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!|
|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!
|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.|
|The gutters were flowing so well during today's storms, that the joint now is having trouble! But yeah, no more overflowing gutters!|
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.
|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!|
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!
|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.|
|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.|
|Um, let me try it this way. Nope.|
|Boom! He finally made it! Wimp!|
|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!