Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Dance News by Aliza

This year I am taking a jazz and lyrical dance class. Lyrical is a new dance style for me. I have gone to this dance studio for five years and when you go for five years you get a trophy during the recital! That is very special to me because I have never had a trophy before. Anna is also taking dance lessons at the same studio. So I knew at the beginning of the year this recital was going to be very memorable, but I never saw this awesome news coming!

One week I arrived at the dance studio as normal and every thing went smoothly. In the middle of class my teacher called us into a huddle. She explained that she did a big "thing" every recital. She was talking about how she was doing Moana for our lyrical piece and she wants US to be the one and only Moana! I am very very very excited, but a little nervous at the same time. Because we are the stars of the whole recital. This now leads to another story.

One week my teacher and friends were talking and my friend said she had a whole list of songs we could do for our recital. My teacher said we could bring in the songs and artists on paper next week, but we shouldn't be sad if she doesn't pick our song. After she said that I decided not to bring one in. The next week my friends brought there lists. At the end of class I told my teacher I had a song I would like to request because what is the least that would happen? She pulled out a piece of paper out of no where and a pen out of no where because my teacher can do that. And wrote down my favorite song, Girlz by L2M. The next week I asked about it and she said that she was just looking at possibilities. So I kind of forgot about it. Then we found out we are going to be Moana so then I totally forgot about it. The week after we found out we were Moana my teacher called us to a huddle again. She told us we were going to hear our jazz song. She added not to judge the song for the first few seconds and then turned it off. I wasn't too crazy about it, but then she said to listen to this second song. I was very excited because I have never had a choice. She turned on the song which was Girlz! My teacher kept on winking at me. I was sooooo excited! After the song was over some girls asked when the decision was going to be made. My teacher said "It's done. Its the second one.". I was overjoyed. My favorite song ,that I've dreamed of dancing to, is the one we are dancing to for the recital.

This is the recital that I will never, ever, ever forget.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Celebrating Anna

Sometimes it's a little tricky to celebrate a birthday right before a holiday. This year Anna's birthday was the day before Thanksgiving and we had several smaller celebrations for her.

Anna went to the store with me to pick out her plates and desserts. There was a lot of pink! She wanted to decorate her own cupcakes.
Anna chose bowling for her birthday outing with Renee and Lydia. Bowling with 6 kids kept Janell and I busy!

Then we went to Janell's house for pizza and play. Renee and Lydia gave Anna a Jojo bow. It's a huge sparkly bow that a young singer has made popular. Anna was  pretty thrilled!
Birthday morning with her bow in her hair and another one around her wrist!
Grandma, Grandad and Great Grandad came for supper and dessert. We had a fun evening with them. The children were so excited. It was a bit of a circus!

After Thanksgiving she had one more celebration with her Heslop family!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy 7th Birthday Anna!
There are moments when I think Anna is going on 14. She loves her clothes, shoes, make up parties with Grandma Karen and now her JoJo hair bows. Thankfully, though, Anna will only be 7 today! 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Breathing Again

For the past several weeks I feel like I have been chasing life and getting farther behind every day. Yesterday I was almost in tears. I didn't know where to start and so I started by dropping everything and taking Anna to the store to pick out her birthday plates and napkins. It seems like a minor detail, but getting her birthday settled in her mind was a huge relief to me. Aliza took the day in stride and let me help her figure out how to fit school and play into her day. She was much happier throughout the day. At 4:00 all 4 children went outside to play. They played happily for about an hour and it was the hour I needed. The house was quiet and empty! I got some cleaning done and some extra cleaning and supper started. When Isaiah came in and asked me to push him on the swing, I said yes. That was a magical moment--I said yes! And I smiled and we went outside. He said, "Mommy, I run so fast to swing and be a rocket." He chattered away and I pushed him like a rocket.
And I took a picture because is was a little moment and I wanted to remember how much my perspective can change in a hour and with a yes.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Celebrating Grandad

 Does this man look 90?! He gets it all the time--people can't believe that Grandad is 90. Grandad is definitely 90 years young. He drives and gardens and today was telling me about the Bible study group he is teaching.
We spent the afternoon at my parents eating lunch and spending time together. Grandad's sister, brother in law and nephew came from Pennsylvania which added just the right "special" to the day. Other local friends stopped in during the afternoon.

All of us girls felt the sting of Gramma's absence. Gramma LOVED celebrating and visiting and reason for good desserts. But here's the thing--now that Gramma is gone, I call Grandad and talk to him. And so I am very thankful for this time with Grandad. That I can show just him that I love him and that he can be a part of our every day lives. Every day of life is a gift, but I'm thinking that maybe every day of life after your 90th birthday is an extra special gift.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Texas Family Time

Last weekend was our time with Jeremy's brother, Josh, and his family. They visit once a year and it is a highly anticipated weekend with cousins and spending nights at Uncle Joel and Aunt Brandi's house.
Saturday afternoon we took an excursion to Harper's Ferry. We walked walked out to Jefferson Point where you can see the Potomac River and the mountains. Then we walked down to the mountain to the downtown area of Harper's Ferry.

The Heslop Men

The Heslop Girls

Our group of 14 managed to get separated in the process of finding bathrooms once to we got into Harper's Ferry. It also started sprinkling. While Joel and Jeremy went back up the mountain to retrieve the cars, I dragged my children to another lookout point. From this point we could see the Shenandoah River meet the Potomac River. I thought it was beautiful. The gray sky made the colors of the leaves stand out.
And then I realized that you could walk across the bridge and I thought that would be so much fun! lol.
It was fun for me (and Brandi--I think!).
And it was really pretty.
We missed out on ice cream in Harper's Ferry, but our car stopped and got some on the way back. Isaiah was very pleased because he started talking about ice cream way back when we were walking down the mountain.
We ate pizza that night. Anna and Evelyn were sitting beside each other and with their pig tails and blonde hair they looked like they could be sisters.
Florence is 17 months old and she came to snuggle on my lap once in a while.
Other highlights of the weekend were Thanksgiving dinner, seeing Joanna Gaines new line in Target and watching the first couple of episodes of This is Us. Oh! And pumpkin spice bagels and chai.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Joy Dare::October

4792. Unpacking Gramma's Christmas villages
4793. Welcoming my aunt, cousin and her boys
4794. Loving my mom
4795. Choosing more of Gramma's treasures and closing this chapter
4796. Aliza helping SO MUCH taking care of the younger children
4797. Time with Hannah
4798. Making birthday treats
4799. Quiet car during dance--I read!
4800. New pajamas
4801. Celebrating Isaiah
4802. Isaiah loving his birthday
4803. Fall morning at the beach
4804. Awesome shells
4805. Gramma memories today
4806. Sunglasses
4807. Chick-fil-a laughing with Aliza and Josiah
4808. Singing in the car
4809. Attending a wedding
4810. A day with Jeremy
4811. A couple hours (that flew by) with Matt and Chrissy
4812. Grandparents who love spending a day with their grandchildren
4813. Isaiah learning to play Memory
4814. All of the girls' fun with makeup
4815. Chrissy remembered something I told her a long time ago
4816. Josiah had a most amazing attitude about school today
4817. Peaceful, priceless moments
4818. Aliza singing with me
4819. Time to sit beside Jeremy
4820. Another great day of school with Josiah
4821. Aliza's total excitement over Dancing with the Stars
4822. Aliza hasn't had too much pain with her expander
4823. Afternoon visiting with my Mom
4824. The new stuff I think about from Bible study
4825. Meghan doing schoolwork with my kids
4826. Introducing my friend to Grandad
4827. A scrapbook page this evening
4828. Writing a real letter
4829. Choir wasn't as bad as Josiah thought it would be
4830. Evenings at home
4831. Weekend pajama mornings
4832. They are weeds but the purple flowers in the yard are pretty anyway
4833. A morning with friends
4834. A card in the mail
4835. Steak for dinner
4836. Sharing common theology
4837. Walking to the car with Lydia and I get to ask her about her day and hear a story or two
4838. Isaiah so tired he chose my lap
4839. Anna ate at the big kids table
4840. Easy 3 year old well check
4841. Picnic, playground and trails
4842. Aliza enjoying creation and the moment
4843. A friend to help Jeremy with his car
4844. Sweet conversation with Anna
4845. Taking advantage of a beautiful afternoon
4846. A thoughtful, generous, surprising gift of thanks
4847. Family time!
4848. Beautiful falls on the Potomac River
4849. Hotel, pool, family slumber party
4850. Super fun trail to the other side of the falls
4851. Experiencing the C & O Canal
4852. Memories made
4853. Happy playing this morning after being away
4854. Hot tea
4855. Having a 4th grader this year
4856. Leading worship went well
4857. Orange dance costumes in the black light
4858. Aliza making Sean giggle
4859. All of Isaiah's plans to play with Grandma
4860. First tea
4861. The pecans were so pretty on the tree
4862. Aliza so excited that her Daddy successfully ordered (he had to wake at 3am to order as soon as the iPhoneX was released) the phone he's been waiting for
4863. Having Mom off work for a whole week was so nice
4864. Friend time, tea and shopping
4865. Sister and brother in law who love my kids
4866. Shopping with my daughters
4867. Sunday naps
4868. Choir practice went better for Josiah
4869. Isaiah's stories
4870. Candy and a movie
4871. Got our work done and relaxed this afternoon
4872. Tried not to hurry today
4873. I now own a cardigan--and I might wear it every day!