Our Family

Our Family
Benaiah, Justin, Melinda, Abishai, Keturah, and Jared

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Year 4, May 20th-23rd, 2019: Living Life Spontaneiteously

Monday, Monday, ah, Monday! I had an 8:30 am appointment to deal with some woman issues, then got home to finish getting kids ready for the day.  We had no idea if or when the car and truck were going to be fixed, so I was borrowing Leah's car for the morning appointment, plus another appointment I had at 2:30 pm.  Then we did a huge a switcharound with cars towards the late afternoon.  Benaiah took the van to school and work, which was fine.  It's finals week for him, so his schedule is a bit weird.  They had their last full day today, a study day.  And in between things, Justin mowed the yard, I did some weeding and planting, and even Jared did some trimming.  And somehow everyone got fed.  Phew, I was exhausted by the end of the day.  My second appointment was with one of our adult discipleship ministers to talk about my Rooted experience and the policies regarding room usage at church are.  Lots of great conversation and I was glad I was able to share some things with him and he was able to encourage me.  It's sad that there are many stories of hard situations in churches, but I'm glad I've been able to connect with a few people that share that kind of story.  I don't feel so alone.  We've got some ideas and decisions to make concerning what small group/life group we join but we'll figure it out.

And boy are we grateful that Benaiah can drive now! What a blessing!  I am making it a point to still check in with him for more than just a few minutes to make sure he's still on the right track.  I didn't know it, but I had come to appreciate those 10 minutes or so in the car taking him to work, just like others use the time in the car taking kids to and from school and activities to connect with them.  I finally understand that now.  And now, the oppurtunity is gone.  Oh well.  Oh, and Jared borrowed Gary's car, so at the end of the day, we were both happy to say that all the cars were back at their homes, happy and (mostly) healthy.  Five cars for five drivers and we are grateful we can play car roulette with them when we need to.  But I'll be very happy to have my own van back with my own little doo dahs and not have to worry so much about keeping it perfectly clean.  One advantage of having an older van that really needs a deep clean is that I don't have to worry as much about the nicks and scratches and dirt.  We'll run the van until it dies, so I doubt it will go to anyone else except for parts.  It has almost 150,000 miles on it, and I'm hoping for at least 50,000 more.  Anyway, that was our day.

Abishai wanted to help me plant the citronella plants we got the other day.  He even got to gently place the plant in the pot after I pulled it out of the temporary pot.  He just loves helping!

Then we pulled out a fun new bubble thing I bought the other day.  It's a plastic bubble glove you put on, dip in the bubble solution, and then wave around.  It produces way more bubbles than blowing bubbles or using a bubble machine.  And it give you an arm workout by waving it back and forth.  They are meant to be thrown away but we'll see if we can make them last.  Abishai was excited to do it himself and eventually we got Keturah outside to chase them.

It's been hard to get this girl out of her warm comfy bed and moving.  But we keep trying.  She's still young enough to chase bubbles, that's for sure.

Tuesday I had a laundry list of things I didn't get done on Monday because I was physically not at home to get to them!  Things like calling the car insurance company to get Benaiah on the car insurance officially and calling GE appliances again because they sent the wrong part.  A little bit of laundry and dishes.  A bit more yardwork.  Cleaning up my iCloud, again.  Going over some math with the kids.  And just playing with them a bit, too.  Benaiah drove "Bart" his truck to school for his two finals, then went out to lunch and was home around 1.  He took a nap from 2-4pm and then went to work.  I did give him some money for food and gas for the week, like I said I would, to help him make it to payday.  But then he's on his own.  It's crazy, but I'm so excited about it! We also had Jessica, Carter, and Maddie over for a few minutes because Jessica is going to help watch Socks while we are away for the Memorial Day weekend so I was showing her around.

She's pretty sweet.  And she, plus a few other nursery volunteers, especially at the 4:30pm hour have become another circle of friends, really for both of us.  But they are the ones that actually have my phone number and we use real texting instead of Facebook messaging and about random stuff like real friends do.  It's kind of cool that I wasn't looking for these women to become my friends, but it happened organically.  Ali, Joanna (our nursery staff person), Jessica, and Annette.  So awesome! Joanna just had her birthday and everybody seemed to take the time to shower her with love, including decorating her desk, bringing her flowers and cupcakes and cards, and just singing her praises.

A year ago Joanna was really trying to push the idea of us becoming a close knit group and through serving together, having fun together at picnics and parties, having each other's backs when we get sick, we've really become a family.  It's been a pleasant surprise, AND because Jared also volunteers, he's familiar with my friends, too.  That rarely happens.  So today, I feel great that we've accomplished a lot so far this week and that we are doing well with church things.  Our 60 year old house might be having all kinds of minor and major aches and pains, but our relationships with others are coming along.  That makes my heart very, very happy right now, especially since it's the number one thing I struggle with.  So my heart is happy and full right now.  Let's see what the rest of the week brings!

One thing that fustrates Jared is that he knows he needs to be doing certain things at home but he can't keep up at work and school, never mind at home.  So, since we have a strapping young lad of almost 14 yrs of age, I thought we'd put him to work cleaning out the gutters.  Thankfully, only about 1/3 of them had the sludge that was stopping up the drains.  But it was only 60 degrees today and the trapped water was super cold, so it wasn't very pleasant either.  He didn't want to go up there, but then said it was the best yard work job he's had so far.  He even volunteered to go to Grandma and Grandpa's gutters!  We didn't take the hose up there and really clean it up perfectly, but we did get a lot of the sludge out and now it can drain properly, just in time for more rain.

How is he big enough to be up there without being scared!?  And, I was able to handle the ladder well enough to get him up there.  Crazy!

Slinging the sludge.  Abishai was very careful about not getting in the way.

Justin had a captive audience and/or supervisor, who also had his drink cup with him.  Justin would throw the maple seeds up in the air and say "tornado!" and the "helicopters" would spin as they came down.

Abishai tried three times to go up the ladder.  The first time, he got up to the 2nd rung, then the 2nd time, the third run, and finally the 3rd time, all the way to the top where he could touch the gutter.  He did not, however, go all the way on the roof with either Justin or I.  I was pretty scared about helping him to that.  Falling from any height is one of my fears, especially for the children.

The gutters were flowing so well during today's storms, that the joint now is having trouble!  But yeah, no more overflowing gutters!

I told Abishai we were leaving out the ladder so that maybe Daddy could take him up on the roof.  Well, 3 hrs later and he still remembered what I had said. So up he went.  Yes, Jared climbed the ladder with Abishai on his shoulders and then Abishai climbed up and over him and quickly scrambled up the roofline!  Oh how scared I was! Abishai then realized how high he was and didn't want to come down!  But Jared couldn't go up to him either.  Eek!  Thank goodness Abishai is a fairly obedient child and didn't actually go down on the other side of the roof!  It had rained and I was afraid the roof was slick.  The things my husband does!

One of the scariest moments of my lfie!  It's a good thing Abishai is more daring than the others! I remember Jared trying to get the others to climb the ladder and they were kicking and screaming about it.  Abishai hesitated, but eventually did it.  All in his pjs! And get this, I switched his drawers around, and he overheard me telling Jared about it, and deliberately opened up all his dresser drawers to find his pjs again!  Ugh!  Now I'm going to have to put them way up high out of reach! All his pj's have holes that I cannot fix.  Some kids put holes in the knees of their jeans, but my kids put holes in their pj's and sweats.  Sigh.

Wednesday - you know how I said yesterday I was at peace?  Well, that was before Benaiah came home and told me about his day.  Long story short, he did things I'm not happy with and therefore, his driving privileges have been taken away for a week.  That means he can't take "Bart" to school for his last day of school, but he can still drive on our way to Michigan this weekend.  Kids are kids, teens are teens, but it doesn't make the parents feel any less awful about it, embarrassed by it, shaking their heads, and really, left just wondering where did we as parents go wrong? Thankfully this time it is minor.  But it's better to be strict now, and set the precedent for later.  He's mad of course, but that's too bad.  He can go see his girlfriend at her house because she's close by, but I am not driving him to any other non essential place, so no movies, no malls.

TMI, it's about my womanly health.  But I think it's important to share because it is a big change for me:
I also just had a rough mental health day because well, I needed to start birth control pills for womanly issues and I have really mixed emotions about it and I can't really put it into words.  Basically, I've had a pretty strong conviction on the matter, but if it helps me in the long run, I'll do it.  I know all the right words to calm myself down and people have shared with me before about it.  I'll be ok.  I felt a little weird this morning, but overall, it didn't change my stomach issues or ability to focus.  That's a good thing.  But I have to get an ultrasound to get things checked out, too.  And it's weird to go for one when you've only had them when you're pregnant.

However, I was able to just hug on Abishai and play with him a good portion of the day.  I did look through some bookshelves and clean up some cardboard for some school projects we never finished.  I also filed paperwork and found the kids' shot records for when we get their annuals done the first week of June.  I'm doing all our packing and cleaning tomorrow for our weekend trip to Michigan, so I didn't have to worry about that today.  I'm grateful we had a quiet day and I could just rest and putter.  I needed the time and headspace to just sit with my frustrations and "depression." And now I get to go to bed early, I hope.

"Mommy, you need to stabilize the building!" Ok, I will! We are trying to make a jail and police station like in one of the Lego books we have.  We did a pretty decent job and had a lot of fun conversing about it.  We also went on a walk together just to get out of the house where he rode in the stroller because "I don't want my toy to fall."  He chatted the whole way to Grandma's house and back.  I love having the time to "do nothing" and spend it with the little guy.

Jared got a late birthday gift from his brother! The label read "jaronimus happy 79th johnson"  I guessed right away that it was Aaron and when I shook the box, I guessed it was a building toy like Lego.

I was right! It's a knock off brand, but how cool!  Aaron said he had waited until they finally released this one.  Nice!

"Come on, Dad, let's build it!" So they did, Abishai built and he played with the figurine, too, telling stories.  So adorable.

The pieces are bit lighter than real Lego pieces but they snap together the same.

I got bored watching them, so I organized the pieces by type.

Nice shiny head, eh?

I love his concentration and the patience Jared has in letting him help.

Poor guy was getting tired, it was close to bedtime.

Nearly done! Cockpit on!


Yeah, all done!

Let's go play!

But then it's bedtime, nuts! I walked in and found him fingering his blanket very quickly and with his eyebrows furrowed like he was concentrating hard on something.  And he looked so big next to Daddy, too.  And yet, so little and still wanting to snuggle.  Sigh.  Why do they have to grow up out of this stage so quickly?

Thursday was the third "home" day in a row! Woot! Woot! We had to pick up all the clutter and pack for our weekend in Michigan, but that got done bit by bit.  My new medication is making me really sleepy so I'll have to start taking it at night.  And once the health issues are thoroughly diagnosed and hopefully resolved, maybe I can stop the medication.  I can't handle being this sleepy all the time.  I have stuff to do.  And there's not enough caffeine in the world to keep me going either.  I've tried.  Anyway, I didn't feel stressed out about packing because I know where we are going.  I tried to go "light" but it's still a lot.  Oh well.  I brought some outdoor stuff and Justin wants to sleep in a tent with our cousin Luke, but it's going to rain all day on Saturday.  Blech.  I have a couple of goals like finishing a little crosstitch piece and making some progress on some books.  I plan to not take as many pictures and videos either.

And you know what?  I didn't take that many pics and videos today!  It was a little chaotic with Benaiah leaving later for school and coming home right after lunch.  Then because he was grounded from using his truck, his friend Chase brought him food and hung out for a bit and then Ava came over for the rest of the afternoon.  I enjoyed having the extra kids here.  They are both great kids and good influences on Benaiah.  I never want to squash those relationships or ground him from that and will try not to.  Benaiah was happier to have his friends around.  I know it can be a little embarrassing to live in a smaller house with more stuff than we know what to do with and lots of siblings.  But thankfully, so far, the friends haven't minded that.  I don't offer drinks or such, but let Benaiah handle that.  Anyway, I know it wasn't the ideal day he was hoping for, but we tried to do as much as we could to accommodate celebrating his last day of his junior year of high school, including showing him pictures of Jared's last year of high school and junior prom that I randomly found today while working on my scrapbook corner.  So much fun! I tried to keep kids away as much as I could as well.

Abishai was busy with all the guests and Keturah was hovering a bunch, so there was a lot of in and out of the house.  I managed to get in 3,000 steps without leaving the house or taking a walk.  That's how much back and forth I went.  Eek!  We had piano lesson tonight and Jared took the kids on errands.  Benaiah went on a bike ride to CVS. And pictures and videos have been uploaded and backed up.  We are all set for Michigan! Yeah!  I'm ready to spend 4 days with my husband and just sit and do other things besides home projects.  Take a nap.  Read a book. Crosstitch.  Ah....oh and watch the Indy 500 of course!

Ava, can you come over and play with me?  Ava loved the video below!  I had her mom send me her phone number because Benaiah refused to give it to me.  I won't bug her but it's just for safety and to maybe get a hold of Benaiah through her if he's not responding.  You can never be too careful.

Apparently, when you are grounded, friends from the far west part of Greenwood make an effort to buy and bring you lunch! Chase got his full driver's license the day before Benaiah did, so they are all spreading their wings.  Chase finally got to see Benaiah's "hole" where he plays video games and can now visualize it while they are talking late into the night.  I think we'll be seeing more of Chase in the future.  We'll see.

Hey, that's my sleeping spot!  The rest of the bed had my big duffel bag on it.  I got up to use the restroom and come back to see Benaiah made himself at home.  You goofball!

His and her vehicles.  Eek! I'm pretty excited for the coming and going of this newly minted driving teens, just as long as they obey the rules of the road. So cute!

I think these two did more laying around and cuddling than jumping.  Oh well, they were outside getting their tan on, lol.

But it's hard to stay still when the baby brother gets on and runs circles around you. He loves Ava and Ava loves him.  I tried not to stay out there too long taking pictures and videos.  But I'm a people watcher, so it's hard to go back inside and leave them alone.

Ahem.  Only you would be brave enough to do this.  Sigh.

Oh yes they did.  Abishai did jump and Benaiah did scream like a little girl.  It didn't last long, and no one got hurt, but I think this picture is kind of cute.  I could see it being a cute engagement photo if they were wearing fancier clothes.

Using the trampoline to it's fullest potential.

Heeyah! I had no idea I had captured this photo until just now.  This embodies this little guy to a T. Pj pants, no shirt (which is probably going to be a new thing) and his energetic spirit and personality.  And he loves to wrestle and fight.  Lol.

Aww, love birds.

Abishai was very concerned Ava was going to forget her things so he brought them in for her.  Very compassionate little guy.

When Benaiah was under the age of 5, we would try to get him to climb up on things and he would kick and scream and be so scared.  Well, nothing has changed!  He was scared that the ladder wouldn't hold his weight and that he would collapse the gutter.  So, he didn't make it up to the roof the first time.

Instead, the brave and beautiful Ava showed him how it's done.  Going up on the roof was my idea.  I think it's romantic to just hang out and look at the stars and such, and I was also thinking they could have some privacy.  I only let the kids up there because the roof is not steep and it's in excellent shape.  And it's only 1 story high.

Um, let me try it this way.  Nope.

Boom! He finally made it!  Wimp!

And then before we knew it, they were joined by the siblings.  Oh my word!  I know, I know, what mother allows her children on the roof?  The fun one! Again, it's not that steep, it's in good shape and it's only one story tall.  So, why not?  But, Abishai did get close to the edge once and my heart leapt in my chest, so that was it.  I made the younger ones come down.  He's so fearless!  And the middle two also walked quickly back and forth on the roof without a care in the world.  Again, why not try it?  Let's create bold and creative and risky kids! Kids with a sense of adventure!

Lol.  Just Ava, sitting on the dirty chimney, no shoes on, just because you can.  Sigh.  They could be doing way worse things and they were getting some Vitamin D!

I can't stop laughing! I wonder what people driving by thought of this scene! Just some random kids randomly walking along the roofline of a our house.  Crazy fun!

Gotta be somewhat careful.  And Abishai is wearing his winter boots, again!  They fit better than the rain boots do, so I think it makes him feel more secure on his feet.

5 kids up on roof. So? Why not?! But notice I didn't get up there.  I will go up someday with Jared to watch stars or something, but I prefer to be on the ground.

Jared found some random pics again.  This is baby Abishai at like 1 month old or less on Jared's chest.  This little guy, who came bravely into the world at home, just climbed across our roof today.  Say what?!

An Eastern European Babushka (grandmother).  Little 4 or 5 year old chubby Keturah.  Too cute! Justin saw this picture and couldn't stop laughing at how pointed her chin looks or something like that.  I like her little smile.

Romantic!  At least they got outside and got fresh air and sun!

Trying to watch a movie, Solo, but I think life was just too crazy around our house.  Abishai makes a great snuggle buddy, doesn't he?

Profiles of two of my boys.  We all look a little bit alike. 

It was a great way to spend a summer day.  Not hurried. Time to be spontaneous. Time for naps when needed.  Time to breathe and laugh.  Time to hang out and do nothing productive.  Time enough to organize an area and set up some smaller projects to do later.  (My scrapbooking corner).  It was a great day!

P.S. If I get a chance, I'll scan in and upload some of those pictures of Jared from long ago and hopefully put them here.  For now, I'm going to publish this so I don't get behind while we are away.  See you soon!

The End