Thursday, August 30, 2018

Welcome to Junior High!

My sweet girl has started 7th grade. If the first five days are any indication of how the year is going to go, it's going to be a great year for Aliza. Every day she has worked hard and independently to get her work done. All summer she waited for the first day of school! This year she is taking Fundamentals of Math, Life Science, World History, Writing & Grammar, Explorations in Literature and Bible.

This year has a learning curve for me as I record grades and grade papers in preparation for high school. I told Aliza today that by the end of the year she and I are going to be great communicators with each other. We've definitely had our struggles in the first week! She and I are trying to figure out what works for both of us and what the distance learning teachers are expecting.

Aliza, I could not be more proud of your work ethic, independence, determination and attitude. You've got this!!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Real Reason for This Trip

Finally getting back to this story...
The real reason for this trip was to see Grandma. Mom spent the days with her while Janell and I kept the children busy and then we had supper and spent the evening with Grandma.
Pizza was perfect before playing at this amazing park. There was a pavilion where we could eat and Grandma, Mom, Janell and I could visit and watch the children play. Aliza went with Mom to take Grandma home and got to spend some more time with her Grandma Rhoda. That was very special for her.
The next night we had a picnic in the courtyard where Grandma lives. It was a perfect setting, however we started eating quickly as the clouds gathered and darkened. Our time was more rushed than we envisioned but we ate and made it inside before the rain started.
Pictures are always in order when it is time to say good bye.

I loved getting to hug Grandma and spend a little time with her. There's nothing quite like going to Grandma's house no matter how old I get!

Monday, August 20, 2018

2 Days in the Village

The amazing gem of Sauder Village is a country block from where my Grandma lives. Janell and I and our siblings remember going here as children when we visited Grandma and Grandpa. It sure was fun to go back together as adults and experience it again through adult eyes and with our children. This was my children's second time and they loved it just as much as the first. In fact, we spent 2 days here.
 Anna's very own spinning shop and it it building number 7 and Anna is 7 years old! She was super excited.
 Singing Amazing Grace with accompaniment from the pump organ.
 Renee grabbed a picture of Anna at the weaving shop. Weaving an intense skill! I couldn't keep up with the lady explaining the pedals and wires! It's amazing how much we learn each time we go. With different artisans in the shops they each bring out unique perspectives on the history.

 I should have dug out the picture of Janell and I in the double seater outhouse from when we were preteen(ish). This one is recreated. Our photographer was a bit challenged in the attitude department and this was the best we got.
 The first day we spent a lot of time at the glass blowing building. Burlington Glass Works is amazing. You should follow that link and to see some of his glass works.
 He was making these glass spheres with colors in the afternoon. It takes about 4 hours to make a series of 3 spheres so throughout the afternoon we kept stopping back in to see what was happening.
 Our timing was really on point because we got to see him pick up the colored rods to add to the clear glass. And then later we saw him actually finish the piece and drop it and put it in the 997 degree oven as opposed to the almost 1400 degree furnace. Our children entertained the assistant with their antics and songs about "cooking the (glass) sausage".
 Afternoon ice cream is required!
 We really loved the artisans who took it upon themselves to keep the children entertained and teach them. At the grist mill the man lined the children up by height and walked in front of them while he told them about the grist mill. He had them file past the window to see the water wheel when he started it and then in front on the mill to see the corn meal come down the chute.
Day 2! Everyone was ready to go back. I was a little worried that the kids would wake up and not want to go back. But there was a whole other section of the village that we had not explored. The first stop was the toy maker's shop. The counters are covered with wooden toys that they make. All of the children played for at least 20 minutes.
 It was off to a train ride.

 And a short walk to the Indian village.
 Popcorn stew and something else was cooking over the first. She was also drying squash.
 At the covered wagon settlement Aliza carried water again.
 In the early pioneer settlements we went to school...
 ...and kneaded bread. The lady was actually making bread. She had the dough in a rising box outside and the brick outdoor oven was heating. She also introduced the children to ground cherries and anise.
 This afternoon called from more ice cream--or popcorn.
We also took a horse drawn carriage ride which Lydia especially adored. Finally, it was time to navigate the gift shops and souvenirs. That got a little dicey, but Janell and I survived. I may have spoiled the children this time. Good memories...

Thursday, August 16, 2018

A Beautiful Memorial

The Flight 93 National Memorial turned out to be a most worthwhile side trip on our way to Ohio to visit my Grandma. As we drove in, I told my older children about my memories of the morning of Sept. 11 and the stories we learned about Flight 93. I almost became emotional thinking about the people on the flight deciding to crash in the field instead of into a building in Washington DC.

From the parking lot you follow the flight route to the visitor center and an overlook of the crash site. The visitor center has all sorts of information about the crash, the events leading up to the crash and the people on the flight.

I was watching a video of various newscasts from the morning of Sept 11 and the woman beside me mentioned that she remembered where she was on Sept 11. (Don't we all!?) I bit and asked her where she was. She said she was homeschooling her children and her oldest was in college just 20 minutes from the crash site. She told me that at 20 minutes away he felt the actual impact of the crash.
From the visitor center there are 2 trails that go to closer to the crash site and the memorial wall. You can drive also.
There is a quarter mile walk to the wall.
The wall is individual pieces to represent each person's sacrifice, but from a distance it appears to be one wall to represent the unified effort of the flight to avoid more casualties. Each wall is engraved with a name.
And from the wall you can see the crash site and the sandstone boulder that marks it.
A 93 foot wind chime is being constructed at the entrance to the memorial. It will have 30 pipes to represent each individual voice that was lost. It will be the largest wind chime in the world.

I know Aliza was impacted by this stop. I was too. Not just because I remember the day it happened, but because of the thought and detail the architect put into each piece of the memorial.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Mega Sports

It was another great week at Mega Sports Camp. The music is usually a highlight and it did not disappoint. Neither did the church's sound system! That music was at concert level volume.

Josiah chose soccer. By Wednesday he had really settled in and enjoyed the game. He even scored a goal during one scrimmage.
The week caught up to Isaiah by Friday. He fell asleep in the car and then slept through the concert level music and while I carried him out to the soccer field. Thankfully I had brought a blanket to sit on and he slept for another half hour outside.
Renee and Lydia came to sports camp this year too. Renee, Anna and Aliza did art. Lydia did cheerleading. It was fun to be with Janell every evening. After camp Friday evening we went to Dairy Queen where a bunch of Mega Sports families went. One family that we started to get to know during the week showed up and we ended up with kids in one booth and adults in the another and we all talked until 9:30. So fun. I love good conversations!

Aliza and Anna really wanted to go to the church Sunday morning to sing their songs one more time. I can't really say no when my children want to go to church so I took them.
It was a big week. A good week in retrospect!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Joy Dare::July

5559. Watermelon
5560. Cooking to give away
5561. Starting a new project
5562. Watering flowers
5563. Mom's help
5564. White upper kitchen cabinets
5565. Supper time decisions
5566. Children big enough for me to do big projects
5567. A really nice morning at the cove
5568. Candy excitement at the parade
5569. When you try something hoping that it turns out good and it does
5570. Feeling really good about a cleaning day
5571. A gift that meant a lot to me
5572. Sometimes the best thing to do is laugh
5573. 39 birthday emojis
5574. Books I've wanted
5575. Dinner with the Gregory's
5576. Aliza's hair braided
5577. The most beautiful evening spent outside
5578. New bouquets
5579. Isaiah sound asleep in my arms
5580. When there are enough leftover that I don't have to cook all weekend
5581. Finding some very old childhood treasures of mine
5582. Everyone excited for another VBS
5583. A few decorating things for the kitchen
5584. Isaiah is an entertaining shopping buddy
5585. Being able to embrace spontaneity
5586. Free Chick Fil A
5587. Mornings with Isaiah this week
5588. 90 minutes with only one child and I feel so organized
5589. New brakes on the car
5590. Early bedtime
5591. Mom and Laura could pick up children when the van broke down
5592. I have so many resources
5593. Got to spend the morning with Janell
5594. Fun at the cove
5595. Oil tank leak could be stopped
5596. Spontaneous supper with friends
5597. 17 years of marriage
5598. Talking and praying
5599. All the kids fell asleep in the car and stayed asleep when we put them in bed
5600. A really fun Bible school party
5601. Families in church that don't usually go to church
5602.  A totally unexpected bike for Josiah
5603. Multiple times of provision today
5604. Pressed but not crushed
5605. Corn from Grandad's garden
5606. Reminder to look at the sky
5607. Riding bikes
5608. A text conversation that encouraged me
5609. Slow summer mornings
5610. Josiah got some good cousin time
5611. So ready for my mid week hour with adults
5612. Tired children that all made it through the day
5613. Home all day
5614. Clean house
5615. Fun supper with friends
5616. Learning to be comfortable with hospitality
5617. Phase 2 of kitchen painting complete
5618. Lots of rain that we needed
5619. Praying while Jeremy has the meetings
5620. New oil tank is gray
5621. Quiet weekend
5622. Praying, talking, listening
5623. 9 children playing nicely together
5624. Driving on backroads I had never been on
5625. Visiting with Lynette
5626. Making the most of a rainy beach day
5627. My heart is smiling
5628. Jeremy came home early
5629. Lunch with Maria
5630. Checking out a new coffee shop
5631. Catching Mom up on everything
5632. Started a book that I got into right away
5633. Awesome conversation
5634.Planning for efficiency
5635. Long, but safe, trip to WV
5636. Mowed the grass for Van
5637. Perfect afternoon to be outside
5638. Listening to Isaiah covince Grandpa to play
5639. Anna's notes
5640. Walking with Aliza
5641. Lunch stop in Frederic
5642. Jeremy drove
5643. These kids
5644. Summer rains
5645. Picnic supper with Janell
5646. Anna enjoyed Sports Camp
5647. Josiah had a buddy at sports camp
5648. Aliza can stay home alone for short times
5649. Wishing my Mom a happy birthday