Our Family

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

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Year 3, May 21st-22nd, 2018: The Breath of Life!

Wahoo!  I can breathe again!  But now Keturah can't, and I suspect Jared and Justin are next.  Abishai, I, and Keturah have coughs.  We've been at home for the better part of the last couple of days.  And that's a great thing because we need to focus on finishing up school well.  I had an appointment on Monday, so we didn't fully dig in until Tuesday.  But it was a very efficient and full day.  The kids got out in the pool, all the homework was done and looked over, our history projects are progressed on, Benaiah made inquiries for work, and we had dinner with the grandparents.  Monday wasn't bad, but it wasn't as efficient because of the appointment interruption.  I feel accomplished when I set realistic goals and meet them.  I'm getting pretty good at least for some days.  Often I have 2-3 main goals for the day beyond basics like laundry and meals and diapers.  Today, school was a priority, so I didn't start any projects.  I also wanted to make sure kids got outside because they didn't the day before.  And I usually have to set the priority for me to get a shower in.  Yes, I've become that mom that skips showers sometimes. I also set a single goal for work in the evening like blog or picture cds or clean out email/paperwork.  Sometimes it's just resetting the calendar and to do lists.  So tonight and tomorrow, my main goal is to quickly finish a book that was due at the library today.  I always seem to procrastinate and read the library books as they come due thinking I have more time.  Yes, I've taken books back that I haven't finished, but only if I've barely started it or it wasn't what I really needed at the time.  Time to stop procrastinating!  Don't forget to watch the video below!

I need to remind myself that if we are looking for something, Abishai has a new hiding spot he recently disocvered: his toy box at the end of his bed!  What a mischievous face!  He's actually sitting on it because he's hiding something and he knows it!

Sometimes I wonder how these two can be brothers.  Such a difference in their sizes.  I also wonder sometimes how the big one used to be the size of the small one just a short 13 years ago.  Cracks me up!

Abishai, back in his "police station," having a snack and watching "tv" just like a security guard sometimes does (at least in the movies, I know it's not usually the case in real life because Jared worked security at the airport and I know he didn't do that.)

T-shirts on the left are Benaiah's which he rarely wears.  T-shirts on the right are Jared's that he wears everyday.  This is what tannins and iron do to your clothing if you wash them in that water for 10 months.  Ugh.  T-shirts wear out anyway and are easily replaceable, but still.  And this is why I haven't worn my white shirts and tanks nor washed them very often.  And Abishai's poor blankie is discolored, although I washed it rarely, too.  Thank goodness we have soft and filtered water now!

Jared came home to get the new charcoal grill going.  It took awhile because we didn't have lighter fluid, but Jared is patient when he grills and made it work.  We need to make a more permanent stand or table for it.  We have logs, but not much basic wood scraps.

Trying to keep little one out of the garage and away from the grill.  It was drizzly when we started grilling.  So Benaiah stepped in for play time.

First pork steaks on our Pampered Chef electric/charcoal portable grill!  This is definitely something we could take camping.  You can get other accessories for it as well.  They were definitely tasty!

Say what?!  Michael W. Smith and Mike Nawrocki (Larry the Cucumber/Veggietales) co wrote and produced a new book and CD for kids!  And I think it's the first in a series.  Also, I got this because the first 50 to donate to the annual campaign for Rocketown the Club got it for free.  Plus they threw in (literally, I think, because the cases are broken) both of Michael's new albums, which I already have, so they are going to be regifted.  I can't wait to check it out!  This is what happens when you a) turn 60 and b) you have 14 grandchildren: you start to write children's music because you are G-Daddy!  Oh, and those 14 grandkids are all under 11 years old I think.  He's got 5 kids, you do the math.

Someone also started a faucet replacement project after he grilled and ended up giving up.  He got it mostly put back together and then it leaked.  Eek!  And this is the stuff I didn't miss about home ownership.

Sunsets are always a great thing!

I forget what kind of monkey/baboon Jared called him, but check out the series of the next 4 pictures.  I was in the fireside room when he first did this and didn't see how he landed it.  My first thought was that he wasn't going to land it and he'd fall on his head.....just watch....he's climbing onto the outside of the chair and then....
....leapt to the corner of the cabinet!  Tons of arm strength here!

Just hanging around like a monkey.  Then....
....he would either get down, or go up once he discovered he could use the knobs to help himself scramble up there!  And once up there, he gave us that evil laugh, like, "look what I can do now!"  My question is, why didn't he just climb from the chair to the counter?  Why did he have to go to the extra length of leaping like a monkey?  Because, he's Abishai, one of David's might men, that's why.  Fearless.  Just plain fearless.  Every family needs a kid like that.  And one of the others were that way.  He keeps us young and guessing what he'll come up with next!  And he gives us plenty of great stories to tell our friends!

Not my favorite IndyCar racecar driver and it's her only comeback race this year and then she'll fully retire, BUT, that's pretty neat that Lego made a likeness of Danica Patrick.  The Indy 500 is on Sunday!  Where on earth did May, aka Race Month, go?  Crazy!

Today's outfit brought to you by the preschooler and his lazy mom.  The pj's and boots complete the look.

Oh that face!

And this position, too.

The three big kids.  Wow they are getting so big!

Except, Benaiah's legs are twice as thick as the other two's legs.  Yes, I totally notice these things and find them fascinating.  I like to try to be observant.  It was a lovely walk to dinner with the folks.

When at Grandma's,....we move over the stool so we don't bother a game in progress, and then, we use the said chair to climb up on the custom made chest to mess with playing cards.

Game in progress, post dinner.

Post dinner snooze?  Not really, but it cracks me up how he doesn't fit on the couch!  I don't mind bigness, he is what he is, but the fact that I gave birth to this guy, um, wow.  Again, I'm appreciating the miracle of growth here.

Then the little guy moved onto his favorite thing at Grandma's house besides her cookies, her nook and her favorite videos on it!  Here he is turning up the volume all by himself.  Oh, and he did briefly stop his video watching when he heard the cookie jar clink from a whole room away, just like when their dogs used to hear to clink and come running!  Selective hearing!

Serious chat on the front porch about job opportunities.  Grandma and Dad chatted about plants and gardens.  Did you know, that Gary and Leah purposefully made a huge covered porch because of the trend of our culture to hide behind huge privacy fences in their backyards?  They wanted the neighbors to know that everyone is welcome to come up and have a chat.  And they are the best at getting around to the neighbors and chatting it up old school!  Jared and I aren't that cool, and probably will never be.

I helped Abishai discover the Titanic bell and then he wouldn't stop ringing it!  He also kept ringing the doorbell, which freaked the dog out, who then wanted to go inside and see who was "at the door" except he was the one at the door.  I think Socks got used to the doorbell ringing when he lived with them.  We've never really used or had a doorbell that worked and I'm glad.  I don't always hear the knocking when I need to, but Socks usually lets us know anyway.

Walking home.  Abishai laid his head down on Daddy's head a few times because he was so tired from the day.

Abishai also criss crossed his arms on Daddy's head like he would for a portrait.  So cute!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Year 3, May 18th-20th, 2018: Sickness, But the Show Must Go On

Oh my goodness.  This mama's spring head cold was a doozy!  Thankfully, I'm on the mend, but only because I finally took the time to rest on Day 3.  On Friday, I knew it was coming on strong, but I wanted to make sure things were in place to celebrate Jared's 39th birthday at home, i.e. his gift was wrapped and a nice meal was on the table, as well as finishing up school and what not.  Well, most of the day was spent prodding Justin to mow our entire yard all by himself.  It took him nearly 5 hours, but he did it.  Meanwhile, Benaiah mowed the grandparents' yard and a neighbor's yard for some extra cash.  We are considering paying Justin something because a) our yard is huge and b) Grandpa used to pay Benaiah for mowing our lawn back in Beech Grove, so it's only fair.  But the little guy needs some stamina, patience, and muscles.  Therefore, school was pretty much put on the back burner and when he was done, I was already trying to get dinner going, in between the sniffles.  Leah came over for dinner because Gary was out of town.  The kids had a grand time playing with the box that Jared's gift came in.  I finally gave him the electric/charcoal grill I bought from Pampered Chef months ago.  I can't wait to use it myself!  I love meat cooked over charcoal, just like the way my dad used to cook burgers on one of those round medium sized charcoal grills years and years ago.  Oh the memories!  Gary and Leah have a gas grill, which is nice, too, but charcoal is what reminds me of my growing up years.

Anyway, we pushed the boys to mow on Friday because it was going to rain on Saturday and Sunday was full of activity per our normal schedule.  I was determined to buy clothes for Keturah so off we went for what became a shopping spree.  I returned some clothes to TJ Maxx and promptly bought a few things for Keturah, including a shirt with the cut outs in the sleeves near the shoulder.  She was really excited about that!  Then we hit the clearance racks of Carter's and ended with some great stuff at Old Navy.  But the whole time my nose was literally dripping into kleenix after kleenix.  I shouldn't have been out and about.  I felt kind of bad but I kept thinking to myself that I can't keep making excuses and procrastinating on this stuff.  So we went, and I put one foot in front of the other, all the while I probably had a fever.  We got home and set aside our haul just so I could let my brain have a chance to process what we had just done and make sure we wanted everything.  I totaled our purchases and for 19 pieces that could have cost $450, we spent $127.  I call that winning!  Jared says it's still spending money we don't have, and that's true, but Keturah really doesn't have any clothes, especially shorts and pants.  And per my discussion before, I need to replace some of my clothes and overall reduce what I have that doesn't fit.  I haven't bought clothes in over 2 years because of our limited budget.  And this is why I set things aside when we got home and will make sure we didn't make any impulse purchases.  This is why I took stuff back to TJ Maxx when I realized that the pants didn't have pockets!  I'm well aware of people in the world who only have one set of tattered clothes.  I'm well aware of the minimalist way of having only 30 pieces of clothing in your wardrobe.  So, I don't take clothes shopping lightly.  But I have to say, despite feeling like crap, we did very, very well.  Plus we got to spend some time together, at the mall, where she got to take a look through Build A Bear.  She was very excited to show me all the parts of the Build A Bear store because she had seen it on a YouTube video.  She didn't outright ask for anything, especially after I mentioned the prices, but I did acknowledge how awesome all the accessories look.  I've always wanted one, but it's just not practical enough for me.  I think she understands that.  And, I was happy to give her 10 minutes in the store because not once has she complained about hand me downs or shopping clearance racks.  She's kind of picky a bit on how jeans fit, but she not at all picky on style or what a shirt says, etc.  Ok, she doesn't really like the skinny jeans because it's hard to get her foot through, and I agree.  And she doesn't complain about the modesty rules we have, like a longer short/skirt, wearing a one piece bathing suit, no midriff shirts, no low waist shorts, and preferably not wearing skinny strap tank tops.  Maybe that will change as she gets older, but I think she's smart enough to understand why we follow those guidelines.  Anyway, it was a great day of shopping with my daughter!

Then we all attended another high school gradutaion open house of one of Benaiah's classmates, where we met up with Benaiah who had slept over at Ethan's house for the first time in a long time.  Ethan, Benaiah, and some other guys and gals saw Avengers: Infinity War on Friday night together, no adults allowed.  Since they are all almost 16 or older, it was time to let them have a little bit of freedom.  Benaiah thought it felt a little strange at first, but then liked it.  Baby steps, buddy, baby steps.  Then the two buddies took off from Ethan's house a mile up the road to Taco Bell and got drenched in the rain.  Benaiah had to borrow clothes from Ethan!  It's a good thing they are about the same size!  Ethan's girlfriend also went to the movie, so Benaiah got to spend some time with her and said she is "chill and just like us."  That's a great thing!  Again, they are growing up, and it's amazing to watch them take those big steps, just like when they were 1 yrs old and walking for the first time.  Time to fly, boys, time to fly!

Saturday night, I crashed.  Like I went to bed way early, woke up at 1am with a 100.2 degree fever. I woke up again at 3:30am, and the fever was gone.  Oh, and I went to bed incredibly chilled and woke up at 1 and 3:30am drenched in sweat from being flushed.  Miserable.  So, I stayed home from church, made arrangements for Justin to take my place in nursery, send books with him to give to a friend for the homeschool meeting, and did my best to stay in bed all day today.  My nose finally stopped dripping and I can breathe again.  I have felt flushed off and on today, but it's super hard for me to stay in bed because it hurts my back.  So, I took things slow and steady.  I never feel like I'm sick enough to call in for a sick day, but then I remember how my mom didn't care of herself at this age and she ended up with pneumonia and in the hospital for a week.  I don't want to do that to us.  I took a couple of naps, read some books, played on my phone, but also got up and helped in the kitchen and with the kids.  I'm a Martha, a doer, from the Bible of Mary and Martha fame, so it's hard for me to sit still.  And I have such a high tolerance for pain that I just keep going no matter what, one foot in front of the other.  I feel bad that I pushed through clothing shopping yesterday and then skipped church today.  The podcasts and books I read are mostly Christian self help things on parenting, faith, homeschooling, etc. and although they don't count like a sermon does, they do help me refocus like a sermon does.  Anyway, all in all, Jared did most of the work today, especially all the driving to and from the church today.  I think he made 4 round trips.  Leah was to bring Justin home after nursery, but she was running late to her small group, so Justin got to go with her and play with some puppies.  At least he had his DS with him! He didn't want to do the nursery for me, but he managed.  We all do our best to manage and pick up the slack, and I'm grateful that we can do just about anything in each other's roles when necessary.  Yeah for having older kids and other adults in our life to keep it going!  It does take a village to make life happen!

Oh, and speaking about the show must go on...Benaiah was able to enjoy an extra night of Crave high school where they could either sing along to the sing along version of "The Greatest Showman" or play Fortnite or Mario Bros Smash Bros as a way for the kids to relax before their week of finals this week.  I think most of them started in the room with the movie because three guys actually played parts of the drum kit along with the first song of the movie.  Benaiah got a great video of them playing!  I know it won't be his favorite movie, but I think Benaiah would appreciate this musical given that he's been in musicals.  Speaking of drums, he's playing drums for the Shelby St. campus two Sundays from now and he's also playing for a staff service or something this week.  Woot! Woot!  Now, he's gotta be careful because at some point, he's getting a real job.  He is currently applying to several places because apparently his plans at working at Kroger isn't going so well.  Lots of teens want jobs this summer, so he's got some competition.  I told him he could always do more lawn work and he said nope, not doing that again, lol.  Anyway, yeah for a fun night with friends (he ended up playing Smash Bros most of the night)!

What's a better wrapping then drawings on the box from the kids?  Abishai doesn't press down nearly hard enough, but at least he tried.

I love how Aaron uses fun names when he addresses someone.  He and Shauna and the girls bought a big box of charcoal for the grill for Jared's birthday.  I think this says Herodytus or Jarodytus on it.

Special birthday plate, a special bow (from the wedding box stash!), a little seat decoration, bacon wrapped chicken, salad, mashed potatoes, and his mom was present.  I think the guy had a great birthday.  Now, what are we going to plan for next year's big 4-0??????

Abishai is always at hand when Jared is working a project.  It's a decent sized grill, too.  I'm pretty excited!

Here's the sign Keturah made for Benaiah this week.  Didn't she do a great job?!  I love it!

Just in case I didn't include this on the last post, here's the new water softener and whole house water filter.  The water feels super nice now, but I can tell there's a bit of salt in it.  It will take a while for the salt to clear out the pipes, so we might still see some debris, but that's ok.

Yeah! It's a water softener!

A boy and his puppy.

Yup, I told you they like to use fun names when they address envelopes.

Leah got Jared a bunch of flavored water with the instructions not to let Benaiah see them or steal them, lol.

Mommy, Abishai and Keturah's drawings on the box.

Justin thought it was neat to write his initials with Jared's initials since they are the same.  I'm glad he recognizes that and identifies with it.

Everyone helped unpack the grill and popped all the bubble of the bubble wrap.
Abishai had some new toys to play with!  Styrofoam that got everywhere!  He was throwing them down from where he was standing on the chair.

Then he put on the big rain boots before he went to attack his brother.

Attack, attack!

This was all Abishai's doing!  He barricaded us into the living room.

Abishai actually did jump over the rope!

A little snack at the mall with my girl.  We split a meal and got one extra entre'. 

Indoor cornhole at the open house, but the cornhole thing makes a great ramp for a matchbox car, which he promptly brought home although it wasn't his.  Whoops! And since Ethan was there, Abishai now associates the car with Ethan and calls it Ethan's car.

Awww, I wish we could have been there on Prince Edward Island (or Nova Scotia, I'm not sure where they actually had the wedding, but they live on PEI I think) for this wedding.  What a sweet couple!  They were students at MCC when we were there.  And there was a royal wedding in England as well today, Prince Harry married Meghan.  I love weddings!

Bedhead with this curly guy!

Cuteness!

So Abishai set up his "police station" complete with several computers and a couple of tablets to for paperwork.  He even had a pillow to sit on.  He's been watching a lot of police Lego YouTube videos lately.  I love how he came up with this all on his own.  I'm not so fond of him taking the label maker off of my desk though.  The cartridge is empty, so at least he can't accidentally print all the letters he plugged into the machine.

Playing hard as always.

Pretty flowers in the garden.

Sandbox time with Daddy.  Lots of digging and racing.

We are encouraging Keturah to get outside and practice her dribbling if she wants to do basketball in the fall.  She's not half bad!  She also proudly wore her new shirt with the cut out shoulders and her new shorts to church today.  Abishai is just being his normal self running in the background.  Actually, he said he was doing flips like they do in gymnastics.  In reality, he was jumping up and down, lol.  They all have a lot of great imaginations!  Woot! Woot!