Monday, April 30, 2018

Sister Day

My list of blogs to write is getting long and my days fly by! I got one sentence written this morning and now it is 10pm. That's just how life is right now. Somebody always needs something from me.

Janell and I took a day trip to Lancaster area for the funeral of our Great Uncle. Uncle Allen met more of my friends than any other relative because he and Floss opened their house and let us come for the weekend and explore Lancaster Amish country. Trips to their house always included ice cream and supper at Squire Side. He was special and I knew I wanted to be at his funeral. I cried more than I thought I would. Going to funerals isn't exactly fun, but getting to spend the day with my sister was very fun. I think we made the most of the day!
Uncle Allen loved genealogy and wrote 2 books on the Beiler and Howe families which is probably why Janell and I thought it would be most interesting to visit the farm where our great grandparents lived later in their life. The farm has been in the family since 1904 and a cousin of my Dad's still lives there. She loves showing the farm to descendants of the family and she loves history. She had lots to tell us! On the way we stopped at the grave of our great grandparents.
This is the front of the house.
Mom-mom and Pop-pop lived in an apartment on the left side--just a mud room, kitchen, living room and a bedroom or two upstairs.
We were told that Mom-mom wanted cardinals and so Pop-pop planted this pine tree to attract them.
And he planted 2 rose bushes on either side of the door. Janell and I are equally into flowers and growing things this spring and we looked at each other and asked for some clippings to see if we could start rose bushes from the original bush. Of course they were more than happy to oblige.
The Christiana Mall is always a good stop on the way home from Lancaster. Our initial plan was to check out the full Hearth and Hand line at Target which we did. And then we walked through some stores and ate at the food court. I left with 2 caffeinated beverages--because I needed them!
On our way out of the mall we went back to Gap and tried on some clothes. I found a rack of dresses on clearance and we both liked the same one. It looked really good on both of us and when we saw the price reduction was $79.99 marked down to $14.99 we both bought the dress.

The last stop was Lowe's to get root hormone for our little rose clippings. By then we were definitely tired giddy and looking a little goofy in Lowe's in funeral attire walking out with bags of potting soil.
Dad wondered how it was taking us so long to get home after he got home from the funeral. I said we were just enjoying being sisters.

My roses got planted the next day. They looked good for a week and now the leaves are yellowing. I'm expecting all the leaves to fall off and then time will tell if it will be able to regenerate growth. (I'm not holding my breath!)

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Coincidence or God

During prayer before eating supper Anna prayed, "And please let us go to the beach this weekend." It was going to be a beautiful weekend, but the beach was not in my plans. Being the realist Mom that I am, I told Anna that her prayer wish was not going to happen. We went about our business that Friday evening and Saturday morning.

And then I got a text message later on Saturday morning from a friend asking if she could have my girls for the afternoon to go to the beach with her and her girls. How could I not say yes!?

The girls had an amazing afternoon with friends playing at the beach and eating ice cream. They came back to our house and played some more and ate supper. They were exhausted by bedtime!

What's the point in writing this little story? I could have chalked this invitation up to a nice coincidence. Instead, though, I chalked it up to God working out an answer to a little girl's prayer. I told Anna "Look how much God loves you! He answered your prayer with a YES this time." Of course the answer isn't always yes and many times things don't go the way we wish, but this time it did. And I will always choose to give God the credit over coincidence.

Monday, April 16, 2018

The Next Yard Project

I've been dreaming up a flowerbed for this area along the privacy fence and under the window this winter. I was afraid that if we didn't do it this weekend it wouldn't get done. The weather cooperated beautifully and we got half of it ready to go.

Jeremy tilled up the grass and I pulled out as much as I could. And then Jeremy tilled in peat moss and potting soil.
And I got the sweet peas planted! They look so tiny in the ground. I wasn't sure they would survive the wind and rain last night, but they look just fine this morning. Time will tell how they do!
The dahlia tubers I ordered arrived this weekend and I have lots of seeds to plant.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Easter in Pictures

Dinner and Egg hunt with my family
A Peep was at each place setting so naturally Isaiah stole a second one from someone and ate it first.
Getting directions for the egg hunt while Isaiah got a head start.

Isaiah could not wait to hunt eggs. He's been looking forward to it for weeks. I believe it even lived up to his expectations. =)

Renee and Anna needed to hide to open their eggs.
Isaiah lined his eggs up--and counted them correctly.
Josiah loves the days that he gets to play with Caleb and Gideon.
After opening his eggs, Isaiah proceeded to unwrap every single piece of candy.
We spent most of the afternoon sitting on the deck visiting. Isaiah found a good spot to sit and each a lot of his unwrapped candy.

Aliza didn't hunt eggs. She was Isaiah's helper and somehow we did not manage to get a picture of her! Grandma made sure that Aliza got candy and the "big egg" gifts that every one else got. It was a very enjoyable day!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

My Recent Yard Project

This little area is beside our driveway just past a row of large trees. The trees are ours, but these bushes and beyond are on our neighbor's property. We have a great relationship with our neighbors and they would be the first to tell you that they do not have the time or energy for yard work. Here's the thing--they do not see this area of their yard at all. It is a distance from their house and no windows look over it. But from my house, it is directly in the line of our living room windows and what everyone can see when they drive up to our house. Last summer Jeremy and I started mowing this area. As I mowed I started dreaming up what could be done to make it have more curb appeal. With a little positive talk from my two Moms and permission from our neighbors, I've been working out here as much as the weather will let me. This is the before picture--wildly overgrown bushes, years of leaves and sticks on the ground and a row of volunteer oak trees that are at least 8 feet tall.
 I had some good helpers in the children and Jeremy when the weekend allowed. I would work for an hour or two at a time. It's amazing what can be accomplished by sticking with a project even for just an hour or so at a time. The bushes got more unruly as I moved down the line! It turned out to be good motivation to do the easiest bushes first. I knocked out the first one really quickly and couldn't wait to tackle the next.

The other weekend Jeremy got the chainsaw out and went down the line of volunteer trees. (We did save the tree that Josiah built his fort around.) This is a decent before picture from one end.
Where the trees have grown used to be a huge bed of iris. There are still iris that come up, but they don't bloom any more. This area still has a lot of junk brush in it and leaves.
 Here 3 of the 4 bushes have been trimmed and the whole area is so much more open.
This is the last of the 4 bushes--a daunting one!
After removing the leaves and all of the baby (and a few large ones) forsythias that started from branches reaching the ground and rooting, this is what I was left with!
And after:
Josiah is a little sad that his fort is so exposed now. I think when the leaves grow on the trees it will feel a little better to him. The fort definitely felt like it was in the woods before. I'm quite proud of my/our accomplishment here. There is a large bed of stuff just in the front of the bushes that I want to clear out. It's really bad...I'm not sure that I can actually do it so for next little while I'm going to focus on our actual yard!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Joy Dare::March

5211. Laughing so hard at the lunch table at my Dad's story
5212. Sweet peas are growing
 5213. Jeremy so graciously finished school for me tonight
5214. The first daffodils
 5216. Isaiah discovered his shadow
5217. Aliza and Anna had so much fun with friends
5218. We had 3 hours of sunlight during our 4 hours without electricity
5219. An afternoon with my birthday girl
5220. From the 12 year old--"Mom, your shirt is so cute. Your boots are so cute. You're just so cute" and then she added #rodemodel--and I melted.
5221. Introduced Aliza to Hobby Lobby (she's a fan)
5222. Brandi talked to Anna so I could brush all the tangles out of her hair.
5223. All the family here to celebrate birthdays
5224. Church tonight was pretty special
5225. Boardwalk and winter waves
 5226. The begging to read another chapter and another
5227. Josiah's bike found
5228. Had to be a tough aunt--and won
5229. Pizza for supper
5230. All the children fell asleep without being scared
5231. Supper with Grandma and Grandpa
5232. Winter pool swimming
5233. All the squeals of delight
5234. The sun called me outside to do some trimming
5235. Early morning week day grocery shopping with Josiah
5236. Putting a gift together to mail
5237. Grasshopper poke cake amazingness
5238. Celebrating Jeremy today
5239. A gift that actually surprised him
5240. Anna working hard with me outside
5241. Pretending that it's almost spring and did some more trimming
5242. Daylight Savings Time!
5243. Jammies, Olympics and golf
5244. I survived a DIY--edible play doh
5245. Going into a new week rested
5246. Aliza washed dishes without being asked
5247. The refrigerator is getting cleaner
5248. Isaiah asked to take a picture (by himself) of his creation
 5249. Anna did really well with school today
5250. Lydia cooperated
5251. Aliza's dance class is so special
5252. Men to help Jeremy get a new battery for his car
5253. Anna is choosing kindness
5254. A wonderfully innocent conversation
5255. Everyone vying for Grandma's attention
5256. Hair cuts
5257. 1/2 hour of empty house being Bible study
5258. Full week of school for everyone
5259. First SKG date with Aliza
5260. Tea, snacks and talking
5261. Relaxing evening
5262. Anna's handstands
5263. Daffodils on the table
5264. Lots of memories about Gramma recently
5265. Wheelbarrow
5266. Another bush trimmed and cleaned up
5267. The gift arrived and was enjoyed
5268. Beautiful sun and chance to be outside
5269. Toys everywhere but so much playing fun
5270. Sweet peas are still growing
5271. Anna's dance costume
5272. Spring(?) rain
5273. Big wet snowflakes
5274. Aliza's dance costumes
5275. A snowy evening at home
5276. Teaching Aliza piano
5277. The last addition to the laundry room
 5278. Grandma visits and no one wants her to leave
5279. Sandals and flip flops for the children
5280. Aliza entertained Isaiah beautifully during grocery shopping
5281. Gave myself a time out doing hard labor outside
5282. A day out:
 5283. Inspiring speakers
5284. The text after I got home
5285. The children motivated to work outside
5286. Chainsaw started
5287. Tea with Mom--I talked really fast
5288. New dresses for the girls
5289. Curing hair
5290. Janell could take the little girls for dance pictures
5291. Hugs and reaching her heart
5292. I think I might have been forgiven
5293. Painting nails and talking
5294. Josiah is a really great big brother
5295. Fun playing with friends
5296. Hanging out in the girls class tonight
5297. Teaching, explaining, loving
5298. Beautiful day=picnic lunch
5299. Coloring eggs chaos
5300. "So many victims of abuse eventually reach the point where they say 'I can't handle this.' They are not really troubled by the problems in everyday life, they are overwhelmed by the problems of a broken heart." -Joyce Meyer (to keep in mind before I make a judgment about someone)
5301. "You are a spirit. You have a soul. You live in a body." -Robert Morris
5302. Twirly dresses for Anna
5303. Soccer playing in the yard
5304. Ezra coming back for handfuls of jelly beans
5305. Finished an outside project
5306. Going to the mall with Aliza