Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Mall

(Aliza has granted me permission to write this post.)

Wow! It had been a long time since I had been to the mall! Aliza has been begging to go to the mall for several weeks and, finally, I took her. She had some things that she wanted to buy, but mostly, I think she was just ready to experience the mall. 12 years old does something to a girl! The last time I took Aliza to the mall was several years ago and at that point she couldn't wait to leave because she couldn't stand the music playing. (I completely tune the music out.) Today she knew songs and had no problem with the music. We walked around the whole mall and found the things she was looking for (bath bombs, a flower crown headpiece and a necklace). Aliza's favorite stores were Justice, Bath and Body Works and Hallmark. Claire's was ok, but it was too girly girl for her (her words). It was a very enjoyable shopping experience.
 Here's what I know about my 12 year old so far. Her love tank runs low very quickly and it is filled up with time, talking and snuggles. And all of those things she needs from her Mom. This means that it is very important that her Mom keeps her own love tank running close to full so that she has something to give to her amazing 12 year old.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

My Pet Plants

I've been following a flower farm in the Pacific Northwest on Instagram for about a year now and when their seeds went on sale, I decided I was going to grow flowers from seed. I ordered sweet peas, cosmos, zinnias and dahlias. I read the back of the seed packets and the sweet peas said they needed to be started before being planted in the ground. I had some helpers plant the seeds and then I took them to Grandad's office where he has a light and starts some of his garden seeds.

 Meanwhile, I picked up the book from the library published by Floret Flower Farms and read up on growing sweet peas and realized that they take a bit more care. So I dubbed these flowers my "pet plants." After a couple weeks under the light my sweet peas looked like this:
 And I was pretty sure I killed them before I even got them in the ground! Look how skinny those stems are!! After more reading I realized the light was too high so the plants grew up too fast to reach the light. The light should have only been 2-3 inches away from the soil to encourage the plant to grow strong instead of tall. So I brought them home a couple weeks  later and by then they had grown tall enough that they could not stand up.

Mom thought I should let them go. I was thinking of maybe buying another seed packet and trying again. Janell always has an idea. She told me to tie them up on skewers. I did and they looked like this:
 A few weeks later and they are still growing and looking a bit stronger. Most are taller than the skewers. They definitely like a lot of water. Roots are spreading out the bottom of the containers. And I can't believe they have not been destroyed by the humans living in the house. The plants are literally on the floor in front of the sliding door--the sunniest place in the house.
I've become rather fond of these scrawny little plants. Hopefully they will make it until I can get them in the ground and maybe produce a flower or two.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

February Books

February's theme for Family Dinner Book Club was persistence.
Aliza and Josiah loved Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. I love that they still want to snuggle in and read out loud each night. It was Josiah who started the begging for more chapters every single time we read. I agree that it was a great book--it kept my attention too!
I hope that my growing up boy knows that men persist and need persistence too! The majority of suggested books are about women. Josiah did pick up a book about the man who invented the Super Soaker and Nerf guns the last time we were at the library.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Celebration Week

Birthday week was successful! Josiah got to spend a day playing with Caleb, Gideon and Ezra. Aliza got to spend an afternoon with me. She and I continued the tradition of eating lunch at Panera and browsing Barnes and Noble. This year I also introduced her to Hobby Lobby--she LOVED that store! Aliza picked out a frame for a gift Jeremy and I gave her and a picture for her wall from Grandma and Grandpa. And then we had dessert at South Pole.

I also continued the tradition of a birthday get together with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. This is a "thing" for Josiah and Aliza. Anna doesn't have that expectation as her birthday is very close to Thanksgiving. And Isaiah, I had a first birthday party for him and I don't think I did another one. However, he is already looking forward to his birthday (in October) so I think I'll need to do something for him. Anyway, our families are really awesome to show up for the kids and bring them gifts. I know it makes them feel really special and as long as they want to choose family I'll open my home and serve up ice cream and let the kids play.

The big surprise for Aliza was that a keyboard from my parents house was moved to our house. She has been wanting to learn to play and write music and now she will have more opportunities to do that. I just need to make teaching her some theory a priority!

Grandma and Grandpa stayed in Ocean City for the week so on Monday we went to visit them. Aliza decided that she really needed Fisher's popcorn. It was cold on the Boardwalk, but it was sunny!

My silly children couldn't stay off the sand. Several of them had shoes and socks off.

When we got down to the water though it was downright cold. We didn't stay on the beach very long before we were glad to get back to the car. The children loved being in the condo and exploring. They were not ready to go home and were happy that we were coming back.
Wednesday we were back in Ocean City--this time for an early birthday supper for Jeremy...
...and some swimming. There were constant squeals and happiness in the pool. Aliza could do backstroke the entire length of the pool which was pretty exciting. Isaiah had no fear. Anna jumped in the pool (without going under) over and over and over. Josiah perfected a handstand in the water. And once again no one wanted to come home!
Friday was Jeremy's birthday and his parents came for breakfast on their way home from OC. (Aliza wears that mermaid tail all the time.) I combined my efforts with our parents to surprise Jeremy and I think we pulled it off.
A 43" screen! It's a TV, but it's a computer screen in our house. It does make the shows we do watch much more enjoyable.

I think I successfully made 3 special people feel loved and special. That's always my motivation and goal, anyway.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Night Time Activity

I got a text from Jeremy this morning soon after he left with pictures of our cars--compartments open, stuff strewn on the seats. It's not the first time our cars have been gone through during the night. For us, it's just annoying. We don't keep anything valuable in our cars and our cars certainly aren't valuable! lol. I do not like thinking that someone was poking around the back of our house during the night. It's just a yucky feeling. A bit later Jeremy texted and said he didn't think to check if Josiah's bike was still in the yard and if his golf clubs were in the shed. I checked. The golf clubs were in the shed, but Josiah's bike was not beside the shed where I had parked it.

For the first time I had to tell the children that we had been robbed. Josiah was bummed. He wiped his eyes and fought back tears. After a few minutes I offered him a hug and he refused--I could tell a hug would have brought on the tears. We talked about a new bike and he perked up.

After deliberation Jeremy encouraged me to call the sheriff's department. I knew it was petty. I also suspected that most of the cars on our road were tampered with during the night. I went ahead and called.

When the children found out a police officer was coming to our house, their imaginations went wild. I wanted them to be nicely doing schoolwork when he arrived. lol. I went out to meet the officer and was soon joined by 3 children and Josiah holding his new Nerf Rival.

The officer said, "So tell me about this bike." We told him the model and that it was black. He said, "your bike is just down the road past the tree line." The man whose property the bike was on called the sheriff's office earlier this morning to report the bike on his property. The officer ran the serial number and nothing came up. So he told the property owner he could dispose of the bike. Not that much later I called and reported the stolen bike and on his way to our house, the deputy stopped and checked out the bike. Officer called the man and told him we would be picking up the bike. The kids and I got in the car, drove down the road and brought Josiah's bike home.
Just when I got everyone settled back into normalcy, the officer came back to our house because his boss told him to file a report. As I suspected all the cars down our road were tampered with. I took the opportunity to point out to the children how stealing something as seemingly small as a bike was causing this police officer to do a lot of ridiculous work.

All said and done Josiah was a little disappointed that he isn't getting a new bike in the immediate future! But he was happy to have that bike back. He really does like that bike! He and I have hopes of doing some trail riding this summer.

I am feeling grateful right now that all the children have fallen asleep tonight without feeling scared about intruders.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Happy 12th Birthday Aliza!
I love you like crazy! You are so special! I am proud of you!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Joy Dare::February

5136. It's February!
5137. The entire downstairs swept
5138. Peace in my heart in spite of the news this morning
5139. When school is finished by 1:00
5140. Meghan and the boys this afternoon
5141. Isaiah expressing himself so well with words
5142. A Mommy date with Anna
5143. My first cheesecake turned out well
5144. Delivering super
5145. Tears
5146. Enjoyed the Super Bowl game
5147. The homeschool pace morning after a late night
5148. Winning temper tantrum battles (I'm getting smarter once in a while!)
5149. Sean's big grins
5150. Talking to Grandma
5151. Jeremy home this evening
5152. Couch time at the end of the day
5153. Isaiah moved to the preschool class at CBS
5154. Early bedtime
5155. New water tank
5156. Left for Bible study feeling like I had done what needed to be finished at home
5157. Everyone handled disappointment really well
5158. Anna "Mommy, the important thing is that we are family." with a hug
5159. Discovered Delmarva Discovery Center
5160. Much to Isaiah's delight--McDonald's for lunch
5161. Parenting a pre-teen is even more humbling than parenting a toddler
5162. Grandma and Grandpa came just because they wanted to see us
5162. Heart pizza and chocolate fondue
5163. Winter Olympics!
5164. Frozen on Ice with my girls
5165. Compensated tickets
5166. Ice cream rolls--so yummy!
5167. Giggles
5168. Had to read to the end of our read aloud book
5169. Much needed nap
5170. Josiah's Tall Tale written
5171. Recording Olympics
5172. Anna's smile without a top front tooth
5173. Watching Aliza's dances
5174. Teaching Anna to dial on a rotary phone (lol)
5175. A very smooth road trip
5176. Lantern lit sledding
5177. Time visiting with my aunt
5178. Levi and Isaiah played well together
5179. Another night of sledding
5180. Coming home with lots of fun memories
5181. Full church to hear Grandad preach
5182. Jeremy looking out for me
5183. Warmer temperatures
5184. Changing some decor to spring
5185. A couple little cousins discovered Facetime
5186. Another day of everyone waking up healthy
5187. Working through communication in the 16th year of marriage
5188. Giving Aliza some scheduling freedom
5189. 75 degrees and I cancelled school and send the children outside
5190. Speaking went well
5191. Clear night sky to see stars
5192. Olympic themed snacks and friends
5193. Aliza talking ancient history with Andy
5194. Time with Jeremy
5195. Forsythia blooming in the house
5196. Shopping time with Aliza
5197. Feeling very loved by my daughter
5198. Josiah enjoyed time with boy cousins
5199. When Bible study answers my question
5200. Isaiah's little voice repeating the offertory reading/prayer
5201. Sunday afternoon nap
5202. Jeremy came home from work early!
5203. Jeremy got to play outside with some kiddos
5204. Crockpot supper
5205. The sliding car door is fixed
5206. Still having Olympic evenings
5207. Isaiah's first drawing--"Mommy, I draw a boy!"
5208. Worship went really well
5209. So fun to celebrate Josiah's birthday
5210. Jeremy could work from home so Aliza could stay home this morning