, seriously, this wouldn't have happened without Mom's help today. As soon as I start a project my children's needs increase about 75%. Someone constantly needed something. Josiah wanted to be a man and use tools and his project wasn't going as he imagined it would. While I was pulling things out from under the bed Anna got hold of an old container of sunless tanning lotion. It was all over her hair and face and arms and hands. I ran for paper towel to try to avoid orange streaks by Saturday! Then as I'm trying to figure out what to make for lunch I hear Anna in the bathroom and she is scooping water from the toilet into the trash can!!! When it was finally time for Jan to arrive, Mom kept the children happily occupied and out of our room...and put Anna down for a nap. Oh! And before Mom left she washed a wall in the kitchen that now appears to be freshly painted. Thank you, God, for giving me such an awesome Mom!!!

So you may wonder why I need someone to give me a new bedroom? I was asking that questions myself! Here's my thoughts. I'm not a big spender. I'm also not gifted in thrifting or finding deals or sales. I need pretty displays. But when I see pretty displays I can't decide if I really like something enough to actually buy it. I think the bottom line is that I have no clue what I love when it comes to decorating. I have pieces here and there in my house that I love, but nothing that is coordinated as a whole. That's all of my thoughts on that subject.

Jan came and worked her magic and this is our bed! I should say that the comforter I took off my bed had a large cut in it and was decorated with nail polish.

Jan made the head board for herself. It had been the foot board for her bed so Jeremy got to hang it tonight. He did a great job.
 Jan taught me that straight pins have lots of uses. Like keeping the curtain panels in place and keeping the bed skirt from shifting. Jan is pretty much a genius!
I feel very mature in this room. And I feel pretty lucky to be so loved to have a friend bless me like this.