Monday, March 30, 2015

Here's What's Happening

I am starting to feel hopeful that school will end this year. The books are getting thinner. The lesson numbers are getting higher. Some of the shorter subjects are getting finished.

It's a good thing I see a few daffodils blooming and the grass getting green because the sky and temperatures are not giving me much indication that it's spring!

I've been trying to patiently wait for my thyroid to adjust again. It was still high after my last adjustment which means I have basically had high thyroid since Isaiah has been born. Since that is 5 months it probably explains the underlying feeling of anxiety I'd been having and the complete panic meltdown I had a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately that happened on a Bible study day and my group saw me at a very low point. But they were gracious and held my baby and prayed for me. Then the next week, that same group of gracious women, saw me come in very late because I was sitting in opening and realized I had no bottle for my baby. I had to go home to get bottles and come back. I hope I've been sufficiently humbled.

I didn't follow the story of Kara Tippetts closely until she passed away. Then I couldn't help myself. I was so intrigued by her story and how she lived largely and loved deeply and showed kindness even as she was suffering and dying. Now I keep thinking about her with Jesus and her family here and how every moment we are given with our loved ones is grace. So I stay in each moment a little longer, hug my children and husband a little harder and grumble about the annoyances a little less. I have a lot to learn.

I love reading books about people. I recently read Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. Of course I only read in small bits, but I didn't want to put this one down. If you want to understand Islam, this is a great book. If you want an intellectual, systematic approach to defending the Quran or the Bible this is a great read. I wish I was as eloquent as the author. It's just a really really great book.

While I'm laying with the children until they fall asleep, I've been reading As We Forgive on my kindle. This is a book of stories of reconciliation from Rwanda after the genocide in the 1990s. I feel much more educated on the genocide in general. The stories are extremely heart wrenching, but the stories of reconciliation and forgiveness are compelling. Forgiveness is powerful. It's time for some lighter reading!

There are legos all over the floor...all the time. Josiah loves his little brother, but he knows that Isaiah is going to be mobile in the near future so he is making plans for his legos. Josiah wants me to clear out his closet (it's very deep and his a light in it) so he can play with legos in there. Josiah also wants me to box up books that on the built in bookcases in his room so that he can store legos on the bookshelf. Smart boy.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Not Our Typical Weekend

I guess since Isaiah has been born I have grown quite accustomed to low key, generally relaxing weekends. This weekend was quite the opposite! Saturday was the Faith Filled Women's Conference where I decided to rent a table for Trades of Hope. This was well beyond my comfort zone so I got my sister and our friend Betsy to partner with me for the day. They were amazing. We sold a bunch of products and handed out a lot of catalogs and brochures. The ladies we met were extremely receptive to the mission of Trades of Hope and were impressed with the quality of the products. At the end of the day I decided that a vendor event could be a lot of fun once in a great while! Not something I want to be doing every weekend.
While I was at the conference, Jeremy took the children to art time at the Ward Museum. They got to paint woodpeckers and had a ball.
My car has been having issues for a while and it seemed to have gotten worse, but I didn't want to bother Jeremy with it seeing as how the "Car Repair" line in the budget is still small and I figured it needed to grow for a few more months. Well, after art time, Jeremy drove my car straight to the repair shop. The rubber on my front tire was splitting and it was dangerous to drive. I got 4 new tires while Jeremy and all 4 children waited. I have been directed not to hide problems in the future. =)

After an impromptu Sunday afternoon play date we were at my parents to celebrate the four adult March birthdays in the evening. I'm glad Gramma felt up to being with us. Gramma sat in a rocking chair and Anna was so sweet to set up a game to play with her.
Later the boys settled in to watch a fishing show with Grandad. Meghan realized that if I plopped Isiah on Grandad's lap all the boys would be on the couch together. I didn't realize that none of the boys have shoes or socks on until it was pointed out on facebook. I've caught myself looking long at this picture. Those sweet faces and knowing all their personalities and imagining how much their Grandad loves them and loved that moment--it makes my heart swell with gratitude.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

An Evening with Cousins

So far, in my kids' lives, cousins make the best of friends. We had some make-up birthday party play time with Caleb, Gideon and Ezra on a perfect spring like afternoon. They spent a lot of time outside jumping on the trampoline, just playing and feeding the chickens. There are alos five or six chicks growing in a box in the house. Meghan said the chicks are in their teenage stage and my girls now call them "chicklings."

Isaiah was happy kicking around on the floor and the boys were playing a hot wheels game on the Wii so I took the chance to jump on the trampoline with my girls. They thought that was THE best. It was fun. I even got some exercise!

On such a lovely day, Meghan and I had visions of the children eating on the deck while she and I had a quiet supper at the table. We got all the children situated outside and the wind picked up and started blowing their taco chips. So we moved them back inside, got them re-situated at the table and Meghan, Brian and I ate our tacos standing in the kitchen.
Caleb and Isaiah bonded with funny faces.
Brian trapped a huge beaver yesterday. It was kinda cool to see a beaver up close.
Anna was the only one of my children who would even got remotely close to it. Gideon was checking on its teeth.
Everyone had such a fun time that, or course, no one wanted to come home. We'll be with these guys a lot this summer, I'm pretty sure!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

This is how we celebrate Aliza--

Aliza's birthday outing request was to go to Panera with me for lunch and Tutti Frutti for dessert. Aliza is big on tradition! This is the third or fourth year we have gone to Panera and Tutti Frutti. We also spent some time browsing at Barnes and Noble. Aliza talked and talked and talked. When we were on our way home she said she didn't know what else to talk about. I suggested the radio and we could sing along...she said, "No. This is my time to talk to you and I'm not wasting it!" I also won't forget how while we were eating I started having a vocal cord spasm cough and Aliza turned into a nurturing young lady handing me water and insisting that I drink and kept asking me if I was ok. She understands now what is happening, but I know she gets concerned because I literally cannot speak when that spasm happens. We had a good time together.

Aliza had a fever on her birthday--so sad--but she did a great job of making the most of her day. We totally surprised her with the American Girl Doll of the Year 2014. It was on sale after I had already purchased her Christmas present. Isabelle promptly took a nap with Aliza.
Aliza wanted Renee and Lydia to come over to play on her birthday. They already had colds so Janell brought them over. Aliza had a craft she wanted to do with them. When Aliza didn't feel up to all of the running around play Janell and I continued chatting with her while we made more snowflakes.
Renee and Lydia sang Happy Birthday to Aliza and enjoyed a cupcake. (It's a snowflake--with chocolate frosting.) Aliza's requirements for her birthday meal were potato soup and chocolate covered strawberries.
Aliza was feeling great for the party. What I notice in just about all of these party pictures is that Charlotte (her doll I made--not her American Girl doll) is with her.
Aliza and Renee have become good buddies recently. They both really love Lalaloopsy dolls and they made a pact about which set of lalaloopsy tinies Renee was going to give her for her birthday.
She got the Lego set she was really really really hoping for. Elsa's Ice Castle.
Not surprisingly, Aliza wanted a Frozen theme party with a food to represent each character. I may have had some moments of panic when I realized what she was planning for the food, but we figured it out. Blue jello "ice cubes"--Kristoff. Sandwiches--Hans and Anna. Apple slices with peanut butter--to represent the flower on Anna's dress. Carrots--Sven. Build a snowman plate--Olaf. Rock candy (utter failure)--Elsa.
Jeremy did the snowflakes. The frosting was too warm and thin so we just said they were melting snowflakes. =)
It was too cute that Aliza sang Happy Birthday to herself.
I think she had a great day! Her favorite part of the day was building her Elsa Castle with Legos. The next day she and Anna watched Frozen with Grandpa and sang all the songs at the top of their lungs. Then she and Brandi played a bunch of Frozen themed card games that Brandi gave her.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

This is how we celebrate Josiah--

Josiah's birthday was on a Saturday--the day that Daddy sleeps in. Josiah woke up extra early and thought he had to wait next to forever for Daddy to wake up! He was pretty tickled with his Lego Fire Station and immediately set to work building it.

Josiah wanted his cousins to come over to play and have birthday lunch with him. They had lots of fun playing. The lunch requirements were Velveeta shells macaroni and cheese, Doritoes, Mountain Dew and chocolate covered strawberries for dessert.
After lunch Josiah continued working on his Legoes while the others played Wii. =)
At church that evening Grandad had a book for Josiah--How to Catch Bass. He loved that book and spent lots of time looking at it and comparing the tackle he has to what was recommended in the book. On Monday Josiah spent an afternoon working with his Daddy. He LOVES going to Hotdesks with Daddy. He also got to have the day off of school.

This past Saturday was a joint birthday party for Aliza and Josiah. Josiah woke up with pink cheeks and it didn't take me long to realize he had a fever. He sure did a great job shaking off his disappointment and making the most of enjoying his party.
Uncle John hung out with Josiah while he put legos together.
Josiah designed his cake.
I think the favors are the best Pinterest idea I've used so far this year. Little boys thought it was great. Some grown up uncles did too.
Made by Josiah.
Blowing candles on a piece of cake so as not to contaminate the entire cake with germs.
Uncle Joel spent several hours in the afternoon (while Josiah napped) putting together the 90 piece cardboard Minecraft set he and Brandi gave to Josiah. It's pretty neat!
Josiah and the ladies stayed home from church. He played a little and crawled in his new man size sleeping bag. He stayed awake until everyone went to bed. I'm not sure how he made it--his eyes were so heavy.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Happy Birthday Jeremy!
Just because you are "last" in our birthday week doesn't mean you are any less important or celebrated. You are the husband I would choose again and the best Daddy our children could have. Thank you for working hard and providing for our needs and plenty of our wants. When you come home and the house is a mess and I'm a mess you never question what I've done in a day. You grab a child or two or three or four and jump in to help for the evening. You've done night feeding for all of our children and a million other little things just an extra for me. You think of yourself second...or third...or fourth...or fifth...or sixth
Know that you are respected and loved by your wife and family every day of the year!

Friday, March 6, 2015

More Snow

We are currently on our third snow of the winter. In these parts, we get little enough snow that we can count the storms--usually on one hand. Today the children weren't really impressed. There was maybe 3 inches. The ground was well covered. They went out for a little bit and found that the water in the ditch was frozen enough to walk on. That was pretty exciting--until they got daring and broke the ice!

But this story back tracks to last week's snow. We really enjoyed watching the birds. This time we had a good 6 inches, if I remember correctly and Jeremy ended up working from home. In the afternoon he grabbed a cardboard box and made a couple birdfeeders. As it turned out--one for the girls and one for the boys.
The girls found it necessary to decorate their box.
The boys did not decorate theirs.

The girls feeder was placed on the porch.
The boys feeder was placed on the deck.
Unfortunately, a huge flock of blackbirds found both feeders.
But since the first day we have seen a variety of birds including cardinals.
And other guests, like squirrels, that are enjoyed not shooed away!
I've enjoyed the snow. I like how we live in a coastal area that invests little money in winter weather preparedness. (I suspect all the $ goes to beach preparedness!) It makes snow a holiday and we hunker down and do schoolwork so that when it warms up we are ready for all the outdoor days!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Isaiah::5 Months

My sweet little guy is 5 months old today. I've figured out why he's been getting mad on the playmat where just a few days ago he was happy for a long time--he can't get the hanging toy into his mouth! This frustration causes him to scream. I found him on his back today after I had put him on his tummy to play. He's still a happy guy that goes to sleep super easy and just wakes his Daddy up once around 5:00 to eat...and then he goes back to sleep. Living life with 4 kiddos in tow feels normal and, for the most part, manageable now.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Happy 9th Birthday, Aliza!!
You don't know it, but my gift to you is my ear. I'm pretty sure you will always have as much to say as you do now and I will always, always listen to you. I love you like crazy! 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Joy Dare::February

2139. This wonderful stage where he is smiles and talks but isn't mobile
2140. A soul refreshing long overdue phone call
2141. Josiah's tooth finally fell out
2142. A favorable school review
2143. Aliza's first birthday party on her own
2144. Cousins talking about their dinosaur game
2145. Sheep masks (from Bible study)
2146. Valentine mailboxes and traditions
2147. The scavenger hunt (prepared by Aliza)
2148. Productivity in the realm of cleaning--clean bathrooms are so lovely
2149. Calm on the outside
2150. Healthy growing baby
2151. A pediatrician I'm comfortable talking to
2152. Talking to my Grandma King
2153. House cleaned for company
2154. Grandma and Grandpa here
2155. Isaiah so happy when he sees me
2156. Two girls snuggled up with Grandpa watching Frozen
2157. Spring teaser--it was such a lovely day
2158. Ice cream and chocolate
2159. Saving the planet
2160. Aliza so excited to have a buddy
2161. A great support system
2162. The dripping of thawing ice
2163. Taking a slower pace while Jeremy is away
2164. Visiting with my cousin
2165. Making Valentines
2166. So many ladies willing and ready to help at Bible study and dance
2167. Pizza delivered to me
2168. I can survive on my own, but I'm so much better with Jeremy beside me
2169. Jeremy safely home
2170. I'm not sure how but we logged five days of school this week
2171. Pinterest success (they are heart shaped cupcakes)
2172. Days are getting a little longer
2173. Heart party and kiddos feeling loved
2174. Surprised with breakfast in bed
2175. Legos all over the floor
2176. Jeremy and I planning and making goals
2177. An incredibly slow paced Sunday
2178. Made a trip to the library in the cold so I could have this book in case of snow (I'm now only halfway through the book--but it's a really good one!)
2179. Homemade doughnuts
2180. Home together and falling snow
2181. Being positive and upbeat despite late day schooling--avoided student meltdowns
2182. After dinner tonight heard that two of my faraway friends delivered healthy babies
2183. Sun reflecting off the snow
2184. Snow changes the feel of the day and makes the children want to be outside--fresh air is always good for the soul
2185. Two in a chair (Mario Cart was rediscovered)
2186. Another day to play in the snow
2187. Supper at moms--it was good to get out of the house
2188. Heard: "Great Gramma, you love children." And it is so very true
2189. My Mom, Gramma and sisters got in some wide awake Isaiah time
2190. Homemade bread from my neighbor
2191. Detangling spray (for girls long tangled hair)
2192. The joy in looking in my baby's eyes and his smiling excited response
2193. Aliza waking me up early because she wanted me to read another chapter with her
2194. Our need for an art class met without cost
2195. Great Grandad holding Isaiah and comforting him when he started to fuss
2196. The pipes unfroze quickly
2197. Baby belly laughs
2198. Overhearing Aliza encouraging Anna to do the right thing
2199. Daddy making the children giggle uncontrollably by making them into sandwiches
2200. Our recent theme: "Live like no one else today so that one day you can live like no one else." - Dave Ramsey
2201. Starting the morning with a hot shower
2202. Happened upon a wise comment left by a sibling
2203. Shipment came earlier than expected
2204. Snow flurries have such a peaceful feeling
2205. Hearing three precious voices reciting the Lord's Prayer with us
2206. A husband who knows how to extend hospitality
2207. A husband who gives an hour of his time to test and retest labels until they print decently
2208. Woken up early (again) this morning to finish Aliza's book while the snow was falling
2209. Working together to clean their rooms
2210. Watching birds
2211. Building bird feeders
2212. A very happy birthday boy
2213. Chocolate covered strawberries

2214. A new-to-me coat
2215. Cousins playing Wii
2216. Stopping in to say hi to "the Greats"