Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Parenting Book #2

This quick read got me refocused on raising my big boy to be a man. It reminded me how very little I know about boys--seeing as how I'm a girl. It's a daunting task to raise a member of a species I'm not! I want to be intentional in my relationship with Josiah and my conversations with him. This book also focused on a boy's relationship with his Dad and how as a Mom I need to stay out of that relationship and not micromanage it or manipulate it. The information wasn't altogether new to me, but I'm glad I read it.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Kindergarten Graduate

Anna sobbed through her kindergarten "graduation." In the last distance learning lesson the teachers and kindergarten friends have a party and celebrate all the fun things they learned this year. It is pretty sweet and touching, but I definitely wasn't expecting the level of emotion that Anna felt. In fact, she completely rejected her diploma and still won't let me take a nice picture of her with it. She did initiate taking her diploma to WV to show Grandma and Grandpa and on the way home Anna and Aliza took a bunch of silly pictures with the diploma in the car.
When we had my parents over for supper to celebrate the end of school, Anna would not show her work to anyone.
Aliza and Josiah, however, were happy to show Grandma and Grandad some of their work. I'm grateful that my parents and Jeremy's parents are so supportive of our choice to educate our children at home.
Aliza had a history project this year where she made a timeline of inventions by year through the 1900s. It's amazing how much change took place in the 20th century.
I got Josiah through another year. His memory is amazing. He can hear something one time and remember details.

So I've finished my 6th year as a homeschooling Mom and graduated my 3rd from kindergarten. I remember when Aliza finished kindergarten I couldn't imagine having to go through it multiple times and just like that I've done it three times.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Girls Weekend

After the soccer game Friday evening, the girls and I drove through lightening and rain to WV. This was the weekend for the Shepherdstown Back Alley Garden Tour and Tea. It was fun to have a girls weekend. The temperature was perfect for walking and we enjoyed all the gardens and flowers.

It has been several years since the tour aligned with the peonies blooming. There were some gorgeous peonies.

Anna got to experience the little house for the first time. She loved it and would have spent hours there playing if she could have.
This year we walked 3.5 miles (thanks to those with fitbits for this knowledge). The girls got pretty tired, but they stuck with it to the end. We didn't detour or miss any garden--Aliza made sure of that!
My mother in law has some very pretty flowers too. These roses grow over an arbor and smell glorious.
I've never seen pansies with ruffled edges. I sortof love them!
Aliza and Anna loved the girl time and were NOT ready to come home. I enjoyed listening in on their sister conversations in the car.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Oh yes!

Aliza finished 5th grade on Tuesday. Josiah finished 3rd grade on Wednesday. And Anna  finished kindergarten today. I'll talk more about our finish later!
As soon as Anna finished we were out the door to pick strawberries. It was a hot morning and I had some good helpers and a good eater. We went to an orchard in Westover this year. I kindof liked the laid back feel of the non commercialized strawberry patch.

Isaiah's face and hands were red with berry juice. I made sure we didn't fill our baskets to overflowing to much up for his eating.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Even with healthy children, almost every month I have some sort of medical appointment to factor in to our schedule. It has taken a few years to get everyone on the same rotation, but I now have all the children on the same dental cleaning schedule! Of course this requires going to a practice that can handle seating 4 children at the same time. Lucky for us we have one!

Here's how it goes. The appointment goes on my Mom's calendar as soon as I make it! The dental assistant comes out and calls for the "Heslop Family." We all walk back and she seats each child with a dentist. I sign for some children before the cleaning and others after. I hold Isaiah while he cries during his brushing. Then I hand him to Mom. By the time Isaiah is done another child is finished. Those two go out with Grandma to the waiting room. Anna still needs me so she waits until I'm finished with Isaiah and then I'm with her. While Anna gets started, Aliza's dentist finds me to say he has time to seal her 6 year molars if I would like him to. I quickly agree (why would I make another appointment?!). Anna does awesome and meets her new dentist for next time. I take her out to Grandma and then hang out while Aliza finishes up. I was preparing for Aliza's wrath because I didn't know she was going to get sealants. She handled it well and showed that she is developing a bit of flexibility. That all took 35 minutes.

Hopefully it will go this well in 6 months!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


A few months ago it became apparent that we needed a consistent teacher for our children's Sunday School class. I did not think it was going to be me!

Prior to the realization that we needed a consistent teacher, I learned about this curriculum: The Gospel Project. Over 3 years, it leads the class through the stories of the Bible. The music is catchy and full of truths. There are Bible verses to memorize and Big Idea Questions (sortof like catachism questions). The lesson is presented on DVD and the teacher's guide covers everything else (including the ways to present the story not using DVD).
I was the one to teach the first week of this curriculum. Because of a bit of misunderstanding I did it without having seen it and it went horribly. Horribly. However, I was still convinced that this was just what our kiddos needed.

I can't remember if I read this before or after that first horrible week, but I read a blog post that said, "Practice doesn't make perfect. Practice makes comfortable." It became apparent to me during that week that I--me!?--was supposed to be the one to teach the Sunday School class. I realized that I could become comfortable teaching with practice. I also realized that I was the only one of the rotating teachers who has other spiritual input during the week in terms of group Bible study. No one argued with me!

The children in Sunday School know me very well which adds to some of our challenges. But since I've been their teacher they are memorizing their Bible verses, learning songs and after our first unit we said our Bible verse and shared the song with the adults.

I'm also comfortable! lol. For as much as I dreaded my teaching Sundays before, now that I have taken on this responsibility I've never dreaded it. That's what happens when you know that you are doing exactly what you are supposed to do. There's no better place to be.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Joy Dare::April

4284. Meals in the freezer
4285. Letting Aliza lead while I listen
4286. The first step in updating the girls room
4287. Ezra knew what we talked about in Sunday School
4288. First game was a loss but Josiah kept his head up
4289. Aliza teaching Anna
4290. Josiah doesn't complain about typing
4291. Supper was a hit
4292. The week of the month when I have patience
4293. Lovely evening to sit by the soccer field
4294. Morning good-bye
4295. Hot tea at CBS
4296. Stories to tell my Dad
4297. Josiah got to work with his Grandad
4298. Could order all the pictures Gramma wanted
4299. Change of evening routine meant I could be home
4300. Good well check
4301. Jeremy feels better so I can hide this evening
4302. Extra hugs for Aliza today
4303. Health and strength to paint all afternoon
4304. No tears and Aliza approved of the color
4305. And the room is all back together
4306. Jeremy to so quick to forgive me.
4307. Big warm-spring-day smiles
4308. Working outside
4309. Josiah's first soccer goal and first win
4310. Dirty faces, bike rides, swinging
4311. Josiah's idea for a garden and I'm crazy enough to make it happen
4312. Tiny green leaves
4313. Sore muscles remind me it's spring and I haven't used a shovel in a long time!
4314. Mom, take a picture of us! (see next picture)
4315. So fun when Mom can stop in for a quick visit
4316. Crossing things off the to do list
4317. Coloring eggs
4318. Isaiah telling us a whole bunch of colors correctly
4319. Revisiting the book of Jonah
4320. Girls room rearranged
4321. First sprinkler play of the season
4322. A beautiful, warm Easter weekend
4323. Meal and afternoon with my family
4324. Aliza hid eggs instead of hunting eggs and declared it the best Easter ever
4325. Anna's salvation prayer
4326. Green everywhere!
4327. Blooms the children bring in
4328. Taking meal out of the freezer in the morning
4329. Morning when a 6 year old needs snuggles
4330. Jeremy's neck is feeling better
4331. Daughter's scratching my back
4332. Isaiah slept all night without a pacifier
4333. Discovering Nutella again
4334. My own adventure
4335. My own supper, my own drive
4336. Visiting with Matt and Chrissy
4337. Meeting a lot of people
4338. Jeremy recognized for his hard work

4339. My own hotel room--a first!
4340. Chrissy brought me food
4341. Cell phones to keep me talking on the trip home
4342. Hugging all my children
4343. A night's sleep
4344. The children's story set me up perfectly for the Sunday School lesson
4345. Isaiah's favorite book
4346. Isaiah using all his muscles to help Josiah
4347. Some extra conversation time with Josiah
4348. A soccer Mom went out of her way to initiate a conversation with me
4349. Isaiah so cooperative in spite of being so scared at his well check
4350. Alllll the library books
4351. CBS Sharing Da
4352. Talking to my mother-in-law multiple days in a row
4353. I keep on reaching out to people around me
4354. Finishing school subjects
4355. Cut irises
4356. Grandparents here for the weekend
4357. Daddy/Son soccer practice
4358. Basil, mint and chives planted
4359. Aunts and grandparents to watch Aliza dance
4360. Jeremy fixed the lawnmower!
4361. Chrissy could visit for a little while this afternoon
4362. Aunt Meghan to the recital hair rescue
4363. Anna and Renee saying their Bible verse in church
4364. Jeremy still likes it when I have reason to wear a dress