Our Family

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

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Year 2, Days 261-264: Happenings, Part 1

Let's just say Mommy had a meltdown the middle of the week and be done with that.  We did have a lot going on, but the last couple of days have been calmer.  The new sidewalk got poured, Keturah got an eye exam, and we actually stayed home (everybody but Jared because he was with Gary on a trip) for almost two days straight.  Now everybody is home again before we split off into 10 different directions tomorrow (Sunday).  So much for Sundays being our Sabbath, lol. 

It's fall!  Sort of, it's been in the 80's but we did have fog on Wednesday.  It's a good thing there's no frost yet because I haven't planted anything or fixed the gardens yet.  And it's a good thing I didn't do much to the front garden because of the big happening of the week: a new sidewalk!

Scary trooper!

"Before" with a little of the prep work done.

It was so foggy on the way to gymnastics that morning!
But we were a bit early and got to see the train go by.  Yeah!  Typical train length for this stretch of tracks alongside Route 52.  And typical time period that it runs as well.

Homework on the go.

Role reversal? Funny business while Justin and I worked.

2nd to last run to get the boxes from the storage barn.  Again, the van swallows up a lot!

It's not every day (or week!) you get to see tractors and backhoes and cement trucks and tree trimmers!  Abishai has been watching a lot of "Blippi" lately and he loves the songs and videos about working trucks and vehicles like these.

On the way home, a hawk was sitting on the fence near Redfern and Franklin Rds, and when we turned down Redfern, it swooped in front of us, and nearly got a squirrel!  Woah!

Tree trimmers across the street!

"Baby" toy!  My baby is not so much a baby anymore!

I don't think I took a picture of Keturah's shelves that Daddy fixed and put up.  The third one goes up above her bed, but that means moving the bed out from the wall and there's usually stuff under the bed preventing that from happening.

That's it! All the boxes are home!  It is actually taking up a lot less space than I thought.  Maybe because I pulled a bunch to work on over the next couple of months.  And the shed is filled with the other 2/3 of the tubs.  Some of these do need tubs and more permanent storage, i.e. the Christmas stuff, baby clothes/linens.  I'm not sure what to do with the rest yet.  I think we'll be pushing them towards the outer wall of the garage once we are confident the termite extermination took hold.  Then we can bring a vehicle in!

Several special gift Bibles including one given to my parents when they got married, one given to my dad when he graduated college, one from a church meeting/recognition, and the "newest" one was from about 14 years ago when the youth group at their church helped repair their roof and did other projects as part of the annual MCC Workcamp week they do.  (It's no longer run by MCC directly, but that's where it started).  It's not usually in Manchester/Hooksett, but that year it was and they even had an invitation for my parents to come to the "residents' night" where they reach out to the residents and bring them to the evening worship service that they do every night of camp.  Jared and I have both participated in Workcamp when we were teens.  It's meant to being Christ to the residents, but of course my parents where already Christians, so it was just a formality. 

Cement truck!  In our driveway!  Not something you see everyday!  Cool!

Mr. Bob, the Overseer.

And there were two other men his age doing the work.  I felt so bad though because it was pretty hot.

Meanwhile, we had great "seats" to the action, including air conditioning!

It took about 30 minutes for the cement to be poured, and then it took a little bit longer to get it smoothed out properly.  But they were efficient and knew what they were doing.

Pretty cool!  I enjoy watching these things and knowing how they are done.

Gotta clean the trough pieces as soon as possible so the cement doesn't get dried on.  Kinda of wished it wasn't directly into my flower bed though.  But Jared assures me it will be fine to just put a bunch of dirt over the old sidewalk and other big pieces of old cement and then plant grass or plants that don't need to have deep roots.

Best seats in the house.

This guy was very good with the trowel.

Not the same PEI blue mussels I enjoyed on PEI.  Super sad face.  Not gritty enough and I might have steamed them too long in the microwaves.  They are mussels, but from somewhere in the south Pacific.  I have one more package and I'll steam them on the stove this time.

Tired snuggly baby.

All done!

Playtime!  Go get 'em!

No you don't!

Abishai stealing Benaiah's cards from his desk.  It was a game they were playing.

Quick walk down the road.

Impromptu walk.  Felt nice.  We didn't got far though, and not even to Grandma's house because Sissy rode past us and he wanted to follow her.

A little bit of fall color.  The other sides of these leaves are completely green though.  Hm,...at least the weed killer and a torch finally took care of the mushroom problem.

I help doggy!  Abishai brush!  Abishai still talks in the 3rd person, but I was watching videos from just a couple of months ago and my oh my his sentence structure and vocabulary has exploded!  I can't remember with Keturah, but Justin had a little bit of speech therapy because he didn't say much between 2 and 3 years old.  I think he's just an introvert and didn't need to talk.  But, it was nice to have him have contact with another person every so often.  The therapist would come right to the house.  And he qualified for First Steps not only because of speech, but because of physical things like putting on his own clothes.  You have to have more than one marker in order to qualify.  But we didn't get services for the physical part, and that's what they said at the interview, not to worry about it.  Anyway, Justin is fine (most of the time) now.  Although he misplaces his "nose" quite often.

Poor Keturah is having trouble looking at her schoolwork this week (more on that later) so we had to do math on the wipeboard.  At least she did get the concept!  It's an extended method of doing multiple digit multiplication that shows place value.  Eventually our books do it the way I was taught, but I'm kind of glad that they break it down and explain it in pieces.  Math U See is what it's called and so far, it's worked well for us.

What do you do when there's a bit desk in the middle of playing area?  Play on top of the desk of course!  I had to put the blanket on the desk (which needed to move to our bedroom once I had a chance to rearrange it) because the kids were bumping into it and putting their feet on it, etc.  They still would manage to get their feet up and under the blanket, too.  Ugh!

The next day after pouring the concrete, they came back to take away the forms and seal it.  Yeah, all done!  Now one more project, the big bathroom, and we are officially done with the major, immediate, house repairs.  Even the garden could wait another year.  I'm just done having workmen in and out of my house every week fr the last 3 months.  I want to be alone and homeschool without interrupations.

"Before" pictures for what's coming up next...

....we are just replacing the flooring hopefully under just half of the bathroom.  Then I have a couple of paint colors in mind to match the shower curtain.  Hint: the rust/burgandy is staying.

And the other "before" shots, now that the husband is home and has seen the "after" shots.  Just a spontaneous surprise to get it done since Benaiah was also here to help (instead of doing jobs or at church doing tech).

Oh, my favorite quote of the day was when Abishai was holding the duplos where doors attach to and said, "Bookcase!"  You know you are a homeschooler when....a duplo with several empty areas (the long pink ones in the picture" look like bookcases!  Sweet!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Year 2, Days 259 & 260: The Start of the Week

First of all, if you want to check to see if my day count is correct, more power to you.  I'm too tired to care.  We have had a decent start of the week.  I've been more on the kids to keep tweaking their schedule and stop dwadling, and I think they are seeing the benefit.  But we are still having some issues of disobedience and policing each other.  Today (Tuesday, September 19th), I lectured them on how to rephrase and use a different tone of voice if they see the need to correct each other.  I got it from a podcast I think.  So, instead of screaming, "Justin, get back to your homework!" Keturah could say in a normal voice, "Justin, I think you better get to your homework before Mom sees you playing with the dog."  I explained to them that the first way of saying it is mean, controlling, manipulative, and the whole purpose of saying it is to get Mom to come in and get the other one into trouble.  The second way of saying it is a gentle reminder because you do NOT want your sibling to get into trouble.  We'll see how long it takes to change this bad habit.

We've also been working on stopping Abishai from also yelling "Stop it! Go away!" in a mean voice and instead, again in a quieter, more neutral way, "Please stop."  And because he's younger, I think he's catching onto it a bit faster because we caught it sooner.  But we have to retrain the older ones to listen and immediately obey that command as a reward to him for saying it correctly and to respect his wishes.  And I would expect if the older kids would say it "Please stop" nicely, then we all need to listen to and back off immediately, too.

You see, I've failed as a mother, especially a homeschooling mother, if I have kids who can recite a timeline, or even Scripture, but leave the nest without any integrity and respect for each other and others outside of the home.  For example, I was embarrassed when Abishai was being pretty aggressive with Justin while playing with puppets at the library yesterday.  Justin was putting on a "nice" puppet show and Abishai still attacked.  Then this other preschool boy came over and tried to see what was going on, but I think the dad was afraid that Abishai might hurt the boy in his aggressive attacks with Justin, so he steered his son away from my sons.  I totally get the whole boy wrestling and attacking and playing with guns thing.  Totally.  But, Abishai has been crossing that line that I am not comfortable with.  And even superheroes get it.  Some comics and TV shows in that genre show the superhero killing the big villians or their entourages, but a lot of the stories revolve around finding a way just to stop them buy injuring them of locking them up, not killing them.  Yes, that's a plot point so the villian can come back, but the fact that the superhero takes time to weigh that consequences, especially with having the guilt of killing someone follow them the rest of their lives, speaks volumes to me that there is a line and it doesn't need to be crossed when playing as little and big boys do.  Kind of like using the stun feature on a phaser from Star Trek instead of setting it to "kill" if you know what I mean.  So, we've had to correct Abishai and tell him, no, we don't want the other person to die and you don't want to kill them, but we can certainly stop them by say, shooting them in the leg and slowing them down. 

And after all that, what do I do but take all the kids to see Wonder Woman at the Greenwood Public Library.  Whoops! At first it was just Justin, Keturah, Abishai and I, but then Jared and Benaiah joined us when they were finished at church, so they could play with Abishai when he got restless.  Honestly, I just wanted to see it again myself.  And I knew Justin would appreciate it with it's references to Greek mythology.  He even said, "If Wonder Woman is the brother of Ares, then which Greek God is she?" because they don't name a Greek god equivalent in the movie or the comic books (at least I don't think so).  But when I did have Abishai by myself, during some of the first scenes of just the Amazon women practicing their fighting skills, Abishai leaned over to me for a hug, and even tried to hold my hand like he was scared.  And then when Jared was holding him for 5-10 minutes before they left the room completely, he said, "bad guys, owie."  So, I'm glad Jared was there to take him.  I could have taken him to church but then Jared wouldn't have been able to get him home because the truck doesn't have enough room.  As I said on Facebook, Keturah wasn't very interested and kept begging for more popcorn, but I'm hoping to talk with Justin about the implications of some of those thought provoking dialogues about both sides being evil/having sin, but we have to fight for our beliefs and do what we can to better the situation.  So, the jury is out as to whether tonight was a good outing or not because Jared and Benaiah could have been doing other things, like getting Benaiah a haircut for his school pictures tomorrow.  (Whoops!)  Jared spent 1 1/2 hrs outside on the nearby playground in the 78 degree muggy heat swinging Abishai.  Justin couldn't hear everything.  But we tried.  And because the crowd was small, like less than 20 people including us, we had room to spread out and change seating arrangements without issue.   We will have to go back to fully explore the library though.  It was my first time there and I've heard that the kid areas are incredible.  I would think they would be when they had a totally separate closed off room labeled "Teens."  Awesome!  And the drive down there during rush hour was fairly straight forward.  Thompson to 5 Points Rd to County Line to Meridian and you're there.  That means you miss Southport and Franklin Rds and US 31 and I-65 which are all so very busy during rush hour.  I was pleased.

Ah! What a salad is supposed to look like!  Lots of veggies with just a hint of lettuce, or in our case, romaine lettuce and spinach/kale, etc. mix.

"Little A in (has) a box. What is in his box?" That's the start of a series of books we have about the letters and it focuses on early reading skills.  But this was all Abishai's idea to curl up in the box.

Abishai also wanted the lid on.

And this is how you pick up a child, in a box, with the lid on, which was immediately taken off after this picture.

See, said child is now having fun pushing a tower of stacking balls off Daddy's head.

Earlier in the day, Abishai made a nest in his box.

And watched some Super Trucks from that position.

Hilarious!  So, Abishai would poke Jared's ears until Jared squirmed and then the stacked tower would fall off and Jared would catch it.  It was the best non violent game ever!

This kid loves to ride on Daddy's shoulders, unlike the others who would get really frightened up there.  And Abishai knows when to duck at the right times to go through a doorway.

When we were at toddler time, we saw the local train pull through!  How convenient to have a direct view of the tracks from inside the library!  It was a short train, but that's ok.

We actually didn't go to the toddler time because there were a few others milling about that weren't participating.  I know we will be back every week and didn't want to force Abishai to sit through another long 30-45 minutes storytime.  And we are here to practice our sccial skills, so here we are socializing.  Abishai ran around with another little guy, but he was also extremely fascinated with the boy's baby sister who was about 7 months old.  We had to leave soon after that because Abishai was being unruly. 

Nice play about some animals.

Animals going after the humans, oh no!

Finding Justin, and Justin trying to keep the play time positive.

Yes, he's planking!  He calls it superman though!

1 extra big load of laundry done from start to finish in 90 minutes.  I have my large capacity machines and efficient and effective features they have.

Cooking fail!  It's a good thing I went for a cup of coffee at about 2 pm.  I went to stir the stew and realized I hadn't put any potatoes in it!  Whoops!  They did cook in time.  I added rosemary this time forgetting that it's usually flavored by the bay leaves but the combination of the two was perfect.  Plus the right amount of salt and a bit of pepper.  Yum!

Waiting for Wonder Woman to start.

Playing with cars while the movie plays in the backyard.  Eventually these two left and hung out at the playground.

Of course, more cars lined up.  Benaiah was busy looking at YouTube videos and playing his rubix cube the whole time the movie was playing. 
And that's it.  I'm tired. We have gymnastics in the morning and Plexxus to sign up for in the afternoon.  And we have a very busy Sunday coming up, too, that we need to prepare for.  Stay tuned!