Monday, April 29, 2019

Nature Walk with My Littles

We actually went to Jeremy's parents for Easter. Karen had to work Friday night so she needed to sleep on Saturday which meant that a couple loud children needed something to do! I took Anna and Isaiah to a nearby nature preservation. As with so many things in the Martinsburg, WV area, I can't believe we haven't been there! It is so close to the Van and Karen's house and the trail is really nice.

Anna and Isaiah were super enthusiastic and thought it was great fun to do something with me without the big kids.
It was a most beautiful day! The leaves were just starting to come out, the sky was brilliant blue and the sun was shining.

We watched a centipede.
And they requested pictures of the landscape at various locations.
That's the Potomac River beyond the trees.

Anna thought this umbrella plant was pretty neat and took a picture.
The quarter of the trail they got tired and thought we must surely be lost and would never find our car again.
Isaiah wanted a picture of the rock he found.
Amazingly, we did make it to the end of the trail!
And at the very, very end I almost stepped on this camouflaged snake. (It's running right through the shadow of the tree in the picture.)
I was a really fun Mom that day and picked up Aliza and Josiah and took all of them to McDonald's and even said yes to milkshakes. When we got home Karen was awake and ready for us!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Secret Keeper Girl with Anna

Last year I took Aliza to this show 3 hours away so when I found out it was coming to a town only an hour away, I decided to take Anna.
Anna counted down for 3 weeks for this day. She had her bag of things to do in the car, a pillow and blanket packed for at least 3 days. She was so excited to do this special thing with Mom that she really didn't know anything about.
Janell also took Renee and a friend of Janell's came from PA with her girls and nieces. We all met for supper. The church was packed! Janell and I wanted to sit with our girls, but Anna really  really wanted to sit by Renee and she was having trouble seeing so we ended up with this arrangement.

I was pretty sure Anna was going to need a flower crown with blinking lights. They were comfortable enough during the second half to go out in the aisle and dance.
Being on the younger side, Anna didn't fully understand all that was being taught, but she did get some things out of it. Her favorite was the Mom/Daughter fashion show and the tips on dressing modestly. Afterwards we waited for the actresses. Anna got pictures with all of them.
And then Janell and I lost all of our good sense and I let Anna go home with Janell and Renee for the night since we were going to see them again in about 14 hours. Anna got her things out of the our car and barely gave me a hug good bye. I thought she would be so tired she would fall asleep right away. Boy was I wrong! She kept Janell up until 2am because she wanted to go home and whatever else she could think of to keep herself awake. I felt horrible when I heard that! Bad parenting call! We won't try that again anytime soon!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Early Easter

Isaiah has been asking when "Easter egg hunt day" is for several weeks now. He could hardly stand it that he had to endure a long family dinner before he could find eggs. But he did survive and ended up with the most eggs--because all the others counted their allotted amount and Isaiah just kept hunting.

Sean had his own area for hunting eggs. It's always the cutest to watch 2 year olds pick up Easter eggs and realize that there is something inside the eggs.

It was a warm, sunny afternoon so all the kids had squinty eyes on the deck! Anna was pretty funny when she opened up one of her eggs to find a pine cone inside. Uncle Brian had taken the candy out of one egg and replaced it with a pine cone. Apparently the lesson was that there is always one bad egg in the batch?! Aunt Meghan made it up to Anna with a dollar and Anna thought that was pretty great.

Isaiah could not have been happier to get the same shirt as all the other boys. He told me today that it's his favorite shirt and I'm pretty sure he's worn it since Sunday.
Since we were a week early egg coloring took place after the egg hunt. As expected it was a busy table with lots of excitement. There was only one mishap with a packet of blue egg dye and, thankfully, it washed off the floor, wall, clothes, skin and hair without staining.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Joy Dare::March

6210. Isaiah's dancing
6211. Everything on the to do list crossed off
6212. Remembering how to write formally
6213. Grandma and Grandpa
6214. Disappointment and another idea
6215. Josiah so enjoyed his birthday party
6216. Dinner with Aliza, Grandma and Brandi
6217. "Thanks, Mom, for making all my birthday dreams come true." Aliza
6218. 13th birthday tea party
6219. Standing beside Leslie in her wedding
6220. Getting the house back in order
6221. Everyone slept in late
6222. Aliza's birthday supper
6223. My formal writing turned out pretty well
6224. Weekly 45 minutes with Janell
6225. Linda's sight restored! A huge praise!
6226. Totally unexpected hour with Jeremy
6227. Josh completely surprised Jeremy
6228. The children kept the secret
6229. Isaiah warmed up to Josh right away
6230. Faith building stories
6231. Buds on daffodils
6232. Great trip with the children
6233. Blueprints
6234. Visiting with Josh
6235. Celebrating Jeremy!
6236. Quiet day for me
6237. Letting everyone sleep in as late as they want to
6238. The ice cream cake made the trip well
6239. Planting some seeds
6240. Catch up Monday
6241. 3rd quarter of school finished
6242. ShopVac
6243. Ranunculas planted
6244. Anna likes her glasses
6245. Spring is in the air
6246. Walking through the zoo felt like reminiscing
6247. Josiah left without crying and had a fun evening
6248. A strong breeze to air out the house
6249. Relaxing
6250. Jeremy and Josiah had a great time
6251. Aliza says it smells like spring
6252. Wild daffodils blooming
6253. Busy bird feeders
6254. An amazing aunt to my girl
6255. Monday night art with Daddy
6256. The supper lady heated up rolls just for Isaiah
6257. Health
6258. Family night doing something new
6259. Introduction to orchestra music
6260. Christian music in CookOut
6261. First food pickup
6262. Aliza so invested in Share Food
6263. Brisk morning walk
6264. The sweetest text
6265. Aliza so happy on dance picture day
6266. Anna thrilled to have a reason to do hair and makeup
6267. Spring break for dance
6268. Isaiah still likes to be held
6269. Rightnow Media
6270. Laughter
6271. Fresh air
6272. Meeting our Share Food contact person
6273. Working lawnmower
6274. Playing at the park
6275. Family evening outside
6276. Great conference speakers
6277. (Some of) my tribe of girls
6278. Jeremy makes the best meals
6279. After dinner ice cream
6280. Birds singing in the morning
6281. Cleaned up pot
6282. These daffodils

Monday, April 1, 2019

The Story of the Burned Pot

While Jeremy and Josiah set off for a boys conference with the group that Josiah is a part of on Wednesday evenings....

...Aliza, Anna, Isaiah and I came home from choir. I put some water on the stove to boil for a gallon of tea. Apparently I thought I was on a retreat too because I completely forgot about the water and 2 hours later Aliza went to the kitchen because she smelled something funny. The pot was smoking and crackling. I carried it outside and hosed it down with water before I opened the lid to find this...
The house was filled with smoke. I still can't quite figure out how we went from a small smell to the downstairs filled with smoke. It smelled terrible. I had to call Jeremy and on speaker phone tell him and the guy he was driving with about the pot. I told Jeremy I was throwing the pot away. The man Jeremy was with was a missionary in Zimbabwe for 20 years and assured Jeremy that a little scrubbing and that pot would be back in use. Thankfully, there was a strong breeze that evening. I opened the doors and windows for several hours and a lot of the smell was taken care of.

When Jeremy got home and over the next 2 weeks, Jeremy worked on the pot. It always sat with water in it. One evening he experimented with boiling different things in it to see if anything would loosen the crud. Ultimately he scraped and scrubbed and finally declared it good as new.
And you know what? I smiled and thanked him for showing me Jesus. Because isn't that just like God? I was going to throw that pot away without a second thought except that it is my favorite pot. Jeremy saw potential though and he was willing to take the time, effort and extreme measures to save the pot despite how much crud was there and how hard it was sticking to the pot. God doesn't give up on us. He might try to boil and soak us, but when it comes down to it He is willing to scrape and scrub until I'm the woman He wants me to be. Now whenever I use that pot I'm reminded of my failure, but also of God's faithfulness.