Our Family

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

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Year 2, Day 292: Flower bed or Sandbox?

Well, that was the question of the day: flower bed or sandbox? But also, how many errands can I run with 4 kids in tow before the toddler takes a 20 minute nap in the car and then doesn't go back to sleep but for maybe 30 minutes a little bit later? Hm,...it was going to be a rough afternoon, so I just let it be and let them play and didn't work myself too hard.  Plus, it was another gorgeous day!  We spent 2 hrs of it in and out of stores though looking for miscellaneous items for miscellaneous projects.  But we seriously need to spend more time on how we behave, especially in public.  From the oldest to the youngest, no one seems to know how to be nice, listen, have fun, but reel it in when it affects other people in the store.  I wish I could say I had time to take them to the store just to practice, but I don't.  Maybe I should go when I have just a couple of items, and some non rushed time.  Bwhahaha, like that ever happens!

But like I said, I know we were beat from being out and we needed our own spaces, so I tried to relax and let it go, as they say.  I did end up helping Keturah stuff all her non clothing items into a big box to sort later so we could clean the floor from sparkly items like sequins and glitter so that I could get into the closet to deal with the clothes.  I plan to go through that big box at some point BEFORE she dumps it out again.  She did put away her Barbies up in the closet and under her bed she has perfected for her dolls.  And the majority of her Legos are in one place now.  So, it shouldn't take too long to get the rest done.  Then we went through the priority items for fall/winter, like long pants and long sleeve shirts.  Poor girl needs some clothes!  She's grown out of all her pants for sure! She's growing up and well girls' bodies change proportionally to match.  Eek!  I'll probably put out an SOS and scour some of the online garage sales, and hit up Goodwill in the next month or so, and then these things will definitely be put on the Christmas wishlist.  It's a good thing the boys needed practically nothing.  (And whoops, I totally forgot to take a picture of all their new shoes.  I can do that when I show you the new shoe racks I bought.  Or I'll forget and it won't matter anyway.)

Tomorrow evening starts a big weekend for the church as Indian Creek is turning 40 years old!  So friends and family are here and us introverts will all be exhausted by the end of it.  I hope to put out something on the blog tomorrow night, but definitely by Sunday night.  I might have to make Monday a lighter day of school, too.   We'll see.

Abishai LOVES oatmeal and asks for it constantly!  And I don't add any milk or cinnamon, just a few raisins.  He needs lots of carbs to run fast!


A bit foggy out and the battery on the truck wasn't quite hooked up properly, so the truck wasn't starting.  Abishai was very concerned about it when he said Daddy was taking the van or that the truck had an owie.  Jared rolls down the driveway in neutral so when the truck wouldn't start, he had to leave it at the end of the driveway and finnagle the van into position, which he ultimately didn't need.  But he let Abishai join him out there to "help."

Finally the dog gets some roughing up!  Then we roughed up Benaiah to wake him up, too.  Socks will only nibble at the boys IF they are under the big blankets.  He's super careful about it, too.
I found the boy lining up his cars facing all the same direction again.

Yeah for big brothers who can candle the screaming toddler at the drop of a hat.  Abishai had several moments of melting down when he didn't get what he wanted and I could just hand him off to Benaiah and concentrate on where we needed to go next.  I still have a list of things I didn't find and need to look for tomorrow at the dollar store.  Then it's to Amazon Prime I go.  I saw a customized welcome mat that said something like "top knots, leggings, and Amazon prime" ("are where it's at" or something like that).  Point is, I'm not the only one to rely on Amazon prime.  It's either my gas or someone else's.  And it's so much faster to hop on and get exactly what you need instead of going to 10 stores and coming up empty.  Things like watch batteries, or name tag holders, or even batteries!  Anyway, boys, fishes, meltdowns, need to correct so much wrong behavior.  Ah!

At least this minute was cute!  So much random stuff like deodorant for Benaiah, craft supplies like modeling clay, gold paint, and red posterboard  for Keturah, Calgon water softener for the washing machine, a couple of food items like GRITS and I bought the BIG bag this time!  Which means I hit every department in Meijer, which is one of our big box stores.  It's so tiring to walk through so much stuff listening to kids whine for stuff only to pick up a handle of items.  It's why I don't do this more than once or twice a month.

Always the reward unless we are totally pressed for time. Benaiah said, "Smile like you actually WANT to be on it, lol."  Oh, and the pop machine was out of most regular pop and it was hard for kids to decide on something so they could share.  I got the last of the cherry syrup for my diet dr. pepper.

This one, though, LOVED the horsey, and rocked back and forth on it like he was really riding it!  Hilarious!

We also went to Hobby Lobby and picked up some plastic tubs with lids that Operation Christmas Child put out with their logo, exclusively at Hobby Lobby!  And they cost the same as you find ones in the dollar store!  We also looked for rafia but came up empty and I didn't want to ask an employee and backtrack through the store.  The last stop was Aldi's on Washington St again because they have the biggest selection of the non food items and I wanted a second bin for the boys' closet and another shoe rack for the back door, which they only had in white, but oh well.  Now I have three of those shoe racks, one being 6 or 7 years old from Alid's!  And then when I put those away, I saw the perfectly shaped and colored red maple leaf on the van's bumper.  So pretty!

Aren't you hungry for lunch, Abishai?  No, Mom, I'm busy playing cars and trucks (yes, he actually said that!)  And he also said that the tow truck didn't have a siren and it was a silent siren.  At least he's honest!

Keturah was watching Abishai outside while I finished up my lunch and I came out to find them in the front flower bed!  And they had taken out the electronic dump truck!  Eek!  I made sure it came inside at the end of the night, but, instead of being mad, I went back around to the shed and pulled out the other sand/water toys so they could dig properly.  It's "clean" dirt, so why not?  They had a blast!

We didn't have to go anywhere to find our beach for fall break!

Dump it out truck!  And he kept chattering away about all the things he was doing with it!  He's definitely imitating Blippi, too.  Blippi may be very corny, but there's no technology, it's real world information, like the names and functions of different trucks, shapes, colors, and numbers, the guy actually plays with toy versions like a little kid making sounds and stories as well as show the real life versions.  He has talked about garbage and recycling, truck washes, aquariums, construction vehicles, police cars and fire trucks, he's visited indoor playgrounds, monster trucks, etc.  Pretty cool!

He kept saying, "Mommy, Justin, play with me!" and would hand us a bucket and shovel.  "Watch me!"

Keturah really got into it, too.

Justin played for 60 seconds, but didn't want to get dirty.

Little red cheeks from playing out in the sun.  Working hard!  It was in the low 70's, but the sun was directly on us.

Scoop it in.

Dump it out.

Beautiful dirty baby feet.  This reminds me of being on one's knees in prayer, which reminds me that Abishai has been asking to pray every night at supper!  He says, "Jesus, family, supper, amen!"  And maybe, "Miah home (or come back)" "sissy here" "playtime" etc etc.  It's adorable!

What a great big sister to play along with little brother.  She will ask for hugs at naptime and bedtime, too.  And take note, Jared swept the front porch and tidied it up!

The calendar says it's October 20th. We still have a few flowers blooming.  It's fall, y'all.  Plants, go to sleep!

I did finally pick up the dead brush and pulled some nasty looking weeds while the kids played in the makeshift "sandbox."  I'd much rather be out in my favorite weather than inside anyway.  And this is some of the brush that I picked off.  I found it fascinating that the flower stems just crisped up like this.

These are the bases of the flowers!  So cool!

A couple of random daises, too.

It's going to be peak fall color this weekend and week!  If we had more time with the out of town family, I would insist on going to Southeastway park for some pictures.  I might blow off part of Tuesday after the library to go there instead.  I need to see the kids run throw the woods with piles of colorful leaves around them.  And there's a nice stream down there as well.  No excuses!

Jared decided to hack off what looks like mold on the big J.  It makes me sad.  But he'll clean it up and put a protective coating on it.  It was on both our Beech Grove house covered porch, as well as Gary and Leah's porch, so it was out of the direct hit by weather.  It had discolored, but it wasn't this bad until the last 3 months when we put it on our uncovered porch.  I love it because it's so rough looking and unique and Jared made it directly out of section of tree that it was helping a friend cut down.  Hopefully it won't eat up too many batteries or saw blades. 
Now we're off to prepare for and celebrate 40 years of Indian Creek Christian Church's existence!  From a handful of families meeting in a school's gym to Gary and family arriving on the scene in 1990 to a small sanctuary and set of offices/classrooms, (which is now still offices and the chapel), to opening the Family Life Center, (which is where it was at when I came into the picture), to opening up the big auditorium a month after Benaiah was born, to The Box, now Kidustrial Park (which changed when we were in Canada), to having it's first satellite location on Shelby St. this past year.  1,000's and 1,000's of people have come and gone through those doors, thousands more will come and be changed.  More stories to come as we celebrate this weekend!  Happy birthday, church!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Year 2, Day 292: Mountains and Mountains of Clothes!

This is break week, but it's a break week for the kids from most of their school work, but not a break for Mommy.  Nope, I'm working on making that long process of switching out the seasonal clothes.  The kids have grown a bunch and we also needed to find and process through all their clothes and what size comes next, etc.  The hardest one to do this with is Justin.  We basically touched every single piece of clothing because he is so differently sized than Benaiah was.  He's lanky, and Benaiah was/is husky.  I'm not sure what Abishai will be, so I've not getting rid of everything yet.  BUT, I did manage to pull a trash bag full out of the 5 boxes worth that I could get rid of, even stuff that was too big.  And now that I type this, I totally forgot to comb through the things that Abishai was done with that I'm willing to part with.  Whoops.  Those are easy to get to and I didn't tape them shut.  I'll try to do that tomorrow.  That kid has about 2 dozen pairs of pants in the 24 mo/2T size, if not more, including his Sunday pants.  Eek! Same with shirts.  And we went through Benaiah's stuff today and I put it away properly myself.  And all three boys' clothes fit in their closet and two dressers, so I must be doing something right there.  Not a minimalist with 33 articles of clothing though.  But it fit.  And the only thing that they need is that Justin needs gym pants (Benaiah wore jeans, but Justin prefers gym pants) and socks.  Benaiah started wearing Jared's hand me down socks at this point and they were very big then and now fit him well, lol, so from this point forward there are no socks and underwear to pass down. Some would find that gross.  The boys don't care and everything is washed so why does it matter?  Oh, and I found a bunch of white t-shirts in Benaiah's stuff that I believe were actually Jared's.  No wonder Jared was down to like 4 white t-shirts!  I just saved us like $12!  Woot! Woot!

Now, onto the girls' tomorrow.  Well, mine probably won't get done tomorrow or this weekend but we'll get rid of Keturah's too small clothes and see what's left.  I don't have anything in the next size for her and I know she needs all new pants because she's grown a bunch, and probably shirts, too.  Her clothes are more organized, though, because I had her pull everything out about a month ago because she is notorious for dumping things on the floor and then putting them in certain drawers wherever they fit instead of doing it properly.  At least I don't have to go searching for boxes in the shed or garage for her.  It's just the rest of her room that needs help.  She made some progress in it today putting up her Barbies and ponies.  But, there's numerous "miscellaneous" catch all boxes and her Legos are again scattered everywhere.  She's been using her time this week to make things for her dolls, so I can't complain too much.  I'll take pictures of her creations once we get the rest of the stuff redone.  But she's artsy so I know it will come undone again.  Then I'll need to do the same with Benaiah's stuff b/c he just doesn't care and throws it all in a box randomly, which wastes a ton of space.  I will categorize it for him, and then he can go through each category if he wants to.  I'm thinking he'll find 3 boxes of Zyrtec hidden among random socks, cd's, papers, books, toys, etc.  We'll see.

I don't have many pictures of these processes because I simply forgot and am just trying to focus on getting it done.  We have a somewhat big weekend ahead and I need to find some time to rest as well.  It's the Creek's 40th birthday celebration and friends and family are coming into town to celebrate.  Sunday is definitely full from top to bottom but Saturday might be our rest day.  I need to go shopping tomorrow for a gift for one of our guests and to finally pick up some random items from Meijer and the Dollar Store that I've waited on for a couple of weeks.  Yup, boring stuff.

Let's get to the pictures that will tell the rest of the story, shall we?  Warning: there's a ton of pictures because it's 3 days' worth.  Here we go!

Listening to tunes and doing his chores! (Not really, but he looks like a cute little janitor, doesn't he?)  When I tell the kids they need to do their chores, he volunteers to help!  And actually, he wasn't listening to tunes but rather talking on a radio in the "pit stop."  He's a bit obsessed with the Cars franchise and loves Luiji and the "pit stop!"

Totally Abishai's "cheese for the camera" face!

Playing the blues.

Mr. Orange Hair, aka Ethan, spent the night.  The best part of waking up (isn't Folgers) is younger siblings picking on you AND your friend!  Remember, Ethan is the youngest child, but I would think his older siblings mess with him, too.  The younger ones really like to get in there and both Ethan and Benaiah don't mind because it doesn't last long.

The dreaded drum set came back.  And the rest of his instruments he had stored at Grandma's and Grandpa's.  And what's with the backwards hat?  It's totally NOT his look.  He's had several days to set up the drum set and he hasn't attempted to, so maybe it will just take up space and it won't be played and I can tell him to take it back to his owner.  We'll see.  But seriously, this kid has this real drum set, two video game electric drum sets, a real guitar, two computer game electric guitars, and an electric keyboard.  Granted, some of these items don't work or don't work well, so we are going to have to discuss what needs to stay and what can go and where to store them, especially when he runs off to college in 2 1/2 yrs.  Hm,.....

These two have a rule that they have to stay up later and later each time they do a sleepover.  They made it until 3:30 am.  I just love it that they are listening to their own things instead of conversing (not!) Teens!

Finally a locking door on the half bathroom!

Hm,...Abishai needs to keep practicing his sharing skills because he was hoarding these toys, that he properly named, from the other kids.  He was pretty moody and didn't want to put away the toys, and I had to take him out! Then he threw a fit in the library and I got some stares as I gathered up the rest of the kids who were over near the computers.  We checked out and left quickly.

But he couldn't leave until he got all of these perfectly in place on the top.  He said something like, "put them all away."

Nice display case of probably some super expensive DC and Marvel figurines in anticipation of Marvel's Thor:Ragnarok and DC's Justice League coming out soon.

Let's just see what happens if we give the toddler some super charged Mountain Dew, shall we?  Don't worry, it was just a sip and it was way before naptime.

Because we were heading that direction to drop off recycling, and Abishai was agreeable, we checked in over at Daddy's office.  The worst behaved children were the oldest two children.  Are they 15 yrs old or 15 months old?  They were giddy from not enough sleep and too much caffeine.  They ran around the tables, played in the closet and nearly knocked over the lamp when Benaiah body slammed the couch which pushed the table back.  Ah!

Children, settle down!  You are in church you know!

Patiently waiting on a slide of grapefruit from Daddy.

Well, they moved the recycling bin to the new Kroger, which is much less convenient for me, but we had some time so I let the kids use up some of their energy.

Scaling the playground.

Are you sure these kids are old enough and responsible enough to leave the house in a couple of years?  I think they are trying to hang onto the last bits of childhood that they can.


Big brave Abishai can walk around this whole park all my himself and I don't have to worry so much and be close under him to catch him if he falls.

The slide was wet, so he was avoiding the puddle.  Smart boy.

Benaiah attempting to climb the pole.  He didn't make it.

Big girl in her new big girl shoes that even Mommy can wear!  They look huge on her though!

How can we not take advantage of this weather?????  Clothes and books and projects can wait until rainy, cold days.  Go outside!  Except when the playground has more bees than the apple orchard did and it freaks out one of the teens who thinks he's never been stung (Ethan).  I just had to keep moving so they wouldn't land on me.

Big sister, little brother trick.  The boys all took turns jumping down on this bridge and made such a racket!

His shoe fell off so he went over to fix it.

Spiderman pose.

At 5 years old, Benaiah would scream at us to not force him to do these kinds of ladders.  Now he just sits there like he owns the place.

Cutie.

Heart melter.

Always gymanstics, always.

Insurance will pay for water damage to the roof and to haul away some of the wood from the branches that fell.

I was able to show Ethan this special shirt.  The boys were 9 years old.  Yes, that's Ethan's signature and his brother Conner's and their friend Seth W.  Pretty cool!  And yes Indian Creek used to have humongous VBS.  I miss those VBS's!


One of Justin's chores is doing the day's dishes.  We let it accumulate for the whole day and then do it.  I help with some of the bigger stuff.
Look, "I'm on the new road!."

I play 'Miah's drums and I singing and I dancing.  So cute!

Another nice day at home.  Pj's all day, even to play outside in.

Trying to catch those baby blues!

There.  See, he's got his Grandma Howell's steel gray blue eyes.

Oh, and this kid can "pump" his legs on the swings already!  Keturah taught him!  I don't think its' strong enough to keep him swinging yet.

Sad face.  All the green leaves that won't turn pretty colors his fall because the whole branch fell in that crazy wind.

Belch.  Brown.

Jumping off the rock again.

I wish I interrupted these two less.  I'm always barking out orders instead.  Keturah read that whole stack of books to him without prompting.

Day 4 of gorgeous fall weather!  Abishai can fit and likes to be in the center piece between the tires.

Simple, but as neat as I can get it, backyard.  I did walk around the backyard a few times to get exercise the other day.  I used to do that in our Beech Grove backyard which was much smaller.  I need to measure it and see how many loops make a mile.  And I just need to start exercising period.

So here's the nice line up of pumpkins from Monday's field trip.  Benaih's is the one on the top of the pic and it actually is the biggest.  I picked the smallest apparently because it's on the bottom of the pic.  Justin's is next to Benaiah's, then Keturah's, then Abishais, then mine/ours.  And the spider craft came from storytime at the Library.  This week's theme was all about spiders of course for Halloween.  Next week is pumpkins.  I think I might skip the last Tuesday of the month because it's called "Halloween Hits."

Abishai insisted on reading next to Justin.  He often wants to sit next to Justin or Keturah at the table, too.  I might not be able to read in the traditional sense right now (I read blogs and listen to podcasts and the occasional audio book), but at least the kids know how to.  Sweet!

Size 7/8 toddler feet next to size 7/8 adult big tween feet.  Justin has super long feet.  At least they look that way because they are so narrow.

I caught the boy having a midnight snack!  I told him to eat bread and butter instead of crunching his way through the pantry.

Back to Wednesday/last night, walking into the church for Bible Bowl.  Abishai went with Daddy to his office and watched vrooms on the computer, while I walked and listened to podcats and Keturah had some tablet time.

The farm map at Tuttle's.  Well laid out.

Here's this year's corn maze at Tuttle's with all the names for the corny characters.

And then there's this character who took out all the toys in the box so he could dump his cereal in it.  I stopped him before he could that last part. 

Just watching his toonies on YouTube.  And yes, I put up some pictures but I need more frames and then I need to place some more and hang up the rest.

Boy's breakfast/lunch is 3x times the recommended amount.  He's hiding the cereal in the bowl because it's overflowing.  Abishai is loving this cereal and will even eat the cereal after he picks out all the marshmallows in it.
Again, it's a busy weekend.  We'll see if I can update you on it.  I also need to clear out my iCloud account because it's full again.  So much to do, so little time.  I'm glad we've had a week off so I could try and catch up and have some breathing room.  Back to the books on Monday.