Friday, April 28, 2017

My Own Adventure

I can't remember the last time I set off on an adventure completely on my own. I got to visit some friends and get paid by the hour for talking about something I use every day and love! Before I left town, I spent an hour in one of my friend's offices talking. Then, an hour or so later, I stopped and ate at Panera.
I forgot how long 3+ hours in the car all by myself is! It was made even longer by traffic at the bridge and a huge downpour thunderstorm. In the dark and rain I was completely disoriented and couldn't find the apartment complex I was spending the night at. Chrissy walked down and around the block until she found me and hopped in the front seat. In the day, I realized that had I kept driving straight I would have ended up in her parking lot! Oh well. It was so fun to spend an evening with Chrissy (and Matt). She introduced me to Wegman's grocery story. (Amazing!!) We ate ice cream and talked...until I decided that I HAD to get some sleep.
Friday morning I woke up and headed over to the Frederick Fairgrounds to set up for the MACHE convention. (Maryland Association of Christian Home Educators). I was one of five consultants working at the Bob Jones University Press (BJU) display. I was the newbie consultant so I was learning as much as helping. The first order of business was setting up tables, putting on table clothes, assembling book displays and finally putting out all of the books. Here are all the supplies in far as you can see...
Once we figured out how to assemble the book displays they weren't hard to put together.
Three hours after starting we put the finishing touches on the tables.

The convention was Friday from 4-9 and Saturday 8:30-4. Friday evening we were busy--almost constantly placing orders. We had four laptops set up to place orders and there was hardly any time when none of them were being used. On Friday night they were often all being used. There was a 25% discount on all books at the convention so customers were coming in with their lists ready to place orders.

After stopping for frozen yogurt, I almost fell into bed. And before I knew it, it was time to do it all over again. Saturday was slower, but the time still passed more quickly than I thought it would. I talked to a lot of people and placed more orders than I could keep track of. We were each given the freedom to take a break, but mine didn't come around until right about 3:00 when Chrissy brought me food. I was starving! It was a pouring rain kind of day so we sat in the car while I practically inhaled the food. Chrissy hung out with us for the last hour and then stayed to help clean up. She ended up taking apart every one of the book displays. She's just awesome like that! Cleanup went so much faster than setup.

The consultant who organized this convention sent us this picture as a thank you. I enjoyed getting to know each of these ladies! I learned so much and have a lot more confidence in answering questions and placing orders.
I declined staying for supper and started for home. The drive home was much smoother. I got home in time for the bedtime circus which made all the children very happy. I was ready to hug them all, of course. The girls had lots and lots to tell me. I then crawled in to my own bed and fell asleep before my head hit the pillow, I'm pretty sure!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Food, Eggs & Candy

That pretty much sums up our Easter celebration. We were with my family and enjoyed Mom's ham dinner.
Isaiah had his own competition free egg hunting area. I followed him around while the others found their eggs in record time. Isaiah caught on quickly and was excited about putting eggs in his bucket.

That would be chocolate dripping down Isaiah's chin.
Aliza declared this the best Easter ever. She chose to hide eggs instead of finding eggs. This was pre-planned from last year and Grandma didn't disappoint. She had a bag of candy and the "big egg" that she fills with surprises for each grandchild. I think it was the perfect combination of feeling grown up and still not missing out on the fun kid stuff for Aliza.
Josiah, Caleb, and Gideon make me smile when they get to have a few hours to play together. I really don't see or hear from them when they are together.
It was a great day. The warm sun added to the celebration and made it really feel like spring.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Girl's Room Phase 3

One of the main goals for this room update was to create personal space for each of the girls. The new bed frames all for storage underneath. Clothes that were in the dresser are now under the bed eliminating the need for a dresser to take up precious floor space. Aliza and Anna love it!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Best End to Easter

I have a couple posts percolating in my brain, but tonight I need to get this story in writing while it's fresh in my mind. AND it's so exciting I can't wait to share it!!

When I tucked Anna in bed tonight she said, "Mommy, I've never prayed to tell Jesus that I believe he died on the cross and that I want to follow Him. And if I die I would go to the the 'dark.'"  I asked her if she wanted to pray. She said yes, but that she wanted me to pray. I told her I couldn't pray that prayer for her, but I could pray and she could repeat after me. That's what she did and after she said Amen she gave me the biggest hug. Such a precious moment.

Aliza was with us and it was a very special moment for her too. It really was the best possible end to our celebration of Resurrection Day today.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Girls Room Phase 1 & 2

The girls share a small room that has seemed to grow smaller as they have grown up. The ceilings are barely 7 feet so bunk beds are not an option. They have had trundle beds since Anna outgrew a crib. Aliza is getting to the point where she wants her own designated space and a space (her bed) to be available during the day to sit and be. It was her bed that was pushed under as the trundle.

Last fall Aliza and I were talking and looking around on Pinterest (my Mom *may* have been involved) and we came across a room layout that seemed perfect for them. We did some measuring and came to the conclusion that it was the solution we were looking for. Aliza was teary--she was so happy. It took some planning and creative thinking (Mom comes in here again lol), and the time has finally come for this room redo to begin.

Phase 1 was taking out the trundle beds.
Phase 2 was painting. Aliza will be quick to tell you that paining was NOT in her original plan. She wanted to just move furniture around and be done. I saw the opportunity to update and refresh the room. Choosing paint color was a process. Aliza wanted basically the exact same color that was already on the wall. I wanted a very light color to make the room feel larger and brighter. Ultimately, I chose fabric for curtains and matched a color to the fabric.

In the end there were no tears. Aliza appreciates how the lighter color makes the room feel bigger and she approves. In one afternoon and evening I did 3 coats of paint and made a trip to Lowe's for a 2nd gallon of paint. I'm glad I powered through and got it done. I did not want to wake up the next day knowing I had to go back in there for one more coat. There was not a single Before I can grab him, he had bounced so hard on the mattresses that he fell over and into the still wet wall. He got paint all over his pants and foot. It was one of those moments when I didn't even have the energy left to be mad.

Next phase will be rearranging the room layout. I can't wait!

Friday, April 7, 2017

He's Playing Soccer

I knew it would happen one day, I just wasn't sure when. It was after watching his cousin play indoor soccer this winter that Josiah decided he was ready to play soccer. He's had two practices and a game and he's loved every minute so far.

Soccer is Jeremy's thing so he took Josiah to the store to get his gear. Josiah was so nervous as we drove up for his first practice. It took a minute to figure out where we were supposed to be, but when I met the coach I knew all would work out.
His coach is a college aged "kid." He knows soccer inside and out, is kind, spoke well to me as a parent, and wants the kids to learn the game and have fun.
They lost their first game. I didn't know how Josiah would respond to a loss, but he walked over to us with his head up and didn't really miss a beat. He was ready to go to practice and is looking forward to his game this weekend.

I didn't see it coming that Jeremy would be a side line coach. ha. He was great though. Jeremy figured out a lot of the kids names during the game and he was encouraging all of them. I did, however, tell Jeremy that he had to go over to our coach after the game and introduce himself!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Joy Dare::March

4198. Seeing the children thrive in "club"
4199. A wonderful birthday outing with Aliza
4200. Anna helping cut shoe pieces for Sole Hope
4201. Conversation and play all afternoon
4202. Josiah taking out his own splinters =)
4203. Snuck in a quick conversation with Maria
4204. Cooking all of Aliza's favorite foods
4205. Isaiah telling me his is excited
4206. Grandma and Grandpa and Joel and Brandi here
4207. Brandi with me for grocery shopping
4208. Aliza and Josiah so loved on at their birthday party
4209. Aliza soaking in all the stories around the table
4210. Mom, Dad, Van, Karen, Joel, Brandi and Jeremy and I visiting around the table
4211. Long naps after birthday week
4212. Handed down clothes
4213. Remembering Aunt Floss
4214. Mom stopped by
4215. Baby turtle and discovered road
4216. Aliza made supper all by herself
4217. Tea in the afternoon
4218. Bright sun
4219. Thinking about screens and screen time and how to navigate it all
4220. A worldview I didn't expect to hear, but really appreciated
4221. "Hospitality is being a good listener." -the nester blog
4222. Raising boys talks with Meghan
4223. Celebrating Jeremy
4224. Seeing a friend doing well
4225. God school done on a travel-to-WV day
4226. An evening visit with Christie
4227. Family bingo was fun
4228. Hearing Josiah having fun with Christie's boys
4229. Letterboxing in the cold
4230. I didn't have to get in the hot tub
4231. A quick visit with my uncle
4232. Aliza's worship during her favorite song "All That Matters" by Colton Dixon
4233. Successful--even enjoyable--art project
4234. I was able to get groceries--thanks Mom.
4235. Anna chose some jobs to do and did a great job.
4236. I heard Aliza teach her Grandpa how to play Minecraft--over the phone!
4237. The time change makes for some late mornings around here
4238. Could attending Core Group because of a friend's generosity in taking my place as helper in the children's class
4239. Spent the evening with Anna in her club class because she needed me
4240. The resource to answer hard questions
4241. Being at Mom's house just felt good
4242. Mom could fix Aliza's dance costume
4243. Great Blue Heron by the road
4244. Cancelled school just because we all needed it
4245. Cookies and reading out loud this afternoon
4246. Anna and Josiah helping me cut out jeans for Sole Hope
4247. Lunch and shopping with Mom
4248. Leftovers for supper
4249. Organizing Trades of Hope inventory
4250. Aliza approved of curtain material and paint without tears
4251. Watching The Shack and all my tears
4252. Pear and Gorgonzola pizza
4253. Used up all my energy teaching Sunday School
4254. "Spring" in the diffuser today
4255. Josiah really listened to the sermon
4256. Anna's new organization skills
4257. A new mousepad on my computer
4258. The Insanity of God by Nik Ripkin
4259. Inviting someone to visit
4260. Dance spring break means we didn't have to leave CBS early
4261. Josiah super excited about helping make pancakes
4262. This girl loving her new twirly dress
4263. Breakfast for supper
4264. Enjoyed the conference keynote speaker
4265. Some some Trades of Hope stuff
4266. So happy for evening kid snuggles after being away all day
4267. Jeremy able to take care of everything when I'm sick
4268. Listening to the banter when they came home from church
4269. Aliza being so helpful
4270. Anna's kindness
4271. Able to do just enough
4272. Umbrella illustration of God's love protecting us
4273. Josiah loved soccer practice
4274. Meghan could braid Aliza's hair for dance pictures
4275. I could eat supper nromally
4276. Janell's quick visit after work
4277. The children needed Grandma's visit and attention
4278. The compliment from Aliza's Wednesday night teacher
4279. Systematic cleaning
4280. Soup, salad and a service project for Bible study this week
4281. A nice evening with Jeremy's cousin's family
4282. Back to memorizing
4283. Feeling back to normal and on top of things