Saturday, January 30, 2016

2nd Round of Colds--Almost Over

I have refrained all week from writing a whiny post about how we are all sick and some of us are on round two of colds. It was kindof a long week where I felt like crying when we couldn't go to Bible Study on Wednesday. Today most of us are much improved. Josiah was even off the couch and eating; however, Anna just started the cold yesterday. She didn't have a fever so that in itself was an improvement over the boys' colds.

I wanted to giggle every time I looked at Isaiah yesterday. His hair looked like this ALL day. He had a bath right before bed the night before.

Monday, January 25, 2016

From the Very Edge of the Blizzard

Jeremy's parents and brother are buried under 40 inches of snow so our couple inches doesn't really count for anything. But we did get some snow, rain and wind on our edge of the blizzard. The snow started on Friday afternoon. The snow started accumulating to maybe 4-5 inches.
It was a cozy evening to have our Family Dinner Book Club. We watched the Paddington movie and had bear themed snacks--and hot tea.
The blew hard Friday night and the rain melted a lot of the snow. It rained all morning on Saturday. I actually went grocery shopping and it started snowing again by the time I finished shopping. I felt like I cooked all day on Saturday. Cookies are a must for a snow day and just when I cleaned up the kitchen someone was hungry for the next meal! We also watched the first show of the new season of Duck Dynasty.

Sunday brought blue sky, sun and no wind. We got just enough snow to cover the debris from the wind on Saturday. The children have enjoyed playing and exploring by the ditch creek. Earlier in the week it had been shallow enough that it didn't go over their boots. Sunday Josiah came in with sopping wet boots because it was deeper than he thought it would be.
Aunt Laura came over to play in the snow and build snowmen. Anna was her most faithful helper. Anna had so much fun in the snow--constant giggles and snowballs!

This turned out to be wishful thinking for Josiah. He wanted to see if he could ride bike in the snow.
Isaiah was less than impressed with the snow. There was not a single smile while he was out and the only place he was reasonably happy was in his Daddy's arms.

Sunday evening we went to my parents to watch football. It was really nice to have a change of scenery. I didn't realize that we were in so much need of that! We took some scrapbook things. Aliza sorted through her box and gave some things to Anna. Anna was quite thrilled.
Isaiah found a juice box and thoroughly enjoyed it. The mess was quite minimal for a first time juice box drinker. It was pretty funny when he could not figure out why juice squirted in his face.
Finally, today was a lot warmer and the snow melted a lot. Josiah and Anna rolled very large snowballs that they were proud of.

When my parents told us kids what new state we would be moving to, we always asked what the severe weather risks were. Dad picked well. The Eastern Shore of Maryland is a great place to live to experience each season without much severe weather.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Inside the Mundane

Snow flurries were expected yesterday, but having the ground and trees covered was a surprise. With today and tomorrow being exceptionally cold the snow is sticking around for a few days.
I didn't mean to be, but I was in a bad mood this morning--low on patience and snapping at the children. There were lots of snow clothes strewn over the kitchen and beyond and once I got the downstairs tidied up and swept, I felt a lot better. There is something about a tidy house. Even if I don't get to do any deeper cleaning, if the house is tidy, I'm ok.
Josiah and Anna went out to play for a little while. They had hot chocolate and decided to drink it in the living room and talk while they drank.
Learning about germs and handwashing--glitter was the germs. Anna was very enthused about this activity!
The main event of the morning was a trip to the library because Aliza has been without a book to read all weekend and she could not go another day--no matter what the wind chill was. We bundled up and headed out. The closest parking lot was closed for some kind of repair so we had to park in the parking garage. It's not that much farther, but it was windy cold and we had to cross the street twice. Poor Anna had to run to keep up with me. Aliza takes along her book lists so that she can make sure she gets the right book in the series; however, she has never referred to her lists in the library. She has them memorized. =)
This afternoon I added a few things to my cedar chest which always requires a bit of nostalgia. My Mom made this dress for me to wear for my kindergarten graduation and it looked like it was just the perfect size for Anna. Anna was thrilled to try it on and would have worn it for the rest of the day had I let her.
I also did laundry, folded it and put it away, completed school work and prepared school for tomorrow, cooked supper, washed dishes, supervised baths, snuggled in bed and read books to kiddos (had to referee a couple squabbles during the time), rocked baby and laid with three more kiddos until they fell asleep. Just when the last was falling asleep hubby drove in from work. How's that for a mundane day!!?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Mid January

This week I received my 2014 blog printed in a book. I started reading from January 2014 and realized that I could pretty much write similar posts for January 2016 and it made me laugh. You dear people who keep reading this little blog...!

I've pretty much hit the January doldrums:

It's cold and gray.

The oldest boy has way too much unspent energy and I lose my patience by evening.

Colds are going around. A couple in the household are being treated for sinus infections.

One of my closest friends moved a couple hours away this week.

A bright spot is that Aliza has the opportunity to be involved in a choir this winter. She had her first practice this week. Today she was much more positive about it. Sigh of relief. (I was going to make her do it even if she hated it.)

During Core Group this morning at CBS and our Teaching Director came in to share about the Children's Ministry--how two teachers have had to step down from teaching and asking members to prayerfully consider if the Children's Ministry is a place where you could serve. And tears start streaming down my face. A culmination of January dreariness? Maybe. This is what I've identified as going on inside my heart with CBS. I've seen the holes in help with the children. My natural instinct is to want to help, to be the one to keep going what has been so great for my children and me. I know that one day I will serve in leadership of CBS, but I also know that now is not my time. Now is my time to allow others to serve me and and my children, to speak life into our souls, even save us from each other at times. (I'm tearing up again writing this!) I need to be a gracious receiver of this gift. As I was praying tonight for teachers, I also found myself giving my CBS morning, my CBS community, my children's spiritual growth to God because this community we've found is a gift--it's not an entitlement.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

This is My *Real* Life

This morning it just hit me how I have four dear children all at completely different stages of development and how demanding that is of me at all moments. Even on days when I'm not at my best! Today's highlights:
Isaiah, now 15 months, only wants to climb on any chair that he can find that will lead to a higher perch. Currently, all of the dining room chairs are pulled away from the table so that Isaiah cannot climb on to the table.
Anna spent the morning trying to distract herself from needing to use the bathroom. This meant that there was no cooperative bone in her body about doing schoolwork. When she took care of said bathroom issue she was able to finish school this afternoon, but it about drove me crazy this morning. Josiah, Mr. Energy, was perfectly happy to play with Anna this morning. The current favorite is to make forts with the couch cushions. He also got "just barely enough" school finished this morning.

This drove me crazy as I wanted a productive morning. So I gave myself a productive morning by starting to clean the bathtub and surround with Norwex products. This project included scrubbing with a toothbrush and was reasonably successful. The tub and tile grout more resemble white than yellow now. (I should say 1/3 of the tile grout and 1/2 of the tub! I didn't spend that long on this project. lol)

Aliza was focused on school. She was a bit discouraged because long division is taking her longer to do and actually requires her to think. About 11:30 she found that Anna had played with some of her toys and she dissolved in to sobs. I walked away and then I went back later and heard myself say, "Sometimes tears are just part of growing up." And I realized that I'm in a new stage of parenting.

And then I felt like laughing...I'm teaching the oldest words like "puberty" and the youngest is only focused on climbing on the table. And then I felt like crying because: How can I do all this and be enough for all of these growing stages?

We ultimately finished school and then Josiah could finally do the project I had promised him. I'm taking care of a cedar chest for a friend by using it and I decided that it will initially hold the contents of a filing cabinet that was falling apart. I moved everything over and then told Josiah to demolish the filing cabinet. I wanted to keep the handles, recycle the metal and put the wood on the burn pile. I didn't expect that it would make quite this mess. (It was not warm enough to be outside without a shirt. He eventually came in to put one on.) He loved every second of this project!
While demolition was occurring, Aliza decided that she really wanted to make supper. Potato soup and Beef Vegetable soup was on the menu for tonight. I made the bacon for the potato soup and she did everything else. For the most part, I was directing from the table while I readied school for tomorrow. Aliza did a great job. Supper was yummy. She was super proud of herself as she absolutely had the right to be!
My regret of the day is that I did not sit down to play with Isaiah. When I'm in those early intense disciplining days with littles, I think it's so important to get down on their level, look in their eyes and smile. Tomorrow...

Thank goodness it was Bible Study night for me. Honestly, I could hardly wait to get out the door and breathe.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Joy Dare::December

2994. HAD to get to the library today--in the pouring rain--because Aliza was out of reading material
2995. Because it is so rainy we spent extra time reading this afternoon
2996. Missed out on an event to stay home with a sick kiddo, but I got to listen to that kiddo talk to me
2997. The lingering colorful leaves on a few trees
2998. A Christmas story play
2999. Fruit, veggies, cookies and conversation
3000. These faces:
3001. Advent coloring
3002. Road trip
3003. So many tears saying good bye to Mommy for a couple days
3004. Chai
3005. Sitting around my Grandma's table with my Mom and Aunts
3006. Getting texts from my big girl while I'm away
3007. A long walk
3008. Reconnecting with some of my cousins
3009. Visiting
3010. Seeing the sunrise and the sunset in the car
3011. My time with my Mom
3012. Hugging each of my children and my husband
3013. Laundry finished and folded for me
3014. After 11 hours of driving, grace to give attention and hugs and love and read bedtime stories
3015. Dismissed from jury duty just in time to make it to Bible study on time
3016. Called for jury duty on a day when Mom is available to help
3017. So grateful to be able to send the children outside on a December morning to play
3018. Jeremy home from work a little bit early
3019. Aliza sitting beside me during adult conversation. (She's growing up.)
3020. Jeremy forgives my lack of perfection.
3021. Picnic in December
3022. Aliza had a blast at the trampoline park.
3023. Seasonally scented body wash.
3024. Enjoyed the Christmas contata and some time with Anna
3025. A warm afternoon to climb trees, mow grass and dig in the dirt
3026. Sweat sore muscles from outside work in December
3027. Sharing headphones
3028. Simple play:
3029. Eating gingerbread cookies and getting a haircut
3030. Isaiah crawling just as fast as he can to keep up with his siblings outside
3031. Got to see Aliza land cartwheels on her feet at dance
3032. Cookie baking started
3033. Anticipating a break from school
3034. Wishing she could just read all day
3035. Community dinner
3036. Cookies ready for WV Christmas
3037. Happy excited children
3038. Courage to make the call and ask to be excused from jury duty on Monday
3039. That first moment of Christmas break feeling
3040. Everybody so excited to be at Grandma and Grandpa's house
3041. Happy tears
3042. Hours of playing together
3043. Just being with familly
3044. Playing Memory with Anna before 7am. (She's really good at Memory!)
3045. Jeremy drove most of the way home
3046. My refrigerator looks a lot like my in laws refrigerator
3047. Working together to assemble Isaiah's new toy
3048. Wrapping gifts
3049. Shopping finished
3050. Snuggling my little guy at nap time
3051. Delivering cookies to our neighbor
3052. All presents wrapped
3053. My family
3054. Gifts and surprises
3055. Cookies for supper
3056. The most beautiful Christmas sound: fully engaged, completely content and happy children playing together
3057. Wore the kids out on Christmas Eve and two slept until 8:00 Christmas morning
3058. Dad with us for supper
3059. A bit of Christmas caroling
3060. Super relaxed day
3061. Way too involved in Amazing Race
3062. Playing with Anna. Watching Isaiah play
3063. Isaiah had some time alone with Grandma
3064. Our children showing self control and respect
3065. Continuing the holiday trend of relaxing
3066. Days spent with no routine show the need for an eventual return to routine
3067. So much conversation and cooperation--the modern way to play "house"
3068. Wonderful helpers with cleaning out toys
3069. All of the Legos in the house are in one place
3070. Board games
3071. Phone time with a faraway friend and in person time with another friend
3072. Aliza having SO much fun with friends
3073. Feeling socially fulfilled
3074. Little guy growing up.
3075. Saying goodbye to a great year filled with memories, joy and growth

Friday, January 1, 2016

Family Pictures Nov. 2015

These photos are mighty special to me. I find that I can't look at them just one time! The morning of our photo session Meghan showed up at my door for a very random reason that I don't remember, but it was just at the right moment. She got Isaiah ready so that I could get the girls ready. It doesn't *look* like it takes much to get the girls ready, but Anna wanted to change the agreed upon wardrobe and that took all of my negotiating energy. Plus Meghan got the Vans on Isaiah's feet and I'm not sure that I would have been successful!! Everyone was really cooperative. Aliza was more interested in taking silly pictures. Our location was really neat and Josiah really really wanted to just explore. He disappeared at one point because he was just done. Anna didn't think she wanted her picture taken alone. All things considered, I'm really pleased with what we got!