My Emilia and Why I love her!

Yesterday morning, the meltdown was about how I tied her shoes. I calmly tried three times to tie her shoe before insisting she wear boots to the bus stop. Her argument still doesnt make sense to me, but apparently Eric and I tie her shoes wrong and she HATES the way her laces hang off the side of her shoe.

Today, The meltdown was about her hair.  First she wanted "Elsa hair" so I did the side ponytail with a braid that I always do while she watched in the bathroom mirror, but when I was done she yelled, screamed and ripped out the hair band correcting me. "No! I want Anna hair!!" And she pulled her hair into two pig tails and added "Like Madeleine's" So I gave her "Anna hair" and after she saw it in the mirror she also tore that out because she didnt like a bulge in her hair where the braid started. Ultimately, she wore her hair down. The multiple hair styles caused us to slightly be running late for the bus stop but we made it in time and after waving goodbye to Madeleine we started the journey to church to take Ainsley to preschool.

Just over half way into our 30 minute trip the van was peaceful with the exception of Ainsley who was singing praise songs at the top of her lungs from the back seat. Emilia must have been deep in thought when she politely asked me, "What is Nanny's name?" "Well her parents named her Hazel, but we called her Nanny," I answered. Worried that it wasnt the answer she was looking for, I waited for her to yell at me, but instead she continued to sit quietly. "Were you thinking about her Emilia?" I asked. "No," she replied, "I just wanted to know her name so I can ask Jesus where she lives when I get to Heaven"

And that's why I love her!
My little girl lives life with such passion and love that often times I think when things are not just as she has dreamed her big heart cant handle it.
She's My Emilia! Full or heart with the attitude to sometimes go with it and no matter how dramatic the outbursts become I will continue to love her for everything she is!

My Father's Daughter

Last night at 11pm, I found myself watching out my bedroom window for an hour as the police knocked on our neighbors door and ultimately entered her house after she failed to respond. Apparently she was talking to a family member on the phone when she suddenly stopped talking. When she no longer answered her phone they became concerned and called the police. Shortly after the officers broke in and entered her home the ambulance showed up but thankfully she ended up walking out to the stretcher on her own. She said she was feeling better but seemed disoriented. 

As I watched and waited, I remembered back to my teenage years when I turned on the kitchen light at my grandparents house and found Pappy watching the neighbors out of his kitchen door. He quickly told me to turn out the light so they wouldn't see him. 

And then there is my father, his son, who has recently learned how to use Lancaster Communications website and who has been known to follow an emergency vehicle or two. During all of the excitement it occurred to me that this is why Eric was able to fall asleep while I stood watch, I am my fathers daughter, this type of behavior has been inbreed in me :/

A tribute to an amazing woman

Tonight, we gathered as a family to celebrate my grandma's 99th birthday. I would lie if I did not say the day was bittersweet. A week and a half ago we were called in to be with her and told she was dying. Our family gathered around her, held her hand and prayed as she struggled for hours to breathe. Miraculously, her heart kicked into gear and she made a comeback. By the next morning she was up eating and walking the halls of Willow Valley. But Nanny is actively dying. She has begun seeing loved ones who have already passed, as if they are waiting to greet her in Heaven. At times she does not know who we are and shes sleeping most of the day. 

My poor family has seen me crying a lot. I have explained to Madeleine that Nanny is dying. That soon she will be going to Heaven. I have tried to explain that while I am happy and excited for Nanny, I am crying because I love Nanny and that I am just going to miss her.

 I am going to miss her a lot!!! 

I am so thankful for the time I have had with Nanny. When my much older cousins graduated from high school, Nanny and Pappy gave my parents our graduation money because they never thought they'd see us graduate. Instead Nanny saw my high school graduation, wedding, college graduation and birth of 3 children. I am so thankful for the Tuesday lunches I had with her during college. Truth is I planned my college schedule around those lunches. I am thankful for the chance to spend lunches again with her last year and the wonderful oppertunity to really study how she cooks. As a result I've learned how to make pea pot pie and potato soup like Nanny. I am thankful that I got to watch her rock my babies to sleep. 

She loved to rock my babies, especially Emilia.

I am thankful for the time recently to just sit with her and soak in her presence. I just hold her hand and soak her in because I know my time with her is limited. 

I think of Nanny when I cook. Especially when doing simple things like peeling potatoes, dicing celery and smelling spring onions. I think of her when I hear morning doves cooing, because without fail I remember a pair of the cooing outside my window at her house during childhood sleepovers. I think of her while watching the Phillies, her favorite team. 

I think of her and will remember her with love. 

The things childhood is made of

For awhile now Ainsley has been hiding in various corners of my house. I might be sorting laundry in my room and she just slips over to her room and positions herself between her wall and dresser. Once I found her in my closet, quietly calling out my name every few seconds. And then the other day just before we were getting ready to leave Madeleine opened the door in the dining room that leads out into the garage and let Ainsley escape out there. I saw her enter the garage but when I walked over to find her she was hidden so well I couldn't see her. I had to start calling out her name before she finally emerged from beside the ladder. She's AMAZING! 

Needless to say Madeleine and Emilia have also caught on to the fun of hiding from me. This morning after some begging I decided to stop what I was doing and play hide-and-go-seek. We all took turns hiding for close to an hour. It was so much fun! Most of the time I was the one finding the girls, occasionally I helped the girls hide from each other and then finally I hid twice. My final hiding place stumped the girls. I could hear them looking all over for me, until finally Emilia and Madeleine begged me to come out. 

Then this afternoon when Madeleine got home we headed outside for some much needed playground fun and fresh air! We played outside together until Daddy came home. Then I headed inside to prepare one of Emilia's favorite meals "pea pie" aka pea pot pie.

Today was filled with the girls childhood is made of

Ainsley trying out her new tricycle. Her legs still need to grow a bit.

 This little girl LOVES sliding!

Madeleine found a group of friends to hang around with


...Ainsley discovered chai tea. 

There are some simple pleasures I like to keep just for me. In the fall and winter months, Chai is one of them. Many nights after I give the girls their baths I will make a cup and sip it quietly in the kitchen. There is just something so wonderful and comforting about it. Its like a little hug. 

Today, because she's cute, I let Ainsley enjoy a few sips with me.

My favorite mug for chai tea. I find it extra comforting!

When life hands you snow.. make snow men!

I have lost track of the number of snow days we've had this winter. When it snowed on my birthday, in December, I was excited! I loved having a snow day with the girls! I loved making a snowman with Emilia and I loved having our impromptu snow ball fight when Eric got home from work. After a winter of snow storms the excitement quickly wears off though, especially for someone who prefers flip flops to snow boots. 

When I woke up this morning and saw the freshly falling snow I decided to pull it together and make the most of yet another snow day. Knowing Eric would most likely stay through at work to work a total of 16 hours, I bundled up the girls so they could play in the snow with Angus(our dog), while I shoveled the driveway, sidewalks and Eric's parking space. 

The oldest two girls LOVE the snow! They could play in it all day! Ainsley, who is 18 months has not yet developed a love for the snow. She prefers to walk where I have shoveled or be carried. Its because of this that when Eric is at work we have to have our snow fun in mini sessions. 


Sometime after I got the call from Eric confirming he would be working overtime and before dinner, I got the brilliant idea to complete another pintrest idea I had pinned a while ago. I should have recorded the girls responses. Emilia, giggled like crazy when she saw the snow man pancake and Madeleine praised me saying, "You are the best mommy ever! I am so lucky to have you!" And there it was....  I made the best of a day that I would have preferred be filled with sunshine and warm weather and it resulted in snow filled memories of playing in the snow and eating snowman pancakes for dinner. 

DYNAMITE! A fun way to practice sight words

This year Madeleine started Kindergarten and while at first I worried about her readiness, she has blossomed! 

The thing that I am most excited about is reading. Before having children, I worked for several years as a TSS and so often I saw that students who struggled with reading struggled all around academically. There will always be reading in social studies, science and math. In order to solve math problems you have to be able to read and understand the question. Too many of the students I saw just couldn't grasp what they were reading and in some cases couldn't read at all. 

Since about October, Madeleine has been working on sight words. We started with 5 words and now at best guess we have over 40 words we practice on a daily basis. Madeleine is also bringing home books every night, which we also read. While watching her learn is exciting, flashing the same sight words in her face night after night can get boring.

Flash cards I made with Madeline's sight words

So thanks to pintrest I was able to find a fun little game called "Dynamite" which I put together to spice things up a bit. Madeleine, like most children, LOVES games! She is very competitive and therefore LOVES playing "Dynamite" for a chance to beat me. 

Its very simple. I wrote some of her newer sight words on Popsicle sticks and wrote the word "Dynamite" on two of the sticks.  

Then I placed the sticks in the "pencil holder" Madeleine made at Rawlinsville Camp Meeting.

To play the game Madeleine and I take turns drawing sticks. If you say the word correctly you get to keep the stick. However, when you pull the "Dynamite" stick. BOOM! You have to place all your stick back in and start over. The winner with the most sticks at the end WINS!!!

 whomp whomp!

Let me know if you try it with your kids! OR if you have any other fun ways to practice sight words or reading :)