Monday, July 23, 2018

The Good and The Crazy

At the end of a big week of VBS and a couple of challenges with the van, Janell and I headed to the cove with our kids and some friends. It was a hot afternoon, perfect for being in the water. The kids all had tons of fun.

Isaiah continued to be fearless.

Josiah's friends were looking forward to having some time to play before they went home and when the ferry was closed and we had to drive all the way around the river, I decided to invite their family over for supper so they could play longer. It was a very spontaneous invitation.

We got home and the kids all got cleaned up while I unloaded the car. In the process of walking back and forth to the car, I noticed a drip on the bottom of the oil tank. I thought it was condensation and made another trip. It was a very steady drip for condensation and I had never seen condensation so I investigated further and realized it was oil leaking from the tank.

This was about 5:00. I was gross from being at the beach and I had company coming for supper. I let Jeremy know and he called the company who delivers our oil and I called the company who services our heating/hot water system. While I waited for someone to arrive to patch the leak, I kept buckets under the stream so that we could 1)pour it back into the tank to be used and 2) keep it from leaking onto the ground.
Between buckets I did get supper in the oven. Jeremy got home before the service guy showed up and I got a shower. The guy responded to our call in a decent time. I had collected 6 gallons for oil. The patch was pretty quick and easy.

On Monday I called to get some quotes a new tank--higher than we were expecting or hoping. I made a couple more calls and a guy offered to change our tank as a side job for much less than any of our quotes. That made the decision pretty easy.

So this weekend we got our new tank. I was far too excited when it showed up painted gray.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Bike Play

Josiah got a new bike which left his old bike unused. Jeremy raised the seat and has claimed it as his own. The children think this is the best. That leaves me as the only one walking since Aliza has rediscovered bike riding. The other night Jeremy convinced me to ride on the back posts with him. The children thought that was amazing and, of course, everyone wanted a ride.

Josiah also has posts on his bike and he really wanted to try having someone ride with him. Of course, Isaiah was up for that! I balanced Isaiah until Josiah got going and then I was running beside them.

Monday, July 16, 2018

My New Spontaneous Life

Now that Isaiah isn't napping, I have this whole new world opened up to me. I don't have to be home at a specific time to put him to bed. Amazing!

On Tuesday I went to pick up my crew from Bible School and my friend said, "Did you know you can get free chicken at Chick Fil A today?" I did not know, but it sounded really good to get some free lunch for 6 kids and myself. We double checked the website and the only catch was that you had to show your (cow) spots to get the deal.

Of course I had no prepared cow costumes for us so my friend suggested we stop by her office and let the children cut "spots" out of black and white sticker paper. It was perfect! We totally took over her office, spread out all over the floor with paper and scissors and in a short time we were cows.

I decided to go to the Chick Fil A in the mall thinking there would be plenty of space for a long line. Turns out there was no line. We got 4 free kids meals and 3 free entrees. I only paid for 3 fries and 3 drinks.

Since they had already had a big morning at Bible School, we brought the meals home. My kids think it is very fun to eat in the living room and watch a movie so that's what they did.

It was fun! The kids were great! And I felt like I really accomplished doing such an outing with 6 children on my own.

(Lydia is the cow jumping over the moon in the picture. She was also the child who went right up to the cashier and said mooooo.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Growing Flowers

When I plated those tiny flower seeds, I didn't have very high expectations. In fact, Aliza predicted that I had a genetic brown thumb. With rain and some luck my seeds grew and I have been LOVING my flowerbed. Aliza has conceded that maybe my thumb isn't brown. How about a little picture tour?
This is the whole flowerbed from the front of our house.

Foxglove and Snapdragon. I've learned a bit about foxglove. I'll try them in a different location next year.

The sweet peas are hidden behind the zinnias. The zinnias are blooming and so much fun to watch grow.
I the corner are these pink annuals and I've started 2 clematis. Indigo is in front.

Baby's breath in front. I didn't expect them to do anything, but I've had a couple little flowers. Gladiolas, in the back,  were a late addition in a spot that didn't sprout. Beside the gladiolas are amaranth.
In he front is honeywort. The amaranth and honeywort are experiments. I've never seen them and know very little about what to expect.
Cosmos are growing well and blooming.
One of the little baby's breath.
The first honeywort bloom. I ended up pinching them back so have to wait for more buds.
Giant wine zinnia. Janell picked up these seeds from floret, started them and gave me the plants. I'm so glad she did! They are my favorite. I'll be watching to get more of these.
One of my first little bouquets of the season. I used azalea cuttings to fill in. 
I had no idea I would find so much joy watching flowers grow. I find myself walking around out there a couple times day, just looking, maybe pulling a couple weeds, or watering. I suspect that next year this flowerbed will be extended.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Lessons from Blueberries

A post to my children:

I can't pick blueberries without remembering my first job and I usually tell you about it while we are picking. I was in 7th and 8th grade and we lived in Oregon close to a blueberry farm. My family picked blueberries and I remember my Dad loving the blueberries and exclaiming over how big the berries were and how wonderful they tasted. At that time I didn't like blueberries. I don't remember how it happened. I know that I did not make any phone calls to pursue a job. And so I really think that it was my Dad who said something when we bought blueberries that landed me that summer job of picking blueberries.
I got there early in the morning and worked until about noon. I don't remember regularly packing a lunch. I would sit under the bush on a turned over 5 gallon bucket and pick the bush clean. Picking in Oregon was different than picking here on the East Coast. We picked handfuls of berries at a time. Somehow pretty much all of the berries ripened at the same time. Here on the East Coast we have to pick one berry very carefully at a time and it takes forever to fill a bucket.
I'd fill my gallon bucket and then take it over to the nice lady in charge to get it weighed. She would write the weight down on a clipboard and I got paid by the pound. I know that I wasn't a super fast picker, but I kept at it. I didn't take breaks. I didn't have a phone to mess around on. I picked 7 or 8 buckets a day.
One summer there were a couple other girls my age. I really enjoyed when we were put on the same row together. I got paid one time at the end of the season. Both summers my checks were just over $100. I got paid 24 cents a pound. I was quite happy with that pay check and I put it right in the bank.

I had some really boring, low paying summer jobs. I hope you do too. Because you will learn to stick with a job even when it is boring. You'll learn to show up and work hard because it's the right thing to do. You'll appreciate your paycheck. And while you're working you'll dream of a job that you really want and then you will work to reach that ideal job and you'll be a good employee or employer. And hopefully I'll be the mom who will make sure you only have a flip phone in your pocket so that you won't be distracted from learning life lessons!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Joy Dare::June

5478. A morning of watching K-LOVE fan awards
5479. Flowers blooming
5480. A bit crazy, but fun, hotel story
5481. Meeting new people
5482. Safe trip home
5483. My bed
5484. Resting and catching up
5485. Smiles
5486. Got lots of work done
5487. The children pitching in to help with cleaning
5488. Isaiah being a great garden helper
5489. A "crazy" offer
5490. Compliment on well behaved children
5491. Aliza and Anna helping me weed
5492. Excited children about vacation
5493. The children surprised me by enjoying a new setting
5494. Braces off for Aliza
5495. Boys play time
5496. Tea time with Maria
5497. Afternoon view
5498. Friends who get me
5499. Errands with the boys
5500. Vacation anticipation
5501. Personality discussions
5502. Bible time on the balcony
5503. Jeremy is the best letterbox finder
5504. Hours of pool time
5505. Safety during the storm
5506. Aliza got to cook with Aunt Sarah
5507. Adventures in Odyssey
5508. In South Carolina!
5509. Family slumber party
5510. Touring BJU and meeting teachers
5511. Hiking and sightseeing
5512. Hole in the wall pizza
5513. Anna put her head under water
5514. The children are amazing travellers
5515. Very happy to see our house
5516. White brick in my kitchen
5517. Showing up
5518. Jeremy was genuinely excited about my plants
5519. YouTube Christian music parodies kept us entertained for a long time
5520. Celebrating my Dad

5521. Feeling a little more settled after vacation
5522. No one cried when we left them at Grandma's house for the night
5523. Ice cream date
5524. Spending the day with Maria
5525. Selling some curriculum
5526. Summer in full swing
5527. Trading off babysitting with Meghan
5528. The toy room cleaned up
5529. The snake met its demise
5530. New Bible study
5531. Josiah was full of ideas of things to do
5532. Slower day than I expected
5533. Cousins and water
5534. Succlents
5535. Talking it through with a friend
5536. Josiah's motivation to take a walk
5537. Wii must have been designed for 3 year olds--Isaiah plays with gusto
5538. Putting together a care package for our neighbors
5539. Finished a scrapbook
5540. Took a day to do things I enjoy
5541. Picking blueberries
5542. Double rainbow
5543. A few buds in the flowerbed
5544. 6 kids at the cove went smoothly
5545. Josiah and Anna came out smiling after VBS
5546. Aliza doing some very pre-teen things
5547. Zinnias as tall as a boy
5548. No alarm clock mornings
5549. Cooler outside than inside
5550. The moment at Bible study when I see a new truth
5551. Sisters noticing the weird error on my blog
5552. First cosmos bloom
5553. VBS Mom friend
5554. Seeing Aliza developing critical thinking
5555. Listening to Josiah's heart
5556. Spontaneous decision to watch fireworks tonight
5557. All the kids' conversations today
5558. Ice cream cones