Monday, July 29, 2013

Our CKC Weekend

Janell, Chrissy and I had so much fun at the Creating Keepsakes Convention last year that we decided to go again this year. We had another fabulous weekend. It is amazing how tired fabulous weekends can make a person!

Our first stop was at the Christiana Mall. I thought it would be beneficial to check out Christmas ideas at the Lego store. Instead Chrissy spotted Minecraft Legos. There were exactly two boxes on the shelf. Chrissy grabbed one for herself. I tucked it away in my mind as a gift idea and then we started talking to a salesperson who told us that the first 12 the store received sold out in a less than a day and on Ebay the sets were going for over $100 last Christmas. I walked right over and picked up the last box on the shelf.

We had dinner with my Great Aunt and Uncle. Janell and I attempt to throw all healthy eating out the window for the weekend so she ordered the same huge dessert she accidentally ordered last year.
Linda met us at the convention Saturday morning and walked around the vendor fair with us. We learned from last year to look for the deals. Stocking up on washi tape was also on our agenda. I purchased the SEI bag of $80 product for $20 plus a 15% off coupon.

 After lunch we had our class. It was about learning to use Smash books. Everyone received a Smash book kit and a set of directions for ideas and a starting point. I didn't really know what I was going to use my book for so I followed the directions. Janell had a specific plan for her book and she took off on her own. Chrissy had a plan for her book too and, honestly, I don't think I saw hers!

 We picked up Subway on the way back to the hotel and holed up and scrapbooked all evening until we could no longer keep our eyes open. Sunday morning I got up and did 2 more layouts which caught me up through June in our family album.

On the way home we stopped to say hi to my Aunt and her family who was in Lancaster area for a family reunion of her husbands family. She lives 6 hours from us and when we figured out she was 12 miles away we thought it was worth the extra minutes.

We topped off the weekend with Cheesecake Factory for lunch on the way home. I was ready to be home. It's good to take a break, but it's also good to be back with my hubby and the kiddos. Jeremy did a spectacular job of holding down the fort. He's awesome!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Aliza's Playlist

It's been a low key week and too hot to be outside. Aliza and Josiah have been the best of playmates. Legos and dolls/Lalaloopsy's have been the games of choice. Aliza has discovered itunes and there have been some epic dance parties. She searches for specific songs and the same ones each time. You can't even imagine the dancing! She dances until her cheeks are red and she's sweating. Here's her playlist:

Good Morning by Mandisa
To Hell with the Devil by Stryper
White Flag by Chris Tomlin
Come People of the Risen King by Keith and Krystin Getty
Fire Never Sleeps by Jesus Culture
Anything by the Newsboys, but especially:
The King is Coming
God's Not Dead

Careful! You might start dancing too!! =)

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Thankfully it was overcast with a breeze here and there while we picked blueberries. It was still hot! Blueberries are meant to be picked in the heat so it was a perfect day for picking. We didn't completely understand the directions to the best berries so we spent a lot of time picking and barely filling out buckets.

Anna picked by the handful. She also picked out her outfit today.
When Jeremy and Chrissy saw people leaving with multiple buckets of big berries, Jeremy went scouting and it wasn't long until we took the hike over the ditch to huge, sweet berries that filled out buckets really fast.

Here I am teaching Anna to pick one at a time. She did good for a moment--she counted each berry as she dropped it in her bucket--one, two, three, four. And then it was back to handfuls. I tried!
We ended up with about 11 pounds of berries. I determined to make one unhealthy blueberry recipe before freezing the rest of smoothies and snacks. Josiah loves frozen blueberries! (The unhealthy recipe is blueberry crumb bars. They are really yummy. I'll be buying vanilla ice cream tomorrow to make them even yummier!!)

Friday, July 19, 2013

July Heat

 Wow! It has been hot and humid. The kind of hot that I compare to the dead of winter cold. You just can't stand to be outside. We have been holed up in the house this week and today we headed to the beach. I was even in the water--up to my shoulders. Aliza had the right idea.
We had some improvement in water skills today. Josiah went completely underwater. Never before attempted! Aliza put her face in the water. She has already done this, but it's been a long time. It's something she has had to relearn. The water got really choppy at 11:30. I was feeling a little nervous about Anna. The child has little fear. She'll walk out up to her shoulders when I'm in the water.

Meghan invited us to spend the afternoon with them at her parent's beach house. I felt like I was on vacation for an afternoon. The house was so lovely and comfortable. We washed the sand off and made lunch and then settled in for naps and quiet time. It took Anna an hour to fall asleep! After naps we walked around outside for about 20 minutes. Just enough time to go through another set of clothes and be drenched in sweat!

6 kids and 2 Mommies. It's makes quite a gang. Anna even hangs out with the big kids now. She especially likes to pick on Caleb for attention. I caught Caleb hanging over the back of couch letting Anna pinch his cheeks. They were both grinning. I hope these cousins love each other when they are teenagers. =)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


We have been maintaining our every 3 week trip to the library this summer. It's become a tradition to pick up Happy Meals on the way home and eat them in the living room while watching library DVDs.

Aliza has discovered Amelia Bedelia. Takes me right back to my childhood.
We also come away with chapter books. Last week Aliza found out that one of her friends was reading American Girls books by herself so tonight Aliza started reading one by herself. I knew she had the ability. I also knew I needed to wait for her to initiate it. However, for as long as Aliza wants to snuggle up and listen to me read, I'll read to her.
 During one recent trip the library Josiah was consumed with playing and didn't choose any tractor books for check out. He regretted that at bedtime--for 3 weeks! I did too! I don't think I'll let that happen again. Today he was quite excited about Thomas books in addition to the regular mix of concrete mixers, bulldozers and big rigs.
I'm ready to start reading the Little House on the Prairie to Aliza. That is probably a series I should just buy for our household.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Our Day

 We wish we could have more than one anniversary in a year. It is so luxurious to have a day all to ourselves. At least we know we will be just fine together when we launch our children into the world on their own.
It was a hot sunny day so golf was on the agenda. I think I may have learned a productive grip. My only exciting moment on the golf course was getting a ball from the tee to the hole--all by myself! I'm exceptionally bad at hitting with a driver. I can chip and putt though. So I try to hit off the tee and then when Jeremy get to the green I just drop my ball where his is. It's fun. In the end it's all worth it because guys like "side by side time" (as opposed to face to face time).

Then we went grocery shopping! haha.

And then it was out for a nice dinner.

That's Jeremy's steak. Yum!

And then I picked up the kiddos this morning. They had a great time with Grandma and Grandad.

Friday, July 12, 2013

It's Friday and It's Raining

Because it's Friday and because it's been downpour raining for, what feels like, days on end, I did another scrapbook challenge. This time we chose ingredients for an ice cream sundae and then the next day we were told what scrapbook item correlated to each ingredient.

My sundae was vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, brownie bites, whipped cream and maraschino cherries. The scrapbook supplies I needed to use were-- only cardstock, acrylic embellishment, pocket, flowers, and grosgrain trim.

Since Jeremy and I celebrate our 12th anniversary this weekend I decided to do a layout in honor of us.

I used an acrylic stamp that says "loving life with you by my side". My journaling is in the pocket.

I put it together quite quickly. There is so much water in the yard and it was one downpour after another today. I would have preferred to stay in bed this morning! Instead I let the computers go a bit longer this afternoon and did this layout while Anna finished her nap. That bit of time creating made me happy!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Holiday Weekend

 So much happened this weekend and there are so few pictures! Very strange! It started with our community 4th of July parade. The van was loaded and ready for WV, but we waited for the parade. Aliza and Josiah did not want to miss the parade. They get so much candy!
This is Congressman Harris--introducing himself to us. I didn't exactly realize I was in the picture. =)
 After the parade we had a smooth, quick trip to WV. It was so nice to drive without waiting in traffic! We had a great weekend. My main memory of the weekend is being Aliza's psychologist. Most of the activities revolved around water and fire--the two things besides dogs that she is irrationally fearful of. It took a lot of energy to sort our what was real fear, what was attention getting behavior and what was just drama.

We enjoyed a fireworks show on Friday night. I sat in the car with Aliza and Josiah on my lap. Aliza talked incessantly the whole time with her face against mine. Ultimately she did enjoy the fireworks. So did Josiah.

A neighbor allowed us to use their pool. The water felt so good! Jeremy and Joel entertained us with their diving abilities.
 Who could resist diving over and over again when little girls were cheering for every dive and begging you to do it again? And there was a little boy giving every dive 2 thumbs up.
My birthday was somewhere in the weekend. Jeremy and I had a few hours alone. We used it for practical purposes--outlet shopping for clothes for Jeremy. Everything was 50% off and seeing as how Jeremy has lost weight he needs some new clothes. He looked quite spectacular this morning when he walked out in his new gray Gap dress pants and J.Crew button down shirt. My mother-in-law made me a whoopie pie cake and I got to watch old recorded Pioneer Woman cooking shows. When we got home last night I had another meal and cake with my family.

I started off my new year by working in the yard today. The grass needs to be cut and there are still fallen limbs to be carried to the brush pile. I conquered the biggest area today. Once the children figured out that, indeed, their whining and complaining was not going to change my goal they pitched in. Josiah's Gator is awesome. It saved me quite a few steps today.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Joy Dare::June

452. Bedtime snack on the deck
453. Spotting the first star
454. Saturday morning: TV for the kiddos, a book for me
455. Father and Son working hard together
456. Laughing about the early days of marriage
457. Bushes trimmed and brush burned
458. No electricity so we have conversation

459. A long drive and a snack with Daddy
460. The start of a contract with a new client
461. Utterly perfect temperature
462. A random computer game sparks interest in all kinds of careers
463. Simply enjoying our little family
464. Sunburn--it means I was in the sun!
465. Aliza still wants to sit on my lap
466. Sat down just to sit down
467. Waiting and hoping
468. Total Grandma lunch: pizza, chips, milkshakes and brownies
469. Supper out with Meghan
470. Aliza had a lot of fun at a friend's birthday party
471. Pouring rain
472. Following through when my gut tells me to stay strong
473. Scrapbooking on a rainy day
474. Eating peas straight from the shell
475. A new family at church
476. Family fun in the water
477. Laughter and giggles
478. Watching a colony of ants
479. Ice cream!
480. All 5 of us on the couch listening to the Aliza, Josiah and Anna tell made up knock knock jokes and laughing
481. Sleeping toddler. Looking at her makes my heart expand
482. Doing my best to be all present
483. Being happy on the mundane days
484. Prayer with women
485. A timely text telling me she's praying for me from one of my sisters
486. Jeremy listening to One Thousand Gifts on audio book
487. Found an old picture that reminds me of our love
488. Bedroom makeover
489. Afternoon snack with my Mom
490. Ice cream for morning snack (since we have no electricity and it's melting in the freezer!)
491. A deep conversation with Jeremy
492. Aliza showing compassion
493. The green leaves and grass that comes from having rain every few days
494. Sat outside alone and listened to the birds
495. Josiah trying to catch butterflies with his hands
496. Children excited to wake up Daddy with breakfast in bed
497. Blue sky peeking through gray clouds
498. Watching the US Open
499. My Dad still tells me he loves me.
500. My Dad is always there for me--even now when our lawnmower is broken and needs repair
501. Aliza prayed before going to her first day of dance camp. She did something she was nervous about and found out she loved it.
502. Playing in the rain
503. Visiting a home school Mom that I look up to
504. Praying at 3:30am since all of the children had to be re-tucked in anyway
505. Aliza's 50s dance. She was having a ball and it made me smile
506. The books I sent to my friend in Mexico arrived!
507. Loud music and kids dancing while I make supper
508. Talk time
509. Mom took Aliza to dance camp
510. Open windows and a cool breeze
511. I took a walk with Josiah and Anna. Josiah was talkative.
512. Sidewalk chalk
513. The zoo and McDonalds
514. Full summer moon shining directly in the bedroom window
515. The beginnings of a cleaned up shed
516. Sabbath
517. Twice mowed lawn--looks amazing
518. In one way or another I visited with all my sisters, my sister-in-law and my Mom today
519. Josiah had fun at Bible School despite not happy about going alone to the kindergarten class
520. A gentleman helped me unload a huge amount of cardboard recycling
521. Josiah came in proudly carrying a ladybug on his finger and later with a lightning bug on his finger
522. Home alone--a completely empty house
523. Working hard and feeling so proud of himself
524. Everyone went to Bible School and came home smiling
525. The adventure of watching a house be set on its foundation
526. Homemade ice cream
527. My in laws here to help while Jeremy is away. All was planned before Jeremy knew he needed to be away
528. Anna working so hard on her Bible School craft
529. Missing Jeremy
530. Safety during the storm
531. Jeremy safely home
532. Watching Aliza receive some genuine compliments on her singing at the Bible School program
533. First night in many months I didn't lay with the children until they fell asleep
534. Teaching by example
535. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever
536. A restful day
537. Applesauce from crab apples delivered to my door. Made in a paper bag by happy children
538. A chat with my Aunt