Monday, October 30, 2017

Happy Halloween!

While this is not my favorite holiday of the year, the girls love the opportunity to dress up and walk around in public that way.  The candy is an added benefit.  (And an ongoing battle…)  This year, they picked out two great outfits – a Gypsy Princess and a Witch.  Unfortunately, it was so cold outside, their outfits were pretty much covered up during the trick-or-treating.  Still fun.

We went to Living Water Church for their community trunk-or-treat event.  I know this is a ministry/outreach opportunity as well as a community event.  I hope that it reaches people beyond just the candy.  This year, there was an area that gave out 365 Devotions for Bedtime book; our kids will use that in the morning for breakfast devotions. 

So, down to business.  We had Grandma Yoh and Grandma Ediger as reinforcements this year.   And Jeremy donned the Chewbacca snuggie as his costume!

DSC_1461     DSC_1463DSC_1465     DSC_1481

We had fun looking at all the creative trunks; every year, I am so impressed by the creativity displayed.  The girls walked the plank to these pirates for candy and were tossed treats by the castle guards at another.

DSC_1467     DSC_1469

There were also activities – the train (too cold the girls said), the bounce house, the slide, “cross fit” for kids station

DSC_1473     DSC_1474DSC_1471

And animals – a horse, a miniature horse, some lion head bunnies (the babies were like tiny white balls of fur…almost no face, just eyes on a ball of fur!), goats, and … a skunk!

DSC_1479    DSC_1480

We also had some tasty food (Thank you, Dutch Kitchen!) and hot chocolate before heading for warmer quarters.  The girls showed off their costumes to Grandpa Ediger and worked on their photography skills before heading home for the night.

DSC_1484    DSC_1488DSC_1486     DSC_1483

Until next year… (and I am sure I have not seen the last of these outfits!)

So, I am adding a bit to yesterday’s post.  Today (actual Halloween), the girls went on a Halloween scavenger hunt in the house.  I used clues I found here.  I figure it is good to share in others’ creativity.  The girls loved it.  They both figured out clues and gave each other a chance to find the clue or think of the object.  All the clues were simple household items.  Here are some of the pictures from their fun:

IMG_3788     IMG_3789IMG_3792     IMG_3793

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Ramseyer Farm

Last year was perfect.  This year was mostly perfect.  The weather was good… mid-70s and sunny.  The people… were overwhelming.  We went on a Friday night last year; this year, we went on a Sunday afternoon.  I think next year, we will choose a Friday night again.  The lines were noticeable, but not unbearable.  There are enough things that the crowd spreads out between all the activities.  At any rate, we had fun, so it was a success.

The girls started with the corn crib slides, followed by the spider web.

DSC_1378     DSC_1379DSC_1381      DSC_1385DSC_1384

They stood by the sign to see how tall they are. They both grew quite a bit since August; Ellie continues to be just a bit taller than Madison.

DSC_1386     DSC_1387

Then, we did things like milking a cow, running the rat race tubes and the hamster wheel.

DSC_1389     DSC_1394

We did other favoriites like the hill wiith the tunnels and slides, and the pedal vehicles

DSC_1418   DSC_1410   DSC_1415DSC_1426

We had a great time on a new area of the farm – the Tires… tire swings, big tires to look at, tires to climb over, tires to balance on, tires to walk on, shredded tires.  It was a lot of tires.

DSC_1399     DSC_1400DSC_1401 DSC_1396

Before we went pumpkin picking, we took advantage of a few more photo ops

DSC_1439    DSC_1442

And finally (after more playing in the corn crib) we picked some pumpkins.  Pictures did not go so well – Madison really didn’t want to be close or touch Ellie if she could help it.  They were tired and hungry by the end.  I am guessing we won’t have time to carve these pumpkins, but we’ll see…

DSC_1444     DSC_1457

DSC_1452  DSC_1453

Hoping to get one more blog in this month with trick-or-treating coming up this weekend. Until then…

October Round-up

It has been awhile.  I feel like October has rushed by and was filled with a lot of paperwork at school – IEPs due, parent-teacher conferences, report cards, progress reports, lesson plans, etc.  I just couldn’t sit in front of the computer one second longer to do this.  But I have about 30 minutes right now, so I am taking it!

We have done various random things this month:

  • ballet practice AND Nutcracker ballet practice
  • watching Sam’s flag football game and Lilli’s volleyball game
  • watching the DMS volleyball games and a football game
  • Fall parties with friends and SYF
  • And some more I got pictures of…

Two library events – a jungle themed puppet show and an apple night – reading a book, tasting different apple varieties, and making applesauce

IMG_3658     IMG_3737

Cousin sleepover with Megan – This was the first time that the girls had a friend over since they had moved into separate rooms.  They decided that they would have a living room sleepover.  They put up MANY signs to let everyone know to be quiet and not disturb.  We also read Megan’s favorite and only book choice when she comes over, The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak.  This is a picture of their favorite page:

IMG_3666     IMG_3667

Kidron Fall fest – always a fun, laid-back night with hot dogs, s’mores, pumpkin coloring, and BINGO.

IMG_3668     IMG_3671

And the weather – it has been crazy warm this October (although it is only about mid-40s as I type this today).  So, we have had some nice days to be out.  The girls realized you could take black and white photos with my phone, and Ellie captured this IMG_E3750

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Other Fun

I have been trying to figure out why I am feeling off today.  As I sit here, I digest my last 5 weeks since school started.  The first few weeks, I was trying to find my footing at school and hoped life at home would roll on as normal.  Now I feel like I have established a routine or system at school, although still feeling a bit lost at times.  But I look at my weeks, and they are filled with teaching, Jeremy working and sometimes gone for work, school, ballet lessons, and other obligations.  My weekdays end in a panicked rush to get kids to bed.  And I feel like I am just trying to survive.  My Saturdays are filled to the brim, scrambling to clean in the two hours before rushing Ellie to ballet, grabbing groceries during her 45 minute lesson, and speeding home to finish the rest of my to-do list. 

And the 30 minutes in the van with Ellie to ballet today was filled with a constant barrage of her “reading” Nancy Clancy and Ready Freddy. After she had just finished saying, and I quote, “Whew! I am so tired of talking. I am glad I can have a break!” (… she had been playing school prior to ballet.)  The 30 minutes home was filled in the same manner.  And I wonder, When did her stories become an assault on my senses instead of entertainment and a sense of awe at her creativity?  And I think it happened when I gave up part of my motherhood to working. 

I don’t dislike my job.  In fact, I had a great week – the best week this whole year.  I even feel like I have maybe turned a corner in building relationships. 

But, there is a trade-off.  I lost my time to be with my kids – to be present and not be hurried.  I can only imagine what it would have been like this year with two in school and me at home.  I imagine I could have all my cleaning and errands done, so Saturday could just be enjoyed.  I imagine that I could welcome them off the bus with a smile and a hug and be ready to listen to their day, instead of turning in my work chair in the classroom, hugging them, and trying to wrap up my last thoughts for the day.  I imagine that while there would still be homework to squeeze in, I could have at least prepped supper to ease the stress of the night.  I imagine that I would have been able to get a walk in and exercise instead of feeling a bit of bitterness of the loss of “me” time. 

But I suppose if I talked to stay-at-home moms they would say it is not that idyllic.  That there is still stress, even when kids go to school and you stay home.  That while the day may be a time to get your work done, the end of the day is still a panicked rush to fit in chores, play, homework, meals, showers, books, snuggles, and bed. 

It is just an adjustment right now, a transition.  Something I always struggle a bit with. 

You probably wonder, “Hey, where’s the fun you mentioned in the title??”  I get it.  I got off on a tangent.  I realized as I was going to post that these things are bits of goodness that are squeezed into the days of our otherwise hectic life.  And it makes me appreciate it all the more. 

So, for the goodness that abounds through pictures (and probably a lot of missed because I didn’t take a picture)…

A friend’s birthday party – sleepover themed party, complete with pizza and pajamas!

IMG_3636   IMG_3637

Flowers from Jeremy just because

IMG_3639     IMG_3641

A double rainbow to remind me of God’s grace, His abundance, and His loving kindness for His childrenIMG_3649

Getting together at Grandma Yoh’s house to catch-up with Aunt Lisa from Texas, taking pictures with Aunt Marianne and Erin, and turning SnapChat into a bonding experience with Aunt Diane.

21686159_10159237685015648_5222745415784194353_n     IMG_3645     21617765_10211639897727264_3862515768854292520_n

Having an impromptu leftover buffet lunch at Luke and Steph’s house with Ben and Steph after church last Sunday.  I was craving this family time and didn’t even realize it til it happened.  We hung out til 5pm just being friends and family.  The kids (Lilli, Madison, Ellie, and Landen) just played like cousins do.  It was rejuvenating.  I am thankful once again for family.

Right now, I am thankful that Jeremy and Gloria took the girls to Lehman’s fall fest so I could recover from the last five weeks of life.  It gave me time to read, work a bit on school, and digest and process life. 

Thanks for reading as I write.  This has become my outlet, my memory keeper, and my journal over the past 10 years.  I appreciate those who walk the journey with me, whether I know you are there or not Smile