Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Spontaneous Side Trip

On the Garden Tour, Chrissy casually mentioned that Cunningham Falls would be really big with all the rain we've had. That piqued my interest and by that evening Jeremy said yes and I had our little side trip on our way home planned!

Cunningham Falls is in Frederick, MD. I packed us a picnic lunch. It didn't take much convincing for Chrissy to agree to join us. I know it would have been fun for Jeremy to have Matt come along, but we understood that he had work commitments. It was a really pretty day. It was quite nice to see blue sky. It had been at least a week since we had seen blue sky! This wasn't quite our picnic view, but we did eat looking over the lake.
It was a half mile hike to the falls overlook. The trail was well maintained and just the right distance for us all to handle easily. The children were posing for pictures--and so we took pictures!
Totally Isaiah's own pose--he picked the tree and stuck his leg out around it.

I understand that this falls is usually a trickle of water. It was rushing the day we were there.
There was a place on the trail where you could easily walk down to the stream. We stopped both ways and on the way back I found the perfect rock to sit on. And so we took some more pictures. Jeremy and I got photo bombed by Josiah.
The passing of time is so hard to deal with! I love this tribe of mine so much! It's so fun to go on adventures right now when they are young enough to be in awe and excited and old enough to walk a mile round trip with minimal complaining.
And a picture with Chrissy too! She has been with me through every adventure stage from helping me get 3 littles across the street to the library safely to having some good conversations with Aliza. I'm glad she's stuck with us!
We had a pretty quiet trip on the way home with 4 children napping. Unfortunately that meant I was exhausted at bedtime and they were wide awake!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Garden Tour Tradition Continues

This year I did not think we would have school finished before the Garden Tour weekend, but I planned ahead and the children were willing to work hard and we did it! It always feels good to shut the doors of the school cabinet and leave for the weekend knowing that summer awaits.

On the 5th day of constant rain, at times torrential rain, we headed to WV. We loaded the car in down pouring rain and drove through rain the whole way. Saturday was just gray with a bit of drizzle. We carried umbrellas but we didn't need to use them.

Chrissy was able to join us again!
I was pretty intrigued by the gardener who was growing vegetables out of hay bales.
The girls love choosing their sweets and savory at the tea party.
The gardener at the house below uses tree branches for storage of garden supplies.

Brandi wasn't able to come along and the girls missed her so much. She met us for lunch at Panera though.
The guys got their time together later that evening. Jeremy and Josiah went to Joel's house to watch him stream Fortnite. Jeremy played and Josiah was thrilled to watch.
And by Sunday Isaiah fell asleep on Grandpa's lap after a couple days without naps and late nights.
When we were ready to leave, Grandma asked for a picture and everyone cooperated!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Mother-Daughter Date

by Aliza
On May 11th, Mommy and I went to a Secret Keeper Girls Mother Daughter Event. The event was 3 hours away, but I didn't care because that meant 3 hours of chatting with Mom.
Well that's what I thought the day before. Me and mommy were ready to leave, we were just waiting for Daddy. He had to watch the kids. We wanted to leave at 2:00, but he arrived at 2:40. We jumped into Daddy's car. We were tense the whole ride there. We picked up a tuna wrap on the way there and skipped supper. We got there 10 minutes late. The show was created for 7 to 12 year olds so I was one of the oldest there.
The message was that God created you a masterpiece. There was a lot of singing and dancing, but I didn't mind. There was 4 music directors and one main teacher. I really liked the quiet teaching parts and stories. Actually I liked all of it!!
At the end of the show, there was a meet and greet. I got to meet all the girls and they talked to me. It was a lot of fun to meet them. My favorite was Lexi. She is Dannah Gresh's Daughter. Dannah Gresh is the creator of Secret Keeper Girls.
Me with Stacy and Lexi.
And me with Sara and Melanie.
After the show, me and Mommy were starving! We stopped by Sonic on the way home, but I was so sleepy I could barely eat. I left with some great memories and the message that God made me a masterpiece.

By Mommy
We may have been a little stressed in the car, but that didn't keep us from singing to every song on the radio! My little girl is growing up and is a lot of fun to do things with. We talked a lot, sang a lot, and she slept a lot on the way home.

Aliza and I have been doing 8 Great Mother Daughter Dates by the founder of Secret Keeper Girls, Dannah Gresh. The themes of the 3 dates we have done so far fit in perfectly with the event. It was the perfect time in Aliza's life for us to go to this together. For some girls, 8 might be a great age, but, for Aliza, this was the right time. I was very impressed with the message and the quality of the show.

I think Aliza summed it all up well! I'm so proud of Aliza and the young lady she is. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

April Read Aloud

In April the character quality we focused our reading on was love. The War that Saved My Life was more intense emotionally than we were used to, but it turned out to be good. WWII was depicted in a pretty realistic sense that allowed me to have discussions with Aliza and Josiah about realities of war versus the hide and seek/tag shooting games they play on the computer. Discussions that let me know their hearts are sensitive and they understand that war is real people shooting and bombing to kill living human beings.

This week we are finishing school. I'll get back to writing blogs again soon!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

All the Dance Pictures

This was a fun year of dance for both Aliza and Anna. Aliza did lyrical dance in addition to jazz for the first time and this was Anna's first year of dance. She did ballet and tap. Anna was in a class with Renee and Lydia and she also made a new friend.
Aliza's class was part of the Moana showcase in the recital.
It was next to impossible to get good pictures on the stage! But between me, Chrissy and Grandma Karen we got a few!

Aliza and Anna smiled the whole time they were on stage--real smiles--like they were really having fun! I loved both of their presences on stage.
There might be 5 years between these sisters, but they talk and play and learned to share their love of dance.

Aliza received a trophy for completely 5 years of dance. No one could have been prouder of that trophy than her!

I was crying by the end of recital this year. I knew 3 moms who had seniors, my girl got her trophy and I am so thankful for this studio that celebrates every girl's uniqueness.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Joy Dare::April

5308. Easter dinner and egg hunt
5309. Aliza and Grandma playing piano
5310. Everyone tired from a good day
5311. Jeremy doing some things he enjoys
5312. Sneaking in a little scrapbooking
5313. Aliza reading to Anna
5314. When the morning is productive
5315. Kids asleep an hour earlier than usual
5316. Fun trying on clothes
5317. Super quiet evening with my boys
5318. The girls enjoying friends
5319. I still enjoy scrapbooking
5320. Before 11am--groceries bought and 2 wheelbarrow loads of sticks picked up
5321. Saturday with no plans
5322. Friends that live so close
5323. Isaiah snuggles with he is so tired
5324.There's nothing quite like shopping with Anna
5325. Peacefulness
5326. Started a new book with Aliza and Josiah
5327. Josiah's moments of affection
5328. Parents to be proud of
5329. Healthy children and boring well checks
5330. First curriculum call
5331. Pretended it was spring temperatures
5332. Aliza made a yummy cake with Laura
5333. Leading acapella  went better than I thought it would
5334. Good discussions
5335. Compliments on my children
5336. Promoted to once a year endocrinology appointments
5337. Isaiah pedaled his bike
5338. 2 days of taking bike rides/walks
5339. Warmth in the air
5340. New flowerbed taking shape
5341. Josiah decided to try handling the tiller
5342. Isaiah in the tree
5343. Sweet peas planted
5344. Aliza and Anna had a great day
5345. Anna's supper prayer to go to the beach this weekend was unexpectedly answered
5346. Enough supper to have company
5347. Aliza and I sure enjoyed watching Olympics and we finally finished tonight
5348. Jammies and rest
5349. Starting the week with reading out loud
5350. Coughs and colds getting better
5351. Got to see Mom
5352. I'm loved so much no one wants me to leave. (lol)
5353. One "normal" day this week
5354. Seeing some of Dad's cousins
5355. Rose bush cuttings
5356. A day with Janell
5357. Buying a dress on huge clearance
5358. Talking to my Moms
5359. Chrissy knew the closest place to water
5360. Enough energy for the day
5361. Talking to parents about BJU curriculum
5362. Quiet hotel room
5363. Safe trip home
5364. Hugging my children and Jeremy
5365. My own bed and slept all night
5366. Isaiah on my lap all morning
5367. River otters are pretty cool
5368. Good conversation and happily playing children
5369. At home this evening
5370. Home, school, last dance class
5371. Loving that our extracurricular activities are winding down
5372. Being challenged in Bible study
5373. Aliza finished 5 years of dance!
5374. All the surprises in boxes from Chrissy
5375. Feeling recovered from a cold
5376. Concentrating on school
5377. Enjoying warmer weather
5378. I sat down and Isaiah spent most of an hour hanging out on my lap
5379. In laws coming means the whole house gets cleaned at once
5380. When my child falls asleep holding my hand
5381. The girls did great at dress rehearsal
5382. Soil prepared and some plants planted
5383. Isaiah's "three year old-ness"
5384. Joel and Brandi came for the day
5385. So proud of the girls' dances and stage presence
5386. That 5 year trophy
5387. Visiting with Chrissy
5388. Working really hard on school
5389. Early morning grocery shopping